The aim of the dissertation is to elucidate Iron Age settlement in southern Halland from two angles: (1) the evidence of antiquities (graves), ground finds of metal and rock, and place-names; (2) the information conveyed by investigations in settlement archaeology. The combined study of graves, ground finds, and place-names shows that the image of southern Halland in the Iron Age differs depending on which category is analysed. Stray finds and early place-names are mainly associated with the coastal area, whereas the interior of the county is not represented. The picture changes, however, when the graves are incorporated in the analysis. Although a large proportion of the graves occur within the low-lying coastal region, the distribution shows that the interior was also colonized during the Iron Age, above all the districts around Lake Bolmen, but also along the valleys of the Nissan and the Ätran. There are numerous remains of settlement, but here too there is a concentration in the western parts of southern Halland. However, the likely reason is that this is the area where modern development has occasioned most archaeological work. House remains have been found at almost thirty places. The settlement sites comprise everything from a single house to more than thirty buildings. A comparison between the different sites reveals varied building practices. The variations can be observed as early as the Pre-Roman Iron Age settlements, when house types separated by only a few kilometres can differ. The same tendency also exists in subsequent periods, and it is not possible to single out any house type as being typical of its period for the region as a whole. It is rather the case that the individual settlement sites have their characteristic buildings which may also differ from the buildings at nearby settlements. Through historical analogies it has been observed that the traditional Iron Age farm was too small to be able to hold the numbers of livestock discussed in the archaeological literature and the fodder required for these animals. The optimization that is often suggested would require much larger farms with extensive storage space. The absence of visible stall partitions in the byres rather suggests a form of animal husbandry with the animals kept out in the open and only exceptionally housed.
|Award date||1999 Nov 26|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|
Bibliographical noteDefence details
Name: Säfvestad, Ulf
Affiliation: Riksantikvarieämbetet, UV Syd, Lund
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- local variation.
- agrarian economy
- settlement structure
- Iron age