New evidence on the introduction, cultivation and processing of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) in southern Sweden

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New evidence on the introduction, cultivation and processing of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) in southern Sweden. / Larsson, Mikael; Lagerås, Per.

In: Environmental Archaeology, Vol. 20, No. 2, 2015, p. 111-119.

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TY - JOUR

T1 - New evidence on the introduction, cultivation and processing of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) in southern Sweden

AU - Larsson, Mikael

AU - Lagerås, Per

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Subfossil remains of Cannabis sativa L. (hemp) have been found at Lindangelund in the region of Malmo, southern Sweden. These represent the earliest robust evidence so far for hemp retting in Scandinavia. Finds of seeds, stems and pollen of C. sativa from a waterlogged context on a settlement dating to the Roman Iron Age demonstrate that the plant was locally cultivated and processed during the 1st-2nd centuries AD. An introductory phase in Scandinavia is proposed (c. AD 1-400) during which the cultivation of hemp was apparently small scale and processing was probably carried out within settlements. In the succeeding centuries, c. AD 400-550 (the Migration Period), remains of hemp are mostly found in pollen records from lake sediments, and less frequently in the archaeological record. This could indicate that the process of hemp retting relocated from settlements to lakes shores where activity became larger in scale and more integrated with the prevailing agricultural system.

AB - Subfossil remains of Cannabis sativa L. (hemp) have been found at Lindangelund in the region of Malmo, southern Sweden. These represent the earliest robust evidence so far for hemp retting in Scandinavia. Finds of seeds, stems and pollen of C. sativa from a waterlogged context on a settlement dating to the Roman Iron Age demonstrate that the plant was locally cultivated and processed during the 1st-2nd centuries AD. An introductory phase in Scandinavia is proposed (c. AD 1-400) during which the cultivation of hemp was apparently small scale and processing was probably carried out within settlements. In the succeeding centuries, c. AD 400-550 (the Migration Period), remains of hemp are mostly found in pollen records from lake sediments, and less frequently in the archaeological record. This could indicate that the process of hemp retting relocated from settlements to lakes shores where activity became larger in scale and more integrated with the prevailing agricultural system.

KW - Cannabis sativa

KW - Hemp

KW - Retting

KW - Roman Iron Age

KW - Sweden

KW - Scandinavia

U2 - 10.1179/1749631414Y.0000000029

DO - 10.1179/1749631414Y.0000000029

M3 - Article

VL - 20

SP - 111

EP - 119

JO - Environmental Archaeology

JF - Environmental Archaeology

SN - 1461-4103

IS - 2

ER -