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Boplatsvallen som bostad i Norrbottens kustland 5000 till 2000 före vår tideräkning: en studie av kontinuitet och förändring
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
2008 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis focuses on the use of the semi-subterranean house on the coast of Norrbotten during the period 5000–2000 BC. The term semi-subterranean house (in Swedish boplatsvall) became a new category of prehistoric remains in Norrbotten during the 1980s. In 1984, the Swedish National Heritage Board (Riksantikvarieämbetet) started surveying the eastern part of Norrbotten, thus initiating a new interpretation of the history of Stone Age coastal societies.

The aim of this study is to observe and analyse how the semi-subterranean house developed through time in eastern Norrbotten and to place this information into context. For this thesis, I have studied a number of 631 semi-subterranean remains on a number of sites dating from the Mesolithic era to the early Metal Age. A number of settlements belonging to different eras have been compared. Several archaeological investigations on sites from the late Mesolithic and the Neolithic periods have also provided important information.

The thesis shows that throughout the Mesolithic period, the semi-subterranean house was usually less than 12 m2, with an average of approximately 9 m2 . Around 5000 BC, there appears to have been an increase in the number of this type of house being constructed. The number of known sites with semisubterranean houses is at its highest around the late Mesolithic period. Subsistence seems to have been based on the hunting of large terrestrial animals, such as elk and perhaps reindeer. Other animals found in the bone material are seal, beaver, salmon, perch, pike as well as some bird species.

At the beginning of the Neolithic period, the number of sites with semi-subterranean houses decreases while the number of houses at each site increases. Also, the floor area increases to an average size of 15 m2 and the floor shape changes from circular to rectangular. The bone material consists at this time of seal bones, while elk and reindeer remains are scarce. Most of the sites are concentrated in the area around the mouths of the Kalix and Torne Rivers.

At the middle and end of the Neolithic period, the numbers of sites increase as do the number of houses on each site and the size of the fl oor areas. The average floor area is 28 m2. The bone material now contains no elk or reindeer remains, while seal and various fi sh species are common. Around 2300 BC, the number of semi-subterranean houses decreases dramatically. The semi-subterranean house was probably exchanged for another sort of dwelling more suited to the needs of society. After 2300 BC, there is a total decline in known sites in the area. This could be explained by a reorganisation of the settlements as a result of greater interaction with the south Scandinavian battle-axe culture, together with higher interaction and cultural identification with neighbouring groups in the north and around the Bothnian Bay on the Finnish side.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Institutionen för idé- och samhällsstudier , 2008. , 224 p.
Studia archaeologica Universitatis Umensis, ISSN 1100-7028 ; 23
Keyword [en]
Semi-subterranean house, dwelling, settlement, history, land upheaval, meter above sea
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1888ISBN: 978-91-7264-674-2OAI: diva2:142318
Public defence
2008-11-07, Hörsal E, Humanisthuset, Umeå Universitet, 907 01 Umeå, 13:00
Available from: 2008-10-21 Created: 2008-10-21 Last updated: 2013-07-31Bibliographically approved

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