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Gene: on the origin, function and development of sedentary Iron Age settlement in northern Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts.
1983 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis deals with questions concerning the sedentary settlement in central Norrland: its origins, function and development. This type of settlement appears at the start of our calendar. The material comprises an almost fully excavated farmstead from the Early Iron Age (1-600 A.D.), situated on Genesmon in the parish of Själevad, northern Ångermanland. Particular stress has been put on the description of the individual structures and on questions concerning the construction and room-division of the houses. The farm's resource utilization, handicrafts and development are also analysed and discussed.The basic material for the thesis has been obtained through archaeological excavations. To a limited degree a comparative method has been used with regard to the form and content of the farm settlement. In addition data has been extracted from the presence, distribution and species of carbonized seeds, which were collected from post-holes, hearths and other features in and around the nine house foundations found hitherto.Contrary to the views of previous research, the results show that even northern Ångermanland obtained sedentary settlement at about the same time as Hälsingland and Medelpad. With regard to the origin of this settlement a critical examination is made of previous research, which has largely been in agreement that it was a result of colonization from the Mälar Valley. Some circumstances are presented which can be interpreted rather as internal development under influence. The settlement on the excavated site at Gene consists of a farmstead, with a three-aisled long-house and smaller three-aisled houses nearby with special functions. The number of small houses increases with time. Only a few remnants of dividing walls have been encountered. Room analyses show that the long-house was probably divided into six rooms or sections, each with its own function. The general layout and this room-division corresponds well with other contemporary houses in, for example, S.W. Norway and on Jutland. There are however tendencies towards regional differences. During the Migration Period both iron-forging and bronze-casting have taken place on the farm. These handicrafts were probably not carried out by professional smiths. The remains of bronze working show that relief brooches, keys, rings and pins were cast. A preliminary going-through of the literature also shows that bronze-casting was considerably more common on the Migration Period farms in Norden than one generally assumed. The farm on Genesmon is suggested to have been relocated during the 6th or 7th century A.D. Since a similar restructuring or movement of settlement can be noted over large parts of Norden during this period, the explanations for the relocation of the Gene farm must be sought in changes in a long-established inter-regional structure.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1983. , 220 p.
Archaeology and environment, ISSN 0281-5877 ; 1
Keyword [en]
sedentary, settlement, colonization, internal development, origin, development, three-aisled long-houses, house construction, room division, inter-regional structure, iron forging, bronze casting
Keyword [sv]
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-78988ISBN: 91-7174-145-3OAI: diva2:638356
Public defence
1983-12-16, Humanisthuset, hörsal E, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:00
Available from: 2013-08-27 Created: 2013-07-30 Last updated: 2014-05-08Bibliographically approved

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Ramqvist, Per H.
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