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  • 1.
    Bigler, Christian
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Ecology and Environmental Science.
    Barnekow, L
    Heinrichs, M L
    Hall, R I
    Holocene environmental history of Lake Vuolep Njakajaure (AbiskoNational Park, northern Sweden) reconstructed using biologicalproxy indicators2006In: Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, ISSN 0939-6314, E-ISSN 1617-6278, Vol. 15, no 4, p. 309-320Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]
    Abstract  Holocene environmental and climatic changes are reconstructed using analyses of biological proxies in lake sediments from Vuolep Njakajaure, a lake located near the altitudinal treeline in northern Sweden (68°20′ N, 18°47′ E). We analysed biological proxy indicators from both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, including diatoms, pollen and chironomid head capsules, in order to reconstruct regional Holocene climate and the development of the lake and its catchment. During the early Holocene and after 2500 cal b.p., Fragilaria taxa dominated the diatom assemblages, whereas planktonic Cyclotella taxa prevailed during the major part of the Holocene (7800–2300 cal b.p.), indicating the importance of the pelagic habitat for diatom assemblage composition. The planktonic diatoms appeared at the same time as Alnus became established in the catchment, probably altering nutrient availability and catchment stability. The pollen record is dominated by mountain birch (Betula pubescens ssp. tortuosa) pollen throughout the Holocene, but high percentage abundances of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) pollen suggest the presence of a mixed pine-birch forest during the mid-Holocene (6800–2300 cal b.p.). Head capsules of Tanytarsini and Psectrocladius dominated the chironomid assemblage composition throughout the Holocene, in combination with Corynocera ambigua after 2300 cal b.p. A quantitative, diatom-based reconstruction of mean July air temperature indicated a relatively cold temperature during the early Holocene (9000–8000 cal b.p.) and after ca. 2300 cal b.p., whereas the mid-Holocene period is characterised by stable and warm temperatures. The overall patterns of Holocene climate and environmental conditions are similarly described by all biological proxy-indicators, suggesting relatively warm conditions during the mid-Holocene (ca. 7800–2300 cal b.p.), with a subsequent colder climate after 2300 cal b.p. However, the onset and magnitude of the inferred changes differ slightly among the proxies, illustrating different responses to lake development phases, land-uplift, and climate forcing (e.g., insolation patterns) during the Holocene in northern Sweden.
  • 2.
    Grabowski, Radoslaw
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies, Environmental Archaeology Lab.
    Changes in cereal cultivation during the Iron Age in southern Sweden: a compilation and interpretation of the archaeobotanical material2011In: Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, ISSN 0939-6314, E-ISSN 1617-6278, Vol. 20, no 5, p. 479-494Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Macrofossil data from 73 sites dating to the south Swedish Iron Age (500 b.c.-a.d. 1100) have been compiled and analyzed in order to elucidate long term changes in cereal cultivation. The analyses indicate that “permanent field” agriculture was established at the end of the Bronze Age utilizing Hordeum vulgare var vulgare as a primary crop and Triticum aestivum ssp vulgare/compactum, Triticum spelta/dicoccum/monococcum, Avena sativa and Secale cereale as secondary crops. An observed change towards the end of Roman Iron Age (1-a.d. 400) is the expansion of Secale cereale and Avena sativa cultivation. Evidence also suggests that winter sowing of the former commenced at the latest during the eighth, ninth and tenth centuries a.d. The introduction of winter sowing possibly coincided with the establishment of crop rotation agriculture. During most of the Iron Age southern Sweden displays significant regional variations with regards to cereal cultivation practice. There is however evidence that a more homogenous agriculture appeared across the investigated area from the beginning of the Viking Age (a.d. 800-1100) onwards.

  • 3.
    Josefsson, Torbjörn
    et al.
    Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden ; Institute for Subarctic Landscape Research, Arjeplog, Sweden .
    Ramqvist, Per H
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies. nstitute for Subarctic Landscape Research, Arjeplog, Sweden.
    Hörnberg, Greger
    nstitute for Subarctic Landscape Research, Arjeplog, Sweden.
    The history of early cereal cultivation in northernmost Fennoscandia as indicated by palynological research2014In: Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, ISSN 0939-6314, E-ISSN 1617-6278, Vol. 23, no 6, p. 821-840Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The age of the introduction of cereal cultivation in northern Europe has long been debated by researchers from many disciplines, in particular archaeology and palaeoecology. Over the past 40 years extensive palynological data have been collected concerning pre-industrial land use in northern Fennoscandia. This paper reviews palynological studies that include records of fossil cereal pollen from northernmost Sweden, Finland and Norway at latitudes north of 63A degrees N. The geographical extent of known early cultivation sites is constantly expanding, with more than 100 records of cereal pollen pre-dating ad 1700. The oldest records of scattered cereal pollen derive from Neolithic times. Periods of continuous cultivation, indicated by cereal pollen recorded recurrently in the sediment profiles, derive from the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. Collectively, the reviewed pollen records indicate that cereal cultivation was first introduced into areas close to the coast and later to the interior, and that it may have been practiced locally long before sedentary settlements based on intensive cultivation were established during medieval times. The data do not indicate a latitudinal spread of cultivation from south to north. However, methodological problems relating to pollen morphology of cereals, site characteristics and lack of connections to archaeologically excavated sites imply that the value of many early cereal pollen finds remains unclear. To increase our understanding of the context in which cereal cultivation was introduced in northernmost Fennoscandia, multidisciplinary studies integrating palaeoecology, archaeology and history are needed.

  • 4.
    Karlsson, Jon
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Rydberg, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Segerström, Ulf
    Nordström, Eva-Maria
    Thöle, Philine
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Biester, Harald
    Bindler, Richard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Tracing a bog-iron bloomery furnace in an adjacent lake-sediment record in Ängersjö, central Sweden, using pollen and geochemical signals2016In: Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, ISSN 0939-6314, E-ISSN 1617-6278, Vol. 25, no 6, p. 569-581Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent studies of bloomery sites in Sweden indicate the amount of iron produced with this early low-technology smelter was greater than previously thought, which implies greater economic importance. Little is known about the history of bloomery technology, not least the timeframe over which individual bloomeries were operated, as well as their impact on the landscape because of resource consumption and pollution. In this study we performed pollen and geochemical analyses of the lake-sediment record from Rortjarnen, which is 120 m from the remains of a documented bloomery [one radiocarbon date: ad 1300-1435 (1 sigma)], in A"ngersjo, Halsingland. A surface-soil transect shows a limited geochemical signal only within 20 m of the bloomery, and the sediment pollen record provides little direct evidence of an active bloomery and is consistent with other studied sites in the area linked to forest grazing or cultivation. Instead, we find major changes in sediment geochemistry during ad 800-1200, centered on a unique peak in Pb at ad 1030-1060. These changes include, e.g., Si (biogenic) and P, together with changes in pollen (e.g., Betula, Picea, Cyperaceae), which together indicate disturbance in the forest and especially the adjoining fen. We attribute these changes to a period of bloomery-related activities predating the radiocarbon date of the charcoal from the bloomery, and suggest that date represents a late phase for the site.

  • 5.
    Nordlund, Christer
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Four points on Lennart von Post and the invention of "Pollen Statistics"2018In: Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, ISSN 0939-6314, E-ISSN 1617-6278, Vol. 27, p. 311-317Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This essay is a contribution to the historiography of Lennart von Post and the early development of quantitative pollen analysis. Based on von Post’s own publications and source material from the archives of Stockholm University College, where he was appointed professor in 1929, the essay offers four points on von Post’s scientific identity and the collective work through which quantitative pollen analysis, or “pollen statistics”, came into being. The four points are, first, that von Post made his career as a geologist; second, that he framed pollen analysis as a means to tackle Quaternary geological issues; third, that his work benefitted from collective work, both in the field and in the laboratory; and fourth, that quantitative pollen analysis was not accepted without criticism, taking some years to break through beyond the Geological Survey, where von Post worked before he became professor.

  • 6.
    Viklund, Karin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies, Environmental Archaeology Lab.
    Flax in Sweden: the archaeobotanical, archaeological and historical evidence2011In: Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, ISSN 0939-6314, E-ISSN 1617-6278, Vol. 20, no 6, p. 509-515Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The earliest recorded evidence of flax being cultivated in Sweden is from the end of the Bronze Age/beginning of the Iron Age. Later, from ca. a.d. 1100 and onwards, flax became an economically important plant in the country, and during the 12th to 16th centuries there was a substantial increase in the Swedish export of linen to other parts of Europe. Alongside its extensive cultivation, a set of cultural traditions and rituals was eventually built up around flax. The objective of this article is to draw an outline of the history of flax cultivation in Sweden and to present the relevant prehistoric and historic source material. A point of discussion will be the different roles that fibre flax and oil flax played over a long period of time and the problem of seed corn import for the development of domestic fibre flax in the country. The study is based on the prehistoric archaeobotanical record, mainly charred seeds from the Swedish Iron Age (ca. 500 b.c.-a.d. 1050), the archaeological record, documentary evidence and folklore.

  • 7. Wacnik, Agnieszka
    et al.
    Tylmann, Wojciech
    Bonk, Alicja
    Goslar, Tomasz
    Enters, Dirk
    Meyer-Jacob, Carsten
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Grosjean, Martin
    Determining the responses of vegetation to natural processes and human impacts in north-eastern Poland during the last millennium: combined pollen, geochemical and historical data2016In: Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, ISSN 0939-6314, E-ISSN 1617-6278, Vol. 25, no 5, p. 479-498Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Pollen, charcoal and geochemical investigations were carried out on annually laminated sediments of Lake Zabinskie (54 degrees 07'54.5 '' N; 21 degrees 59'01.1 '' E) and the results were combined with historical and climate data to better understand the mechanism behind plant cover transformations. A millennium-long record of environmental history at 6-years time resolution permitted an assessment of vegetation responses to past human impact and climate fluctuations. Our results show that the history of the region with repeated periods of warfare, epidemics, famine and crop failures is well reflected by environmental proxies. Before the Teutonic Order crusade (AD 1230-1283), agricultural activities of the Prussian tribes were conducted at a distance from the studied lake and caused slight disturbances of local forests. A stronger human impact was registered after ca AD 1460. We confirm that co-domination of pine forests with spruce and oakhornbeam forests on drier habitats as well as the presence of birch and alder woods on wet surfaces near the lake lasted until AD 1610. We identified a transition period of 20 years between AD 1590 and 1610, when forest cover was significantly reduced and the area was partly transformed into open land used for farming activities. The comparison of our data with other pollen datasets from the region confirms significant spatio-temporal differences in the initiation of large-scale woodland clearings in the Great Masurian Lake District. A strong increase in local cultivation was noted after AD 1750 and became even stronger in the period AD 1810-1940. The last 60 years experienced a succession from arable fields and open grasslands to more tree-covered habitats overgrown by birch and alder.

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