Boplatser och offerplatser : ekonomisk strategi och boplatsmönster bland skogssamer 700-1600 AD

Sammanfattning: This thesis primarily discusses the development of late Iron Age Saami settlement patterns in greater Norrland's forest area, from the establishment of the Settlements through to historical times. The Settlements are chiefly characterised by hearths, but it is also important to study Saami sacrificial sites when trying to understand the significance of the settlement patterns. Central to the thesis is how the archaeological material can be applied to questions concerning the introduction of reindeer herding.During the early Viking period a significant change in the settlement pattern of greater Norrland's inland occurs. New niches start to be exploited, moving away from the earlier shore-bound model. The Settlements are relocated to areas with good reindeer grazing land, by small streams, bogs and small lakes. The principal features are concentrations of hearths, which arise in large numbers, most often in groups of three to ten.A number of the artefacts found at the settlement sites are also found at Saami sacrificial sites from between 800 to 1350 AD, suggesting that the hearths should be studied in the context of Saami culture.A wide range of artefacts have been discovered during excavation of the Settlements, which suggests extensive contacts, mainly to the east and the Ladoga area, but also with Norway to the west. The artefacts display a continuity from the Viking period into the 1700's, and the dating of the hearths show a similar chronological spread.The study area has supported a reindeer herding forest Saami society during historical times, the settlement pattern of which has close similarities to that found under the Viking period. This implies that the settlement pattern that emerged during the Viking period can probably be related to an emergent reindeer herding system. Reindeer herding was undertaken in combination with hunting and fishing - so called semi-nomadism. It is suggested that the forest land Saami society become so dependent on reindeer herding during the Viking period, that it controlled the settlement pattern.