Sub-local differences in Late Holocene land use at Orstad, Jæren in SW-Norway, revealed by soil pollen stratigraphy
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSageidet, B.M. (2005) Sub-local differences in Late Holocene land use at Orstad, Jæren in SW-Norway, revealed by soil pollen stratigraphy. Environmental Archaeology, 10(1), 51-71
Four soil profiles along an 84 m transect through a clearance cairn field on podsol soils at Orstad, Jæren, SW Norway, were investigated. By relating pollen-analytical results to soil stratigraphical and morphological features, it was possible to reconstruct the landuse history of the site, and to reveal differences along the transect, although pollen preservation was poor. Human activity at Orstad began about 4500 uncalibrated 14C years BP. The reason for an intermediate abandonment of the site between about 4000 and 3600 uncalibrated 14C years BP was presumably a higher ground-water level, caused by local deforestation and/or by a climatic change. After that period, people seem to have grown cereals (Triticum and Hordeum) on at least two different field patches on the site. This land use was presumably occasional, and related to extraordinary needs. Fire-clearance seems to have been practised to prepare the fields for cultivation after long fallow periods. Between 2900 and 3200 uncalibrated 14C years BP, Orstad was possibly permanently inhabited. The agricultural fields were moved to higher levels, as the initial fields had become nutrient-depleted and too moist. Thin black layers in the profile may be remains of manure.
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