Colonizing contrasting landscapes. The pioneer coast settlement and inland utilization in southern Norway 10,000-9500 years before present
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Original versionBang-Andersen, S. (2012) Colonizing contrasting landscapes. The pioneer coast settlement and inland utilization in southern Norway 10,000-9500 years before present. Oxford Journal of Archeaology, 31(2), 103-120 10.1111/j.1468-0092.2012.00381.x
This article contributes a western Scandinavian perspective to the discussion of the human colonization of former glaciated landscapes. Four assumptions concerning the peopling of the Norwegian coast are discussed: 1) a delayed colonization, 2) an immigration from the ‘North Sea Continent’, 3) reindeer as the main economic factor, and 4) a rapid rate of expansion along the coast. It is argued that only the first and last suppositions still appear credible, but need to be confirmed. A gradual major development is evident. Stage 1: Marine hunters colonized the resource-rich coastlines of south-west Sweden and southern Norway about 10,000 y.BP. Stage 2: Soon after, based on short seasonal moves, some coastal groups started exploiting reindeer in recently deglaciated mountain areas in south-west Norway. A similar subsistence pattern developed in north-west Norway. With its remote location, distinct landscape development and many-faceted environments, Norway appears as ideal for exploring human colonization processes on different geographical scales. More C14-dates and osteological material are, however, still needed.