Farming: A defining element of the Nordic Bronze Age?

Farming is intrinsically linked to the notion of the Nordic Bronze Age. Within its core areas fertile arable land is a readily available resource, although this is not necessarily the case in the periphery. It is clear that particular forms of metalwork, architecture, burial practices and settlement organizations define what is perceived as belonging to the Nordic Bronze Age, but while there are striking commonalities across the entire sphere of influence, there is significant variation. Such is also the case with farming practices, where regional variation in both animal husbandry and plant cultivation is vast. A diverse variation in field systems including open versus enclosed fields, lynchets and Celtic fields, rotating and permanent fields results in multi-scaled and contrasting Bronze Age landscapes with regional variations in the relationship between forest and open land. This variation is increasingly evident as more detailed evidence is provided from pollen, macrofossils and different soil analyses, including micromorphology. Other forms of subsistence such as hunting and fishing are of great importance both in parts of the core areas as well as in the periphery.

The session aims to nuance the idea of the "Bronze Age farmer" as a conservative entity, and to encourage reflection on farming as part of the "Bronze Age package" in the far from uniform landscapes of the Nordic Bronze Age area. Papers from Nordic and bordering areas, concerning both center and periphery, and papers focusing on the diversity of connections between e.g. landscapes, technologies, social practices and materialities, are invited.


Session organisers

Johan Eilertsen Arntzen

Department of Archaeology and Social Anthropology, UiT The Arctic University of Norway


Lisbeth Prøsch-Danielsen

Museum of Archaeology, University of Stavanger


Kari Loe Hjelle

University Museum of Bergen, University of Bergen


Mette Løvschal

Department of Archaeology, School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University

Published Oct. 10, 2016 9:13 PM