Material and methodologies

Taking an aerial photo of hearth two. Photo: Sven-Donald Hedman

Bjørnar Olsen taking an aerial photo of hearth two, 2012. Photo: Sven-Donald Hedman

Our research material will consist of: (i) survey records held in heritage registers in Sweden and Norway, (ii) previously excavated hearth row sites (including sites with faunal assemblages), and (iii) new material obtained through surveys and excavations of such sites in Sweden and Norway.

In addition to more traditional archaeological methods, a number of other approaches will be used. To understand hearth formation processes, including repeated usage and seasonality, soil micromorphology, on-site pollen-analyses and macrofossil analysis will be applied (Goldberg&Macphail 2006, Viklund 2005, 2008).  Soil-chemical methods will be used for analyses of activity areas and the organization of domestic space (Karlsson 2006, Linderholm 2010). GIS will be applied to systematically examine the “affordances” of a landscape in relation to site location, also integrating information about proximity to other significant sites, including sacred ones (Äikäs 2009).

Site function, seasonality, and subsistence will be further approached by using osteological analysis. Regarding the question of wild/domestic reindeer the age profiles of the animals as well as multivariate analysis of long bone dimensions provide promising opportunities (Puputti & Niskanen 2009). Crucial to this problem is the application of genetic analyses of excavated reindeer bones, which have yielded promising result (Røed 2010).