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By T. Douglas Price
Scandinavia, a land mass comprising the trendy international locations of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, used to be the final a part of Europe to be inhabited via people. no longer till the tip of the final Ice Age whilst the melting of massive ice sheets left at the back of a clean, barren land floor, approximately 13,000 BC, did the 1st people arrive and settle within the quarter. The archaeological list of those prehistoric cultures, a lot of it remarkably preserved in Scandinavia's bathrooms, lakes, and fjords, has given us a close portrait of the evolution of human society on the fringe of the inhabitable global.
In this publication, unique archaeologist T. Douglas fee presents a background of Scandinavia from the coming of the 1st people to the tip of the Viking interval, ca. advert 1050. the 1st publication of its sort in English in lots of years, historical Scandinavia positive aspects overviews of every prehistoric epoch by way of illustrative examples from the region's wealthy archaeology. An engrossing and entire photograph of switch around the millennia emerges, exhibiting how human society developed from small bands of hunter-gatherers to giant farming groups to the advanced warrior cultures of the Bronze and Iron a while, cultures which culminated within the magnificent upward thrust of the Vikings on the finish of the prehistoric interval. the fabric proof of those prior societies--arrowheads from reindeer hunts, megalithic tombs, rock paintings, superbly wrought weaponry, Viking warships--give brilliant testimony to the traditional peoples of Scandinavia and to their broad contacts with the distant cultures of the Arctic Circle, Western Europe, and the Mediterranean
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Extra resources for Ancient Scandinavia: An Archaeological History from the First Humans to the Vikings
Stellmoor, Germany Alfred Rust’s excavations at Stellmoor rfile the actions of those reindeer hunters in deposits of bone, antler, wooden, and stone. the particular payment zone lies subsequent to a small pond into which bones and different particles have been thrown. The lacustrine parts of the location are buried very deeply, underneath the trendy water desk, and pumps have been had to preserve the water out of the excavations. The excavations printed special episodes of profession at Stellmoor, separated stratigraphically in time. there has been an previous payment at 6. five m (21′) under the trendy floor floor and a more youthful one three. five m (11. 5′) extensive. The older fabrics at Stellmoor belong to the Hamburgian tradition, and the more youthful are Ahrensburgian. either layers have various stone instruments and thousands of animal bones and different artifacts. The precise shouldered and tanged issues of the past due Paleolithic are universal. there have been quite a few bone and antler gadgets, together with antler axes, antler golf equipment, and a embellished reindeer rib (Figure 2. 5). The embellished rib is defined close to the tip of this bankruptcy. within the Ahrensburgian layer, over a hundred wood arrow shafts of pine have been chanced on. a few have been easily whittled to some degree, whereas others have been slotted; a number of even contained the bottom of tanged issues, most likely damaged throughout the hunt (Bokelmann 1996). No arrow shafts have been present in the Hamburgian, although, and the categorical guns utilized in looking game—whether bows or spears—are unknown. Shouldered issues might have been used as arrow counsel, yet no bow or arrows were came across from this era, even supposing stipulations for natural upkeep have been very good. A damaged tip of a Hamburgian element was once came across embedded within the vertebra of a reindeer (Rust 1943). determine 2. five. Antler and bone artifacts from the Hamburgian and Ahrensburgian websites at Stellmoor. 1. Two-sided barbed antler harpoon, 2. Antler awl, three. One-sided antler harpoon, four. Reindeer shoulder blade with perforation from harpoon, five. perspectives of a slotted reindeer antler membership for putting a wide flint blade. research of the animal bones from Stellmoor offers a bounty of data in regards to the use of those animals and the actions of the hunters. those have been big-time reindeer hunters. This species contains greater than ninety eight% of the entire animal bones from the location. Over 1,000 person animals are represented within the top, Ahrensburgian layer. different species have been represented basically by means of a unmarried person or a couple of animals. within the Hamburgian degrees, these incorporated badger, fox, and wolverine, in addition to numerous hares. The Ahrensburgian degrees integrated elk, one horse, one bison, one wild boar, 3 beavers, foxes, and lemmings. a few of these species were dated to more moderen classes and will now not belong with the Paleolithic degrees at Stellmoor (Benecke and Heinrich 2003). The smaller numbers of animals from the Hamburgian interval recommend merely small drives or stalking. however, within the Ahrensburgian interval huge herds of reindeer seem to have been ambushed and butchered instantaneous.