The Search for a Past: The Prehistory of the Indigenous Saami in Northern Coastal Sweden
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Archaeological fieldwork took place in Northern Sweden in August and October 2004. Detailed mapping and sampling of the bear burial at Grundskatan in Lövånger Parish, Västerbotten, was completed. Soil chemical analysis, and a metal detector, complemented fine-scaled excavation to determine the exact stratigraphic sequence of the grave in the sealer's hut. Bone, carbon and artifact materials were also sought. In addition to this site, a circular stone feature at Lappsanberget was mapped and documented. Of particular value were soil chemical results that suggested that animals had been sacrificed inside and to the south of the ring. Similar circular features were documented at Gagsmark and on the Island of Stora Fjäderägg. Another coastal region in the Province of Hälsingland, 550 kms to the south, was surveyed. Identical huts and ritual features were found and new excavations are planned for 2005. This suggests, along with place-names,that coastal Saami settlements extended along much of the north Swedish coast, in this case only 300 kms north of Stockholm.

Participants include Elaine Broadbent, Rosanna Broadbent, Greg Lavallee, Britta Wennstedt Edvinger, Kjell Edvinger and Margareta Axelson. This project is being carried out in collaboration with Skellefteå Museum.

The Swedish film maker, Boris Ersson (website https://, has included the SI project in his European Union film production: Mare Botnicum - Coastal Life in the Bay of Bothnia.


documentation of a stone ring near Hornslandet in Halsingland
Britta documenting a circular stone feature near Hornslandet
in Hälsingland, 300 km north of Stockholm.



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©2004 Smithsonian Institution