The Search for a Past: The Prehistory of the Indigenous Saami in Northern Coastal Sweden
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Viking Period page


Image Gallery
Viking Period Cloak Pin
1:  Cloak Pin
2:  aerial photo      Grundskaten
,3:  hut
4:  radiocarbon dates
5:  animal bones
6:  find map
8:  axe
9:  skis
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The Viking period was a dynamic time of expansion and population growth. Trade was extensive and Saami sacrificial sites in Swedish Lapland contain hundreds of metal objects from the Nordic region, Russia, Eastern and Western Europe (squares on find map). The sealers' huts in coastal Västerbotten date as early as AD 500 but the majority are from the Viking Period. They are close parallels to the Stalo reindeer hunters' huts in the Swedish mountains, dating to the same time period. Both types of seasonal settlements were abandoned in the 14th century due to an expansion of Swedish state control of the North and Swedish agrarian expansion, the influence of the Church, but also the effects of the Little Ice Age and the Black Death. These changes ushered in the Saami transition to reindeer herding and nomadism. Metal artifacts ornaments, tools and weapons) were widely traded and have distributions in Upper northern Sweden coinciding with major waterways. Artifacts have been found in concentrations such as Lövanger on the coast and at Lycksele, Arjeplog, the Lule River and Torne Lake regions in the interior and mountain regions.


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