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Early Economy and Settlement in Northern Europe

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This volume explores the economy and settlement of the early post-glacial pioneers of Northern Europe. The chapters present overviews and case studies from the Early and Middle Mesolithic of Northern Scandinavia in their wider northern European setting. Given the large geographical and climatic variation– ranging from the temperate over the subarctic to the arctic zones – and rapid and large-scale, early post-glacial changes in topography and ecology across the area, the volume takes a regional approach. Special emphasis is placed on how the early pioneer hunter-fisher-gatherers “mapped onto the landscape” – organized their economy and settlement – in order to provide for a broader and deeper understanding of the “big issues” such as why, from where, and how they came into different parts of Northern Scandinavia and in particular how the maritime component of the economy and settlement emerged. Another issue of particular, contemporary human interest is addressed through studies of how the early pioneers coped with rapid and large-scale climatic changes and their impact on living conditions. Based on new analyses, methodologies, and field-work this volume brings fresh perspectives and insights to all these important aspects of our early post-glacial past.

Published: May 31, 2018

Book Contributors


Section Chapter Authors
List of Tables Hans Peter Blankholm
List of Appendices Hans Peter Blankholm
List of Figures Hans Peter Blankholm
List of Contributors Hans Peter Blankholm
General Preface to the Series Håkon Glørstad
Chapter 1
The Early Economy and Settlement in Northern Europe—Pioneering, Resource Use, Coping with Change: New Investigations Hans Peter Blankholm
Chapter 2
The Pioneer Colonisation of Northern Norway Jan Kleppe
Chapter 3
Large Mesolithic House – Pits at Tønsnes, Coastal Northern Norway: Evidence of a Winter Aggregation Site? Jan Magne Gjerde, Marianne Skandfer
Chapter 4
Macro-level Predictive Modelling of Early Stone Age Pioneer Settlement Locations in Varanger, Northern Norway Hans Peter Blankholm
Chapter 5
Aareavaara and the Pioneer Period in Northern Sweden Olof Östlund
Chapter 6
From Russia, with Love – Eastern Intruders in the North Norwegian Mesolithic Tuija Rankama, Jarmo Kankaanpää
Chapter 7
Early Mesolithic Central Norway: A Review of Research History, Settlements, and Tool Tradition Heidi Breivik, Hein Bjerck
Chapter 8
TTent, Hut or House? A Discussion on Early Mesolithic Dwellings in Light of the Site Mohalsen 2012-II, Vega, Northern Norway Silje Fretheim, Hein Bjerck, Heidi Breivik, A. Francisco J. Zangrando
Chapter 9
The Early Mesolithic of Western Norway Leif Åstveit
Chapter 10
The First One Thousand Years – Human Colonization and Differentiated Landscape Use in Southwestern Norway 10,000 to 9000 Years BP. Sveinung Bang-Andersen
Chapter 11
The Pioneer Settlement of Southwestern Norway: A Case Study Sigrid Dugstad
Chapter 12
The Pioneer Settlement of Eastern Norway Hege Damlien, Steinar Solheim
Chapter 13
Pauler 2: An Ordinary Early Mesolithic Site in South-Eastern Norway? Astrid Nyland
End Matter
Index Hans Peter Blankholm


Extremely well written and edited. The inclusion of radiocarbon results in eight contributions is extremely useful for the wider scientific community. Blankholm has done a tremendous job bringing these diverse and interesting articles together, all of which for the most part present new data.

A new, solid platform for further knowledge development about this fascinating period in our common prehistory.
Viking: Norsk arkeologisk årbok

An important contribution to the settlement of Northern Europe.
Represents an incredible collection of articles focused on the time just after the Weichselian Ice Age. The three books contain a plethora of information regarding flora, fauna, geology and technology, stemming from decades of excavation and of research on the vast body of material unearthed, especially in Norway.
European Journal of Archaeology