Early farming in Southeastern Norway: New evidence and interpretations

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Svein Vatsvåg Nielsen


The spread of a Neolithic mode of production in prehistory had a significant impact on subsequent economic and demographic developments. Early farming in Norway is usually inferred from the pollen record or distribution maps of imported axes, which indicate its introduction around the Oslo Fjord around 3900 cal BCE. A persistent anomaly for this model is the lack of direct evidence of cultivation and knowledge of where farming took place. This paper argues that a number of sites used for farming in the Early Neolithic were discovered by excavations in Southeastern Norway in the period from 2004–2013. It is dedicated to the presentation and interpretation of these sites. As a main result of the investigations, the number of known Early Neolithic farming sites in Southeastern Norway increases from one to 15. It suggests a new economic model for the Oslo Fjord region that a) accounts for places of farming and b) argues that acculturation was an important factor for the adoption of farming in this region of Scandinavia. The poor condition of the 15 Early Neolithic farming sites in Southeastern Norway indicates that subsequent cultivation has erased most traces left behind from this pioneer phase.

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How to Cite
NielsenSvein Vatsvåg. 2021. “Early Farming in Southeastern Norway: New Evidence and Interpretations”. Journal of Neolithic Archaeology 23 (December), 83–113. https://doi.org/10.12766/jna.2021.4.