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Mark röjd från sten: En studie av förklaringar och tolkningar kring röjningsröseområden
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences.
2013 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]


This essay discusses different explanations and interpretations of what characterizes large areas containing clearance cairns (cairn fields). Results from the analyses show that there are different explanations about when and why cairn fields and clearance cairns occur. Explanations vary from introduction of the wooden ard in the early Bronze Age to the introduction of rational hay-making in the Roman Iron Age.  There is, anyway, relative agreement considering why and when cairn fields were abandoned. The reason suggested is an increasing pasturage with the consequence of reducing soil to poverty during the period of the Great Migration or in the Viking Age.

The most likely cultivation system in cairn fields is a system consisting of both intensive and extensive characteristics. The latter coincides with the probable mobility of settlements. When it comes to cultivation a possible development is the use of hand-tools initially, followed by an increased use of wooden ards.

Stones from clearance cairns have often been used when graves were built. Sometimes this is interpreted in ritualistic and symbolic terms, but a practical explanation seems most likely. Graves in areas of clearance cairns are usually located nearby the settlements. This is either indicating a more developed individualized ownership of land in the Iron Age or a stronger cult of ancestors in the period.

When the element of ritual and symbolism in the agriculture practiced in areas of clearance cairns is discussed this is, almost without exception, a question for archaeologists, though many archaeologist, like culture geographers, emphasize practical explanations to different phenomena.


KEYWORDS: Areas of clearance cairns, clearance cairns, cultivation systems, settlements, ritual and symbolism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 62 p.
Keyword [en]
Areas of clearance cairns, clearance cairns, cultivation systems, settlements. ritual and symbolism
National Category
Humanities Archaeology
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-30858OAI: diva2:676375
Subject / course
Educational program
Archaeology Master’s Programme, 60 credits
Available from: 2013-12-19 Created: 2013-12-02 Last updated: 2013-12-19Bibliographically approved

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