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Terrace Archaeology

and Culture in Europe

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Norway

Smoge Farm, Storfjord:

10th Century-Early Modern

Fjord farm

Cool Maritime

Fjord farms, situated on alluvial cones along the steep cliffs of the fjord, have long been a solution to cultivation in Norway, where accessible, arable land can be scarce. The farms along Storfjord in Møre og Romsdal boast terraces and lynchets which may, in some cases, predate the standing farms. At Smoge Farm, a 10th century burial suggests that the farm was first established in the Viking period.

Collaborator: Kristoffer Dahle

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Skotet Farm, Storfjord:

10th Century-Early Modern

Fjord farm

Cool Maritime

Mentioned in the Icelandic chronicles as a landmark on the path of St. Olaf, Skotet is a significant fjord farm which included blacksmithing facilities, pasture, and even an orchard. Although the farm was likely in existence in the 11th century, most historical evidence is 15th century or later. Excavations at Skotet focused on 2 agricultural areas, one aound a likely early modern farmhouse mound at Me- (Middle) Skotet and a likely late medieval lynchet or built up field at Ytste- (Outer) Skotet. Ytste-Skotet is currently operated as a visitors center and living history museum. You can fin more about Skotet at Ytste Skotet - Storfjordens Venner.

Collaborator: Kristoffer Dahle

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Geiranger, Geirangerfjord, W Norway:

Late Medieval- Modern

Fjord/ Lynchet-House System

Cool Maritime

Though rare in Norway, owing to the frequency of agriculture on the raised beaches and the severe steepness of surrounding slopes, stone-built terraces are found along some shallower slopes, usually dating to later historical periods. At the town of Geiranger on Geirangerfjord in Møre og Romsdal, stone-built terraces surround the town, largely given over to sheep grazing with some small scale cultivation. TerrACE investigations in the summer of 2020 will attempt to determine the history of these terraces.

Collaborator: Kristoffer Dahle

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Bjørnskinn, Andoya:

15th Century-Modern

Shallow low elevation terraces

Subarctic Coastal

The farm at Bjørnskinn is known from the 15th century as one of 3000 farms owned by the Bishop of Nideros (in Trondheim). In the 16th century, ownership transferred to the local church, which stood on the land. The terraces seem to date from the late 18th century. In the 19th century the farm is recorded as having around 100 cows and 200-300 sheep, even a herd of 240 reindeer in 1975. The farm features the original churchyard cemetery as well as an apparent mill pond.

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