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Terrace Archaeology

and Culture in Europe



Leikanger, Sognefjorden, W Norway:

Bronze Age-16th Century

Fjord/ Lynchet-House System

Cool Maritime

With a mean annual temperature today of 1-2C, Leikanger is the most northerly lynchet site known . Research by Skrede (2005) has identified areas along the sides of Sognefjorden which have sheilings (summer huts for pastoralists), walls and lynchets as well as farmsteads houses. The lynchets make up the lower boundaries of small fields. From a small excavation Skrede (2005) suggests that some of the lynchet fields were cultivated in the Bronze Age, and possibly in the Iron Age. From earlier work by Magnusen (1986) it appears that the houses and hearths associated with these systems date to the Bronze Age but with re-use in the Migration period and then again in the 16th century when pastoralism was the land use. Today, the soils are acidic and covered by heathland vegetation. These are some of the most northerly terraces in the world and will provide both opportunities and contrasts with the southern terraces in the project in terms of the social context of their construction.

Geiranger, Geirangerfjord, W Norway:


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, terraces are found at the town of Geiranger .