From forest to open pastures and fields: cultural landscape development in western Norway inferred from two pollen records representing different spatial scales of vegetation

Original Article

Abstract

The cultural landscape development of a farming community in western Norway was investigated through pollen analyses from a lake and a peat/soil profile. The pollen record from the lake indicates that there was a decrease in arboreal pollen (AP) by the end of the Mesolithic period (ca. 4200 cal b.c.), and that a substantial forest clearance occurred during the Bronze Age (ca. 1500 cal b.c.). The latter, together with grazing indicators and cereals, suggests a widespread establishment of farming. At the beginning of the Roman Iron Age there is an increase in heath communities. The pollen diagram from the peat/soil profile shows the forest clearance in the Bronze Age more clearly than the lake profile. This local pollen diagram is compared with modern pollen samples from mown and grazed localities in western Norway. Both analogue matching and ordination (PCA) indicate that the site was characterised by pastures and cereal fields from the Late Bronze Age to the Late Iron Age. An expansion of cereal cultivation took place during the Pre-Roman Iron Age, and an arable field was established at the site after ca. a.d. 800. This investigation illustrates the potential of selecting pollen sites reflecting different spatial scales, and complements the cultural history of the area as inferred from archaeological and historical records.

Keywords

Pollen analysis Farming history West Norway Analogue matching Principal component analysis Rarefaction analysis 

References

  1. Aaby B (1986) The cultural landscape as reflected in percentage and influx pollen diagrams from two Danish ombrotrophic mires. In: Birks HH, Birks HJB, Kaland PE, Moe D (eds) The cultural landscape—past, present and future. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 209–228Google Scholar
  2. Aadland J (1933) Fitjar. Bygdeskipnad og bygdesoge [Fitjar. Formation and history of a village]. SandaneGoogle Scholar
  3. Aune B (1993) Temperaturnormaler, normalperiode 1961–1990 [Standard temperature, standard period 1961–1990]. Det norske meterologiske instituttGoogle Scholar
  4. Bakka E, Kaland PE (1971) Early farming in Hordaland, Western Norway. Problems and approaches in archaeology and pollen analysis. Nor Arch Rev 4:1–35Google Scholar
  5. Bakkevig S, Griffin K, Prøsch-Danielsen L, Sandvik PU, Simonsen A, Soltvedt E-C, Virnovskaia T (2002) Archaeobotany in Norway: investigations and methodological advances at the Museum of Archaeology, Stavanger. In: Viklund K (ed) Nordic archaeobotany—NAG 2000 in Umeå. Archaeology and Environment, vol 15, pp 23–48Google Scholar
  6. Behre K-E (1981) The interpretation of anthropogenic indicators in pollen diagrams. Pollen Spores 23:225–245Google Scholar
  7. Berglund BE (ed) (1991) The cultural landscape during 6000 years in southern Sweden—the Ystad project. Ecological bulletins 41, Munksgaard, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  8. Berglund BE, Gaillard M-J, Björkman L, Persson T (2008) Long-term changes in floristic diversity in southern Sweden: palynological richness, vegetation dynamic and land-use. Veg Hist Archaeobot 17:573–583CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bergsvik KA (2002) Arkeologiske undersøkelser ved Skatestraumen. Bind I [Archaeological Investigations by Skatestraumen. Volume I] Arkeologiske avhandlinger og rapporter fra Universitetet i Bergen 7:1–323Google Scholar
  10. Beug HJ (2004) Leitfaden der Pollenbestimmung für Mitteleuropa und angrenzende Gebiete. Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil, MünchenGoogle Scholar
  11. Birks HJB, Line JM (1992) The use of rarefaction analysis for estimating palynological richness from Quaternary pollen-analytical data. Holocene 2:1–10Google Scholar
  12. Birks HJB, Line JM, Juggins S, Stevensom AC, ter Braak CJF (1990) Diatoms and pH reconstruction. Phil Trans R Soc Lond B 327:263–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Blystad P, Selsing L (1989) Some erroneous radiocarbon dates of lacustrine sediments. Norsk Geol Tidsskr 69:201–208Google Scholar
  14. Broström A, Sugita S, Gaillard M-J, Pilesjö P (2005) Estimating spatial scale of pollen dispersal in the cultural landscape of southern Sweden. Holocene 15:252–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Bunting MJ, Gaillard M-J, Sugita S, Middleton R, Broström A (2004) Vegetation structure and pollen source area. Holocene 14:651–660CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Davies AL, Tipping R (2004) Sensing small-scale human activity in the palaeoecological record: fine spatial resolution pollen analyses from Glen Affric, northern Scotland. Holocene 14:233–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Diinhoff S (1999) Træk af det vestlandske jordbrugs historie fra sen stenalder til tidlig middelalder [Outline of the agricultural history from Late Stone Age to early medieval time in western Norway]. Arkeo 1:14–28Google Scholar
  18. Diinhoff S (2005) Tidlige jordbrugsbosætninger på Vestlandet med spor etter toskibede langhuse [Early agricultural settlements in western Norway having traces of two-ailed long-houses]. Primit Tider 7:41–48Google Scholar
  19. Emanuelsson M (2001) Settlement and land-use history in the central Swedish forest region. The use of pollen analysis in interdisciplinary studies. Silvestria 223, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, UmeåGoogle Scholar
  20. Fægri K, Iversen J (1989) Textbook of pollen analysis, 4th edn. In: Fægri K, Kaland PE, Krzywinski K (eds) Wiley, New York, pp 69–89Google Scholar
  21. Fett P (1973) Fitjar Prestegjeld. Førhistoriske minne i Sunnhordaland [Fitjar municipality. Prehistoric antiquities in Sunnhordland]. Historisk museum, Universitetet i BergenGoogle Scholar
  22. Fyfe RM, Brown AG, Rippon SJ (2003) Mid- to late-Holocene vegetation history of Greater Exmoor, UK: estimating the spatial extent of human-induced vegetation change. Veg Hist Archaeobot 12:215–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fyfe RM, Brown AG, Rippon SJ (2004) Characterising the late prehistoric, ‘Romano-British’ and medieval landscape, and dating the emergence of a regionally distinct agricultural system in South West Britain. J Archaeol Sci 31:1699–1714CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gaillard M-J (2007) Pollen methods and studies/archaeological applications. In: Elias SA (ed) Encyclopedia of quaternary science. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 2570–2595Google Scholar
  25. Gaillard M-J, Birks HJB, Emanuelsson U, Karlsson S, Lagerås P, Olausson D (1994) Application of modern pollen/land-use relationships to the interpretation of pollen diagrams—reconstructions of land-use history in south Sweden, 3000–0. Rev Palaeobot Palynol 82:47–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gaillard M-J, Sugita S, Bunting MJ, Middleton R, Broström A, Caseldine C, Giesecke T, Hellman SEV, Hicks S, Hjelle K, Langdon C, Nielsen A-B, Poska A, Stedingk H von, Veski S, POLLANDCAL members (2008) The use of modelling and simulation approach in reconstructing past landscapes from fossil pollen data: a review and results from the POLLANDCAL network. Veg Hist Archaeobot 17:419–443Google Scholar
  27. Hall VA (1989) A study of the modern pollen rain from a reconstructed 19th century farm. Ir Nat J 23:82–92Google Scholar
  28. Hall VA, Pilcher JR, Bowler B (1993) Pre-elm decline cereal-size pollen: evaluation its recruitment to fossil deposits using modern pollen rain studies. Biol Environ (Proc R Ir Acad) 93B:1–4Google Scholar
  29. Hedeager L (1990) Danmarks jernalder. Mellem stamme og stat [Denmark’s Iron Age. From tribe to state]. Aarhus Universitetsforlag, AarhusGoogle Scholar
  30. Hellman S, Bunting MJ, Gaillard M-J (2009a) Relevant source area of pollen in patchy cultural landscapes and signals of anthropogenic landscape disturbance in the pollen record: a simulation approach. Rev Palaeobot Palynol 153:245–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hellman S, Gaillard M-J, Bunting JM, Mazier F (2009b) Estimating the relevant source area of pollen in the past cultural landscapes of southern Sweden—a forward modelling approach. Rev Palaeobot Palynol 153:259–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hjelle KL (1999a) Modern pollen assemblages from mown and grazed vegetation types in western Norway. Rev Palaeobot Palynol 107:55–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hjelle KL (1999b) Use of modern pollen samples and estimated pollen representation factors as aids in the interpretation of cultural activity in local pollen diagrams. Nor Arch Rev 32:19–39Google Scholar
  34. Hjelle KL (2005) Pollenanalyse—en nødvendig metode for å forstå jernalderens jordbrukslandskap [Pollen analysis—a necessary method to understand the agricultural landscape of the Iron Age]. In: Bergsvik KA, Engevik A jr (eds) Fra funn til samfunn. Jernalderstudier tilegnet Bergljot Solberg på 70-årsdagen [From artifact to society. Iron Age studies dedicated Bergljot Solberg on her 70th birthday]. UBAS Nordisk 1:91–103Google Scholar
  35. Hjelle KL, Solem T (2008) Botaniske undersøkelser—Ormen Lange Nyhamna [Botanical investigations—Ormen Lange Nyhamna]. In: Bjerck HB (ed) Rapport Ormen Lange—Nyhamna. Tapir Academic Press, Trondheim, pp 483–557Google Scholar
  36. Hjelle KL, Hufthammer AK, Bergsvik KA (2006) Hesitant hunters: a review of the introduction of agriculture in western Norway. Environ Archaeol 11:146–170Google Scholar
  37. Høgestøl M, Prøsch-Danielsen L (2006) Impulses of agro-pastorlism in the 4th and 3rd millennia BC on the south-western coastal rim of Norway. Environ Archaeol 11:19–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Jackson ST (1994) Pollen and spores in quaternary lake sediments as sensors of vegetation composition: theoretical models and empirical evidence. In: Travers A (ed) Sedimentation of organic particles. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 253–286Google Scholar
  39. Jacobson GL, Bradshaw RHW (1981) The selection of sites for paleovegetational studies. Quat Res 16:80–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kaland PE (1986) The origin and management of Norwegian coastal heaths as reflected by pollen analysis. In: Behre K-E (ed) Anthropogenic indicators in pollen diagrams. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, pp 19–36Google Scholar
  41. Koelbloed KK, Kroeze JM (1965) Hauwmossen (Anthoceros) als cultuurbegeleiders. Boor en spade 14. Mededelingen van de Stichting voor Bodemkartering, pp 104–109Google Scholar
  42. Korsmo E (1954) Ugras i nåtidens jordbruk [Weeds in the present agriculture]. AS Norsk landbruks forlag, OsloGoogle Scholar
  43. Kvamme M, Berge J, Kaland PE (1992) Vegetasjonshistoriske undersøkelser i Nyset-Steggjevassdragene [Vegetation historical investigations in the watercourses of Nyset-Steggje]. Arkeologiske rapporter 17, University of BergenGoogle Scholar
  44. Lagerås P (2007) The ecology of expansion and abandonment: medieval and post-medieval land-use and settlement dynamics in a landscape perspective. Swedish Heritage Board, StockholmGoogle Scholar
  45. Lid J, Lid DT (1994) Norsk Flora. 6. utgave [Norwegian flora. 6th edn]. Det Norske Samlaget, OsloGoogle Scholar
  46. Losvik M (1993) Total species number as a criterion for conservation of hay meadows. In: Bunce RGH, Ryszkowski L, Paoletti MG (eds) Landscape ecology and agroecosystems. Lewis, Boca Raton, pp 105–111Google Scholar
  47. Makohonienko M, Gaillard M-J, Tobolski K (1998) Modern pollen/land-use relationships in ancient cultural landscapes of north-west Poland, with emphasis on mowing, grazing, and crop cultivation. Paläoklimaforschung/Palaeoclim Res 27:103–119Google Scholar
  48. Midtbø I (1999) Et pollendiagram fra Cladium mariscus-lokaliteten på Bømlo, Hordaland [A pollen diagram from the Cladium mariscus locality at Bømlo, Hordaland]. In: Selsing L, Lillehammer G (eds) Museumslandskap. Museum of Archaeology, Stavanger, Norway, AmS-Rapport 12A, pp 99–112Google Scholar
  49. Moe D, Vorren K-D, Alm T, Fimreite S, Mørkved B, Nilssen E, Aa Paus, Ramfjord H, Selvik SF, Sørensen R (1996) Norway. In: Berglund BE, Birks HJB, Ralska-Jasiewiczowa M, Wright HE (eds) Palaeoecological events during the last 15000 years. Wiley, Chichester, pp 153–213Google Scholar
  50. Nielsen AB, Sugita S (2005) Estimating relevant source area of pollen for small Danish lakes around AD 1800. Holocene 15:1006–1020CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Norges geologiske undersøkelse [Norway’s geological investigation] (1995) Hordaland fylke, Kvartærgeologisk kart, M 1:250 000Google Scholar
  52. Odgaard BV (1994) The Holocene vegetation history of northern West Jutland, Denmark. Oper Bot 123:1–171Google Scholar
  53. Odgaard BV (1999) Fossil pollen as a record of past biodiversity. J Biogeogr 26:7–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Odgaard BV (2001) Palaeoecological perspectives on pattern and process in plant diversity and distribution adjustments: a comment on recent developments. Divers Distrib 7:197–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Olsson IU (1986) Radiometric dating. In: Berglund BE (ed) Handbook of Holocene palaeoecology and palaeohydrology. Wiley, Chichester, pp 273–312Google Scholar
  56. Olsson IU (1991) Accuracy and precision in sediment chronology. Hydrobiologia 214:25–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Østerdal A (1997) De største langrøysene i Sunnhordaland—bortgjemte og glemte fornminner i landskapet [The largest burial mounds in Sunnhordaland—hidden and forgotten archaeological monuments in the landscape]. Arkeo 1:19–25Google Scholar
  58. Overland A, O’Connell M (2008) Fine-spatial paleoecological investigations towards reconstructing late Holocene environmental change, landscape evolution, and farming activity in Barrees, Beara peninsula, southwestern Ireland. J North Atl 1:37–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Øye I (ed) (2002) Vestlandsgården—fire arkeologiske undersøkelser. Havrå - Grinde - Lee - Ormelid [The west Norwegian farm—four archaeological investigations. Havrå - Grinde - Lee - Ormelid]. Arkeologiske avhandlinger og rapporter fra Universitetet i Bergen 8. University of Bergen, BergenGoogle Scholar
  60. Øye I (2004) Farming systems and rural societies ca. 800–1350. In: Almås R (ed) Norwegian agricultural history. Tapir Academic Press, Trondheim, pp 80–140Google Scholar
  61. Parker AG, Goudie AS, Anderson DE, Robinson MA, Bonsall C (2002) A review of the mid-Holocene elm decline in the British Isles. Prog Phys Geogr 26:1–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Peglar SM (1993) The mid-Holocene Ulmus decline at Diss Mere, Norfolk, UK: a year-by-year pollen stratigraphy from annual laminations. Holocene 3:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Peglar SM, Birks HJB (1993) The mid-Holocene Ulmus fall at Diss Mere, South-East England—disease and human impact? Veg Hist Archaeobot 2:61–68Google Scholar
  64. Prentice IC (1985) Pollen representation, source area, and basin size: towards a unified theory of pollen analysis. Quat Res 23:76–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Prøsch-Danielsen L (1993) Prehistoric agriculture revealed by pollen analysis, plough-marks and sediment studies at Sola, south-western Norway. Veg Hist Archaeobot 2:233–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Prøsch-Danielsen L, Simonsen A (2000) Palaeoecological investigations towards the reconstruction of the history of forest clearances and coastal heathlands in south-western Norway. Veg Hist Archaeobot 9:189–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Prøsch-Danielsen L, Simonsen A (2005) Økosystemer i endring. Tidlig jordbrukspåvirkning innen kystlyngheibeltet i Sørvest-Norge [Changing coastal ecosystems. The impact of early farming on woodland ecosystems within the coastal heathland of southwestern Norway]. Archaeological Museum, Stavanger, Norway, AmS-Varia 44, pp 76Google Scholar
  68. Punt W, Hoen PP (1995) The Northwest European pollen flora 7. Caryophyllaceae. Rev Palaeobot Palynol 88:83–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Rackham O (1980) Ancient Woodland: its history, vegetation and uses in England. Edward Arnold, LondonGoogle Scholar
  70. Reimer PJ, Baillie MGL, Bard E, Bayliss A, Beck JW, Bertrand CJH, Blackwell PG, Buck CE, Burr GS, Cutler KB, Damon PE, Edwards RL, Fairbanks RG, Friedrich M, Guilderson TP, Hogg AG, Hughen KA, Kromer B, McCormac G, Manning S, Bronk Ramsey C, Reimer RW, Remmele S, Southon JR, Stuiver M, Talamo S, Taylor FW, Plicht J, van der Weyhenmeyer CE (2004) Intcal04 terrestrial radiocarbon age calibration, 0–26 cal kyr BP. Radiocarbon 46:1029–1058Google Scholar
  71. Rygh O (1885) Norske Oldsager ordnede og forklarede [Norwegian antiquities classified and explained]. Cammermeyer, ChristianiaGoogle Scholar
  72. Sageidet BM (2005) Sub-local differences in Late Holocene land use at Orstad, Jæren in SW Norway, revealed by soil pollen stratigraphy. Environ Archaeol 10:51–71Google Scholar
  73. Sandvik P (2003) Kornet på Hundvåg [The cereal at Hundvåg]. Fra Haug og Heidni 4:20–22Google Scholar
  74. Segerström U (1991) Soil pollen analysis—an application for tracing ancient arable patches. J Archaeol Sci 23:165–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Segerström U, Emanuelsson M (2002) Extensive forest grazing and hay making on mires—vegetation changes in south-central Sweden due to land use since medieval times. Veg Hist Archaeobot 11:181–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Šmilauer P (1999–2002) CanoDraw for Windows 4.0Google Scholar
  77. Solberg B (2000) Jernalderen i Norge. Ca. 500 f.Kr.–1030 e.Kr. [The Iron Age in Norway. Ca. 500 B.C.–A.D. 1030]. Cappelen, OsloGoogle Scholar
  78. Soltvedt EC (2000) Carbonised cereal from three Late Neolithic and two Bronze Age sites in western Norway. Environ Archaeol 5:49–62Google Scholar
  79. Sølvberg IØ (1976) Driftsmåter i vestnorsk jordbruk ca. 600–1350 [Land-use practices in west Norwegian agriculture ca. 600–1350]. Universitetsforlaget, BergenGoogle Scholar
  80. Stockmarr J (1971) Tablets with spores used in absolute pollen analysis. Pollen Spores 13(4):615–621Google Scholar
  81. Stuiver M, Reimer PJ (1993) Extended 14C data base and revised calib 3.0 14C age calibration program. Radiocarbon 35:215–230Google Scholar
  82. Sugita S (1993) A model of pollen source area for an entire lake surface. Quat Res 39:239–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Sugita S (1994) Pollen representation of vegetation in Quaternary sediments: theory and method in patchy vegetation. J Ecol 82:881–897CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Sugita S, Gaillard M-J, Broström A (1999) Landscape openness and pollen records: a simulation approach. Holocene 9:409–421CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. ter Braak CJF, Prentice C (1988) A theory of gradient analysis. Adv Ecol Res 18:271–317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. ter Braak CJF, Šmilauer P (2002) CANOCO Reference Manual and CanoDraw for Windows User’s Guide: Software for Canonical Community Ordination (version 4.5). Microcomputer Power, IthacaGoogle Scholar
  87. Troels-Smith J (1955) Karakterisering af løse jordarter [Characterization of unconsolidated sediments]. Dan Geol Unders Række IV 3(10):1–73Google Scholar
  88. Tveraabak U (2004) Lowland Calluna heath vegetation along the coast of North Trøndelag and Nordland, Norway: present state, development and changes during the last 4–5000 years. Dr. Scient. Thesis, University of TromsøGoogle Scholar
  89. Vuorela I (1973) Relative pollen rain around cultivated fields. Acta Bot Fenn 102:1–27Google Scholar
  90. Welinder S, Pedersen EA, Widgren M (1999) Det svenska jordbrukets historia. Jordbrukets första femtusen år 4000 f. Kr.–1000 e. Kr. [The Swedish agricultural history. The first five thousand years of farming 4000 B.C.–A.D. 1000]. Natur och Kultur/LTs forlag, StockholmGoogle Scholar
  91. Wells PS (1995) Resources and industry. In: Green MJ (ed) The Celtic World. Routledge, London, pp 213–229Google Scholar
  92. Wright HE Jr, Livingstone DA, Cushong EJ (1965) Coring devices for lake sediments. In: Kummel B, Raup D (eds) Handbook of paleontological techniques. Freeman, San Francisco, pp 494–520Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Natural History CollectionsUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

Personalised recommendations