Posted by: Marte Spangen | August 11, 2012

Leaving Finnmark

My third and last week in Finnmark this year included trips to both the calm inland plains and the rugged landscape of the outer coast.

It started out with two days in Kautokeino and Karasjok, looking at several localities with registered circular offering sites, and speaking to various people in the area. The registered circles are very similar to the ones in Varanger, apart from one, which in my opinion is more of a cache structure.

On Wednesday and Thursday, NRK (the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation) visited Varanger to interview Jan Ingolf Kleppe and myself about our respective PhD projects. The interviews were done for a new eight episodes series about archaeology that will run from January 2013.

Locations in Varanger included Klubbnasen, to tell about the Sámi religion and offerings in general, and Fugleberget, Mortensnes and Lagežiidbáhkti in Karlebotn to show circular offering sites and graves.

In addition we went out to Løkvika, on the Barents Sea Coast close to Berlevåg, where Jan Ingolf has excavated one of the oldest Stone Age sites in Norway, dating back app. 11.500 years. Due to the arid landscape in parts of Finnmark, you can often find traces of settlements even from the Early Stone Age on the surface of the ground, and his excavation unveiled thousands of additional finds of various kinds. Follow the show “Arkeologene” on NRK next year to get the full story!

In the middle of the hill where these Early Stone Age finds where made, there is, accidentally, also a circular offering site. Since we assume that the stone circles are from the Middle Ages, this is a good example of the chronological depth of the Finnmark landscape, and certainly any landscape, for that matter.

I am now ready to spend the two next weeks diving into the matter of Troms county – to be continued…

The circular offering site by Láhpojohka has a high wall and is apparently not meant to be entered. It is situated by a crossing point for the reindeer on the river to the south of the structure, and Anders Vars has registered a hunting system of 18 pit falls on a hill to the north.

No problem crossing flooded rivers when there are helpful neighbors around! Anders Vars steers the boat. Kautokeino

Instructions on how to walk when talking about Sámi offerings. Klubbnasen, Nesseby

The circular offering site in Løkvik, Berlevåg. In the background Jan Ingolf shows Bo Lilledahl Andersen and Berit Heggholmen from NRK some lithic raw material on this Early Stone Age site.


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