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The well in the settlement: a water source for humans and livestock, studied through insect remains from Southeast Sweden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2013 (English)In: Barely Surviving or More Than Enough?: The environmental archaeology of subsistence, specialisation and surplus food production / [ed] Maaike Groot, Daphne Lentjes and Jörn Zeiler, Leiden: Sidestone Press, 2013, 151-173 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Water is the most important resource for human subsistence, essential for the survival and the base of many other parts of the processes in sustenance. One important part of settlements’ water resources is the well, in prehistory and still today. It also plays an important role in understanding the utilisation of the palaeohydrological situation of the landscape. In order to understand the water resource in the local well constructions in the settlement, the content of insect remains together with stratigraphy were studied, in order to investigate the history of construction and use and sediment composition of wells at three Iron Age sites in Southeast Sweden. The study concentrated on the Pre-Roman Iron Age to Roman Iron Age (2500–1600 cal BP), and the wells were situated in a rural landscape. There was a trend in the usage of the wells over time within the settlements. The results indicate a change of the well as a water source for humans to a waterhole for livestock after abandonment, and through that a change in land use within a small geographical range. A complicating situation, when reconstructing the waterresource management, is that all three studied sites were situated close to or in direct connection to running water. This partly makes the role of the wells as a water source within the palaeohydrological situation in the landscape unclear, since we do not know which was most important for the water supply for subsistence for people and cattle. In the study area the distance to the Baltic Sea has changed in time through land uplift, resulting in a longer distance to the sea up to the present time and a total change in the landscape from open sea to archipelago and finally to land.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Leiden: Sidestone Press, 2013. 151-173 p.
Keyword [en]
well, water supply, insect remains, waterhole, Sweden
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Quarternary Geology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-209255ISBN: 978-90-8890-192-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-209255DiVA: diva2:656500
Available from: 2013-10-16 Created: 2013-10-16 Last updated: 2013-10-16Bibliographically approved

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Hellqvist, Magnus
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