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A natural spring as a water resource in a landscape changing from sea to land in southcentral Sweden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2016 (English)In: Theme C – Landscapes and Water: C6 Archaeology of Water Landscapes, 2016Conference paper, Poster (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A natural spring that was revealed during archaeological excavations in Nibble (west of Enköping, Sweden) was investigated through the excavation and analysis of insect remains in order to understand landscape development in a landscape changing from seabed to terrestrial land. Sweden has been heavily affected by uplift following the terminal glaciation (Weichsel) in Scandinavia. The study area rose above sea level around 1200 BC. The spring was found in connection with the northern part of a large settlement and religious area, dating from the Younger Bronze Age and Pre-Roman Iron Age (1100-300 BC). However, 14Cdating from the lower and upper parts of the spring yielded a stratigraphic age range of 670- 870 to 660-810 AD, respectively, and we conclude that the site was probably abandoned in the late Iron Age (600-800 AD). A half-circle boulder construction at the site provides clear evidence that the natural spring was used and maintained early in prehistory, probably during the Bronze Age, and potentially cleaned at irregular periods. The insect assemblage was dominated by beetles (Coleoptera) indicative of open landscapes, grazing land and forested environments, suggesting that the spring was situated between arable land and forests, close to the former coastline. The high frequency of ground beetles (Carabidae) revealed the former ground conditions, correlating well with inorganic to organic composition. Two presently IUCN Red-Listed species that do not occur in the current fauna were found, indicating a radical change in the agricultural landscape over the last 1200 years.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Natural spring, bronze age, iron age, insect remains
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources Physical Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-299746OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-299746DiVA: diva2:949987
4th International Landscape Archaeology Conference (LAC) 22nd-25th August 2016, Uppsala University
Available from: 2016-07-26 Created: 2016-07-26 Last updated: 2016-08-12Bibliographically approved

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Hellqvist, Magnus
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Department of Earth Sciences
Other Earth and Related Environmental SciencesOceanography, Hydrology, Water ResourcesPhysical Geography

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