We work cross-regionally, but take as our point of departure site-specific and local analyses in southern Norway. The various methods involved in our ten different projects include provenance studies using pXRF (X-ray flourescence analysis of trace elements in rock), studies of vegetation- and climatic history through analyses of ancient pollen and macro fossils, Bayesian analysis of compiled radiocarbon dates for demographic studies, and studies of lithic technology through dynamic-technological classification (attribute analysis), and refitting. ‘Classical’ archaeological methods, such as distribution analysis, both site specific and regional, are also applied.
Through analysing a variety of factors and proxy in time and space, through applying different scientific methods, we aim to develop data that can identify patterns in the archaeological material. In turn, this will support interpretations of how, or whether, natural or social preconditions influenced human choices, preferences, and traditions.
Our results are interpreted within current theoretical archaeological, anthropological and sociological framework. We seek insight into ways to express and root social relations, a sense of belonging to places, landscapes, regions, establishing and expressing collective and individual identities.
With our studies, we activate the collections already in storage at the museums, as well as the results from recent archaeological excavations. Working together, we benefit from each others’ expertise, and access material from the three archaeological university museums in southern Norway.
Astrid J. Nyland - Associate Professor, archaeology, Museum of Archaeology, University of Stavanger.