THE SKREA AREA
|In order to develop
models for settlement structure and it´s change we need to have a general picture of the
settlements in the area of study. In this Skrea case study the area includes the hamlets
of Skrea, Boberg and Heberg. Close and systematic studies of cadastral maps (Pär
Connelid), geological maps as well as analyses of archaeological material from the area as
well as comparative areas, has formed the base for the field work.
The field work has been conducted as field walking, concentrating on the Bronze age, Iron Age and Early Medieval periods (BC 1200 - AD 1200). This work is being made in co-operation between Falkenberg Archaeological Association and Lars Lundqvist, Central Board of National Antiquities/Department of Archaeology.
Most of the material so far discovered, consists of settlement from the Bronze and Early Iron Age. Though, the main task is get to know the Late Iron Age (c. AD 400 - 1050) settlement structure better. Within the hamlet of Heberg there are old maps displaying a small "forest" of standing stones. Today there are only a few left but they indicate the occurrence of larger (and more or less destroyed) cemetery.
One such was the first day of survey, within the Heberg hamlet. After just a few minutes of walking, the skilled amateur archaeologist Dennis Likus found a large fragment of a bronze age crucible. Obviously there are a Bronze Age settlement on the spot.
A few days later the Likus found a few metal objects showing that the site for the Bronze Age settlement also had been used during the Late Iron Age. We can conclude that we have found part of a cemetery from Vendel and probably also the Viking Period. Apart for glass beads there was a few meal objects found that proved to indicate a rich female burial from the first half of the 8th C (below).
|Assisted by De Bornholmske Amatörarkeologer was
a metal detector investigation done in the spring of 1997. Surprisingly there was no
indications on prehistoric metal objects in ploughed soil. This can be explained by the
fact that the acid soils of Halland produces corroded metal objects, which either
disappears or are just very difficult to detect.
During the fall of 1997 a small test excavation was made. From this field work we can conclude that the state of preservation of the cemetery is very poor. No clear traces of burials were found. Still interesting was the abundance of features (hearths, cooking pits?, pits) from the (Late?) Bronze Age. An area with unploughed cultural layer contained wattle and daub which might indicate the site for a burnt down house.
After the ploughing of the field in 1997 another female grave was found. It also contained a button on bow brooch, a comb etc. These objects were also found in the ploughed soil. Below the ploughed layer there was the poor remains of a cremation burial. Another year of ploughing would probably completely remove the remaining part of this rich burial.
It can be concluded that the Late Iron Age cemetery of Heberg is severely effected by ploughing and construction work, both in modern times but also in the pre-industrial period. The same picture emerges in other case areas in Halland which is being analyzed (e.g. Varla, Slöinge). Within the coastal plain of Halland, most of the Late Iron Age cemeteries are more or less completely removed, often due to their location on arable land and close to modern (post prehistoric) settlements.
The two rich female graves in Heberg can preliminary be interpreted as two generations of a dominating dynasty settled in Heberg. Investigations in the Skrea area show us that there was probably a through-out change in settlement structure. This change occurred around the year 600 (give and take 100 year). Many settlements were deserted (like Skrea 177), others "survived". The archaeology of Heberg show one of those units that never had to move. One idea here is that the re-structuration was governed from these prehistoric manors. The graves described above, with a preliminary and broad dating to c. AD 550 - 750, might represent a dynasty which inhabited this manor in Heberg. A similar interpretation can be made of the Late Iron Age settlement of Varla in the northern part of the province (Lundqvist and Berglund 1998, in prep.).
This work is being made in co-operation between Falkenberg Archaeological Association and Lars Lundqvist, Central Board of National Antiquities/Department of Archaeology with important contributions from Pär Connelid, Kulturgeografiska Institutionen, Stockholm. This work is financially by the County Administrative Board (Länsstyrelsen, Kulturmiljöenheten).
|Drawings: Jonas Wikborg
Photo: JW and LL
lars lundqvist Revised: december 13, 1998. (97-11)