As I read through my last post I realized that I should have included aome more info and a few more photos. I’ll add them here, some info has been published in previous posts but I’ll collect em’ here to give a summary of what we know and what is to come.
Here is an overview picture of the A7 construction. The picture is taken from the southwest. Here one can see the SW quadrant in the foreground (almost done) and the NE quadrant in the background (in which we still haven’t reached the bottom); you can also see that we have begun excavating the SE quadrant.
I believe this settlement should be seen as a temporary one; possibly a hunting station. As it at the time, the early Iron Age, ca 300 BC -200 AD, was located on an island in the archipelago it is probable that it can be connected with fishing, or hunting for seals or birds. As we haven’t found any bones this is to be seen as a hypothesis, we have found two constructions that can be interpreted as construction for drying or smoking meat and or hides and at least two hearths. The construction known as A7 is not yet clearly understood but is possibly the most interesting. In the south part of the construction is a hole that might be a post-hole. As you can se on my sketch below it seems to be a hearth or cocking pit of sorts though its form is intriguing.
Sketch of the East-Western profile. In the NE quadrant the profile is the south wall and the SW it is the north wall. This is a sketch and it is not made in the right scale but it is made to give a picture of the construction.
A – The coal spotted layer. In this layer we find a lot of pieces of coal and fire cracked stones and a few bigger stones that do not appear to be fire cracked. The earth is rust-coloured. We have also found a few small areas that are “fatty” and some pieces of coal that seems to be part of larger pieces of wood or branches/poles. We still haven’t excavated this layer to the bottom.
B – A layer with fullers’ earth, only a few finds of fire-cracked stones and some coal. Not spots of coal but a few larger pieces; parts of a pole or large branch.
C – A layer of rust colored earth, under this it seems that coal spotted earth appears. We still haven’t excavated this layer to the bottom.
D – A layer of rust colored earth, very few finds, in the profile a few finds of burnt birch bark has been found.
E – At the bottom of (D) we’ve found large pieces of coal from branches or poles.
F & G – Layers of pink sand/earth this is due to either burning (heating) or digging.
The shape of the area with coal is “banana” formed and on the west side a pit has been dug, as I see it this indicates some form of barrier to lead heat or smoke in a certain direction or possible to close of part of the construction. At this moment in time we don’t understand its function, this is due to the fact that we still haven’t excavated the whole thing. But we still have a week of excavation left; hopefully the data collected will give an answer. Otherwise we’ll have to rely on the laboratory analysis of the collected samples to give us some clues.
These notes and thoughts are mine and not necessary what will stand in the final report, where more data will be available in the interpretation, C-14 analysis etc. This is not to be seen as a final or the offical hypothesis. The report will made by Norrbottens museum, please check out the official blogg here (in Swedish).