After archaeologists thoroughly examined 150 Stone Age settlements situated around the Oslo Fjord area of Norway, it appears that daily life was just as wonderful for these early Stone Age residents as it is for those living in this region today.
At the conclusion of the last ice age, Norway was still blanketed in large sheets of ice. However, as the ice slowly retreated, settlers began to march north and archaeologists have determined that the first early settlements of humans here would have begun around 9500 BC, as Science Nordic reports.
Archaeologists Per Perrson and Steinar Solheim set out to learn more about the quality of life that could be expected for early Stone Age Norwegians and discovered that the first forests here would have sprouted up roughly around 9000 BC.
Solheim noted that Norway would have been much warmer then, giving residents very different trees compared with the more typical ones found today.
“The climate was also quite different, and it was probably a bit warmer than it is today. We see a lot of hazel, alder, elm, and later oak, all of which are tree species that prefer warmer environments.”
In terms of the general look of Norway, it wasn’t quite the mountainous region during the Stone Age that it is today. The huge amount of ice that once covered the country would have created much lower elevations, and with this also came higher coastlines, around which most of the early residents would have comfortably lived.
Looking at radiocarbon dates of items like cooking pits and charcoal, archaeologists have learned that the region of the Oslo Fjord would have had strong populations of people living here between the years 8000 to 2000 BC. While it is clear that groups were living here much earlier than this, so far there has not been any charcoal from this time period left to test.
Steinar Solheim believes one possible explanation for this is that wood may not have been used in the earlier Stone Age days to cook with.
“It is possible that they used something other than wood to cook with, such as blubber, but we just don’t know.”
Solheim has also suggested that it may also be the case that early Stone Age settlers may have not had stable living locations at this point in time, preferring to travel from place to place rather than settling down.
“Eventually, you get a network of settlements, where some places are more specialized for hunting or fishing or for other resource use. It appears that they have managed to live quite well on the resources they found along the sea.”
With these 150 sites still in the process of being thoroughly investigated and studied, archaeologists will continue to learn more about the first Stone Age settlers of Norway and their ways of life.