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Prehistoric reindeer hunting in the southern Norwegian highlands

By Sveinung Bang-Andersen

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In contrast to the European alpine areas and lowland plains, where Rangifer tarandus L. became extinct during the final Late Glacial, the species has survived in a wild state in relatively unchanged natural environments in parts of the southern Norwegian highlands. As a consequence, reindeer behaviour and reindeer hunting strategies both in the Mesolithic and during later periods can be tentatively transferred from observations of animals still living here and archaeological remains. The pioneer use of the interior of Norway were short-term reindeer hunting expeditions to recently deglaciated highland areas 9800 uncal. y. BP, soon after the colonization of the outer coast. During the following three thousand years, most major mountain areas came successively into use as hunting grounds. This paper summarizes current research on coast-to-mountain mobility patterns and reindeer hunting methods in Southwest Norway, from stealth hunting with stone-tipped arrows to the application of permanent stone-walled reindeer pittfall traps. Recognition of both existing wild reindeer biotopes and physical remains from prehistoric reindeer hunting as unique parts of the World Heritage is emphasized.


Katie Carroll

Date 2008
Pages 5
Publisher Oxford: Archaeopress
Conference Title XV World Congress
Date accepted 2008
Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal roles
  2. Archaeology
  3. Deer
  4. Food animals
  5. Geological periods
  6. human-wildlife interactions
  7. Hunting
  8. Mammals
  9. Nature
  10. Norway
  11. Prehistoric peoples.
  12. Wild animals
  13. wildlife