The Agrarian Life of the North 2000 BC - AD 1000. Studies in Rural Settlement and Farming in Norway.. 2016, 41-75
In Scandinavia, large scale abandonment of farms and farmlands is recorded in the 6th century. Most scholars today argue that this was linked to contemporary plague epidemics and climate change. The different social strategies for adapting to this crisis are, however, poorly understood. This paper investigates some of the largest, excavated, elite settlements in eastern Norway, and how these developed throughout this period. One strategy to counteract the crisis seems to have been to divide old estates into smaller production units. The lack of labourers may have led to problems maintaining production levels on the estates. The fact that more than 70% of the larger settlements abandoned during the Migration Period are located on the boundaries of later historic farms, supports this theory. This is further strengthened by an in-depth analysis of five larger settlements in eastern Norway, which were abandoned or reorganised in the mid-6th century.
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