Om vegetasjonsforstyrrelser: Konsekvenser for bevaringen av arkeologisk kontekstinformasjon i norske jordsmonn


  • Erlend Kirkeng Jørgensen Institutt for arkeologi, historie, religionsvitenskap og teologi, UiT Norges arktiske universitet



Regarding vegetation disturbances: The consequences for the preservation of archaeological contextual information in Norwegian soils

This paper presents a general overview of tree root disturbances of archaeological contexts in Norwegian soils. The aim is to synthesize current knowledge on root action and particularly tree throw disturbances within general formation theory, in order to raise awareness of its potential impact on archaeological deposits and soil stratigraphy. The proposed need to pay minute attention to floral turbation in Norwegian archaeology is substantiated by presenting cases and illustrations from Norwegian development-led excavations. The paper discusses three central topics: 1) What properties may be expected to characterize floralinduced soil turbation? 2) What are the general causes and properties of tree throw? 3) How may floral turbation be identified in archaeological contexts? The paper ends by presenting some minor methodological propositions in the hope of easing the identification of floral turbation in archaeology. It is argued that by implementing low-cost stratigraphic investigations as part of the normal procedure of excavation, we may become more successful in controlling for post-depositional disturbances, accumulate a better understanding of site formation processes and ultimately achieve more realistic and interesting cultural interpretations of the archaeological record.