The prehistory of Finnmark
The prehistory of Finnmark is usually
divided into three larger periods; Early and Late
Stone Age, and Early Metal Age. The periods are characterised
by the usage of different technology and the presence
of different forms of social organisation. Through
these periods the climate has been constantly changing.
The coast of Finnmark has been
settled from the earliest periods and until today.
However, who these people were and where they came
from is uncertain. Two theories have been put forth:
that the people came from the east, or, the people
followed the ice-edge northwards as the glaciers withdrew
from the coasts.
Artifacts and dwellings from the
prehistory of Finnmark tell us that through all ages
people in Finnmark have been in close contact with
other people, and trade relations and social relations
have encompassed large areas.
The prehistory at Melkoya
activites from large parts of prehistory are documented.
The oldest remains seem to trace back to Early Stone
Age, and are problably around 10 000 years old.
material such as leather, bone and wood are not conserved
over such long span of time, the findings from Melkoya
mainly consist of remains of dwellings in the form
of depressions in the surface, stonetools and remains
of the manufacture of tools.
dwellings from the transition from Early to Late Stone
Age, i.e. ca 5000 BC, have been found. These are of
varying sizes and shapes, but are all located along
the prehistoric shoreline. This, in additition to
the presence of many tools used in the hunting of
sea mammals, indicate the importance marine resources
had for people also in prehistory.
later periods the findings consist of ceramics, bark,
amber and many arrowheads, but no dwellings.