1 800 BC - 0

As indicated by the name, metals are now being introduced to Finnmark. Still, the absolute majority of tools continues to be made of stone, antler, bone and wood. The presence of metals testify of people in Finnmark getting involved in trade- and social relations with people in distant areas. Archaeologically speaking, the knowledge about the interior areas of Finnmark in this period is far more extensive than what is the case for the earlier periods. During the Early Metal Age the interior seems to have become more intensively utilized.


The rising of the land continues in the same pace as in the Late Stone Age. The climate is continually getting co lder during Early Metal Age, and the period 1000-500 BC is the coldest period. The withdrawal of the pineforests from the coasts continue, and this has profound cosequenses for the wildlife. Animals with the forest as their natural habitat, like elk and bear, come to have their distribution farther to the south. The migrational patterns of the reindeer as we know it from historical times, with summer grazing along the coast and winter grazing in the interior, is probably established during this period. This opens for more strategically planning of the reindeerhunt. The climatic worsening further led to longer freezing of the fjords, which may have had consequenses for the hunting of seamammals in the spring, and therefore also the seasonal movement of settlement.

The slatetools loose their dominant position in the Early Metal Age. Instead the artefacts are produced in finegrained lithic materials, such as quartz and quartzite. During the period the pressure flaking technique grows to be dominant, where arrowheads and spearheads are made by removing small flakes until the piece has reached its desired shape. Ceramics grinded with asbestos, decorated with imprints of textile, or combpatterns and lines, are characteristic of the period. Good conditions of preservation, specially in the Varangerfjord, is the cause for expanded knowledge about tools made of antler and bone. Longbones and antler of reindeer are quite common as rawmaterial for these tools. While tools of bronze and copper were relatively rare until 1000 BC, they are more frequent in the later half of Early Metal Age. In some areas iron is being used.
During this period, a heterogen usage of ceramics in Finnmark develops. Absence of marked variation in shape and decoration of ceramics indicates that the dichotomy between inland and coast, which was present during the transition from Younger Stone Age to Early Metal Age, is disappearing. Seasonal movement between inland and coast is again common. While the inland to a larger degree is utilized, the large sunken-floored dwellings at the coast are far more rare now than earlier. The dwellings are now smaller and have a lighter construction. This probably implies less sedentarity and increased movement between several smaller settlements.
At Melkøya





Tromsoe Museum-Universitetsmuseet, N-9037 Tromsoe, Norway
Telephone +47 77 64 50 00 Fax +47 77 64 55 20
Updated by Anja Roth Niemi May 2, 2003
Editor: Stephen Wickler, Dept. of Archaeology, Tromsoe Museum