Roman Iron Age and Migration period building traditions and settlement organisation at Vik, Ørland
Chapter, Peer reviewed
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Original versionEnvironment and Settlement: Ørland 600 BC - AD 1250: Archaeological Excavations at Vik, Ørland Main Air Base. 2019 10.23865/noasp.89
This article examines Roman Iron Age and Migration Period building traditions, settlement organisations and the social relations of two multiphase farmsteads in Fields C and D at southern Vik, Ørland. Firstly and by applying a geometric approach to the Iron-Age buildings, it is established that an axis of symmetry is present in all of the investigated longhouses. It is suggested here that four of the buildings were so similar that they may represent a common building tradition at Vik throughout the Roman Period. Secondly and in terms of settlement layout, it is suggested that, in each phase, a longhouse was accompanied by a smaller building. Several farmstead categories are identified, including the lined, the parallel, the angled and the dispersed settlement. Finally and regarding the social and spatial relations between the farms, it is argued that the evidence points towards the presence of two large, but socially equal neighbouring settlements. The reason for the abandonment of southern Vik in the early 6th century is unknown, but it follows a trait seen in many parts of Norway, where sites with continued settlement in the Early Iron Age were abandoned during the Migration Period.