Hofstad i Melhus - bolig og hushold i førromersk jernalder
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This paper sets out to address some of the organizing principles behind the Pre-Roman Iron Age settlement at Hofstad in Melhus, Trøndelag, as reflected in house layout and function. Of particular interest is the observed variations in house size and layout which are considered in terms of both economic and social factors. Among the eight houses, special attention is paid to house II, built in order to facilitate two households. A central feature of the house was the large byre with stall partitions, placed at the centre of the house, with the two dwelling sections located at each end. The authors argue in favour of at least two co-existing settlement units of equal status in the area. Most likely, these separate units also co-operated in carrying out various tasks. The centrally placed byre in house II would have restricted the expansion of these two households, thus maintaining the economic balance between the households at the site. The need for such a regulation suggests a growing social competition in the area. It is suggested that these changes should be seen against the backdrop of an increase in both agricultural production and settlement stability c. 200 BC.