Excavations at Landa
Fossanmoen and Landa has been the site of the largest archaeological excavations in Norway. Over 80 000 square meters are examined. Excavations uncovered traces of over 250 houses as far back as about 1500 BC until about 600 AD. It has, in other words lived people here for over 2,000 years!
Landa should convey understanding and knowledge of prehistoric times through the reconstruction of the physical building environment, lifestyle and working conditions.
Based on excavations it is planned to build a total of 13 different prehistoric buildings from the three main periods:
Bronze Age: (1800 - 500 BC)
Roman period: (0 - 350 AD)
Migration period: (350 - 600 AD)
Before more houses are being raised, we want to put life into the existing houses and surrounding area.
The Development of Society
The development of the Society at Landa reminds of similar settlements in Scandinavia. Together with the bronze the agriculture came to Norway, with permanent settlement as a result. At Landa they settled from about 1500 BC. The settlement increased from modest beginnings from 1-2 farms in the Early Bronze Age to 3-4 in the Late Bronze Age and 6-8 in Pre-Roman Iron Age. In the Age of Migration, around year 350. AD, was the settlement organized as a village with 20 farms with pastures and fields around. This is the oldest and until now only village we know of in this country.
A combination between hunting, fishing and farming were the basis for a good and well-functioning society - a society that had strong contacts with Europe through trade. Landa could offer Europe among other things iron, leather and fish, and imported among other things grains and goods giving status. The Gildehall and the burial mounds indicates a strong, stratified society.
Poll analysis and phosphate samples testify intensive agriculture. The climate determined what and how the agriculture was. The Bronze Age was a good time particular for grain, while animal husbandry was more common during the Iron Age.
At Landa there are 6 burial mounds. Only the most important people got a mound when they were buried. The dead were seen as relatives and care for the dead was an important religious utterance. What type of burial, how many and what kind of burial gifts they received, were dependent on the deceased's status.
Four prehistoric houses shows the way of life in the Bronze and Iron Ages. In addition, the other houses are marked with posts in postholes.
The Bronze Age house dates from about 1000 BC. The house contains two parts, and is built with clay walls made out and thatched roofs. In addition, we have a warehouse from that time.
The Gildehall is 40 meters long and 7,5 meters wide and is from the Migration Period, about year 400 AD. The Gildehall was the chieftains of Landas own great hall with long tables and large fire mine. The hall was a house with big status, where both worldly and religious festivities were hold.
The smithy, from the Migration Period 350-600 AD, was the workplace where iron tools was made. The smithy consists two parts, where one section probably was used as a residence for the blacksmith.
In the area we have marked some of the 250 houses that have been excavated here on Fossandmoen during the period from 1980 to 1990. The pillars in the ground marks the constructive parts of the houses:
The roof supported posts goes in two parallel rows. They are either circular with a diameter of about 20 cm or square in about 10 X 20 cm. Posts for doorframes are set half a meter inside wall lines.
Wall lines consist of round posts or a longitudinal post. All the bars are cutted 40 cm above the ground so that they mark the ground plan of the houses.