A Review of Archaeological Research on Saami Prehistory in Sweden
The prehistoric remains of the largest part of Sweden as we know it today belonged to the circumpolar culture, out of which the Saami culture grew. Swedish archaeology has, however, concentrated on south Scandinavian culture, later to become what we call Germanic. This article mainly deals with the Saami Iron Age. Recent research on northern Sweden deals with settlement pattern and resource utilization, iron production and forest reindeer hearding. The material from central Sweden, on the other hand is much more difficult to interpret ethnically because of the Saamis' near contact with and partial assimilation into the growing Germanic culture here —mainly a result of internal development, not of "colonization". The dominating view among archaeologists that the late hunter-gatherer culture here was synonymous with the Saami culture is supported by information from contemporary written sources.
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