The Dating and Interpretation of a Field Wall in Öggestorp
Keywords:Early Iron Age, Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL), southern Swedish uplands, agrarian structures
The interpretation of the use and contextual meaning of fossil agrarian forms is connected with their age. In this article we discuss the dating and interpretation of a field wall in Öggestorp, situated on the northern rim of the southern Swedish uplands in the province of Småland. Öggestorp is a complex archaeological site dating from the early Iron Age (500 BC to AD 550). The site was also used for various forms of agriculture during the Middle Ages and in early modern times, a fact which complicates the dating and the interpretation of the agrarian features. We discuss the possibility and practical issue of dating agrarian sediments by optically stimulated luminescence (OSL). By combining OSL and other methods, a reliable estimation of age can be established. The paper also deals with the possible implications of the OSL-method in relation to the current state of knowledge of agrarian structures. We show that a serious dating of agricultural remains must be based upon a critically used combination ofmethods. Without a well-argued date, it is difficult to relate any agrarian form chronologically to other remains in a fossil landscape of multilayered complexity.
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