image/svg+xml47XI/1/2020INTERDISCIPLINARIA ARCHAEOLOGICANATURAL SCIENCES IN ARCHAEOLOGYhomepage: http://www.iansa.euBurnt grain and crop cleaning residues: an archaeobotanical contribution to the understanding of 3rd–6thcentury AD longhouses in Jutland and Funen (Denmark)Radoslaw Grabowskia,b*aEnvironmental Archaeology Laboratory, Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå , SwedenbBAAC Archaeology and Building History, Graaf van Solmsweg 103, 5222 BS ’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands1. Background: archaeological understanding of the use of space in late Iron Age houses in DenmarkSettlements from the 2ndto the 5thcentury AD in present day Denmark are characterised by farmsteads with a main longhouse which was adjoined by one or more smaller buildings (outhouses). Regularly these farmsteads were surrounded by fences, and in some cases the fences also appear to have been covered by a roof. These so-called saddle-roof enclosures would have been open to all sides except the one with the fence.The typical late Iron Age longhouse is understood to have been a multifunctional building (Figure 1). Unfortunately, much less is known about the internal ordering of longhouses during the middle of the frst millennium AD, than those of the preceding early Iron Age where many well-preserved sites have provided ample evidence about indoor activities (summary in Webley, 2008).Longhouses from the 3rdto the 7thcentury AD varied in length from approximately 15 to more than 60 metres but were almost always between 5 and 6 metres wide. The houses were mostly oriented east-west with two centrally located entrances (facing north and south). Dwelling areas (i.e.spaces for food preparation, eating, other household activities, and probably also sleeping) are occasionally indicated by the presence of hearths and artefacts associated with domestic activities. They tend to be situated to the west of the central entrances. Byres are occasionally indicated by the presence of traces of animal stall partition walls. These stalls were mostly situated to the east of the entrances. The function of the small ancillary houses is in most cases unknown, but Volume XI ● Issue 1/2020 ● Pages 47–62*Corresponding author. E-mail: r.grabowski@baac.nlARTICLE INFOArticle history:Received: 9thMarch 2020Accepted: 11thJune 2020DOI: words:middle 1stmillennium AD settlementsarchaeobotanycarbonised plant macro remainslonghousesuse of settlement spaceABSTRACTThis paper uses the composition and spatial distribution of carbonised archaeobotanical material from postholes to identify and delineate agrarian and household activities within settlements. The paper presents the analyses of seven houses/farmsteads dating to the 3rd–6thcentury AD, which were excavated on four separate sites: Flensted, Skovby Nygård and Gedved Vest in east-central Jutland, and Odensevej on the island of Funen.To infer settlement activities from the distributions of carbonised plant macro remains, the paper defnes the various stages of plant processing and carbonisation circumstances. It also discusses assumptions about plant processing sequences and the formation of charred plant assemblages that were made during the analysis.The results show that the distribution of charred plant macro-remains can assist in the identifcation and delineation of spaces with diferent functions. The presented cases identify the locations of dwelling spaces, spaces where processed crops were stored and/or used, and spaces where fne sieving of grain was performed. The results also show a similarity between the analysed houses, which suggests the existence of a regional tradition of ordering household space. These patterns also confrm assumptions about mid-1stmillennium houses previously made on the basis of other archaeological evidence.
image/svg+xmlIANSA 2020 ● XI/1 ● 47–62Radoslaw Grabowski: Burnt grain and crop cleaning residues: an archaeobotanical contribution to the understanding of 3rd–6thcentury AD longhouses in Jutland and Funen (Denmark)48they are often assumed to have been used for agriculture or crafts and are commonly termed “economy buildings” (DK: økonomibygning) (Hedeager and Kristiansen, 1988, p.142; Hvass et al., 1988; Ethelberg, 2003, p.226; Jensen, 2003, p.214; Mikkelsen and Nørbach, 2003, p.23; Herschend, 2009, p.236).From the earlier Scandinavian Iron Age (c. 500 BC–AD 100) a signifcant number of houses with preserved foor layers, pavements and artefact spreads have been encountered over the last hundred years; especially in the west of the country where a combination of less intensive agriculture and aeolian movement of sand have acted as factors for excellent preservation. Through these fnds, detailed inferences about the use of domestic space have been possible (see comprehensive summary in Webley, 2008). For the later Iron Age, the paucity of artefacts, preserved foor layers, and architectural traces indicative of function makes interpretation of the internal arrangement of late Iron Age houses more difcult, especially in the many cases where no hearths or animal stall walls are present. This has, over the years, led to attempts at using various natural scientifc approaches, such as soil phosphate mapping and plant macrofossil analysis, to provide additional insights. The use of these methods is still at a stage of evaluation by the broader archaeological community. This makes the dissemination of promising examples important.2. Aims and organisation of the paperThe main aim of this paper is to illustrate the potential contribution that archaeobotanical analysis of carbonised plant macro remains can make to the understanding of late Iron Age longhouses. Furthermore, the paper aims to provide a broad outline of the key principles and assumptions that underpin analysis of charred macrofossil distributions in houses. This is done in the hope of making the approach more accessible to colleagues outside of archaeobotany, especially those who regularly excavate settlements and are responsible for the collection of samples.The aims are pursued in three steps. Firstly, in the theory section (Section 3), the formation, circulation and preservation of carbonised botanical material is explored. The focus lies on cereal crops and arable weeds since these categories of plant material make up the majority of all archaeobotanical fnds from late Iron Age settlements (excluding charcoal). The method and material of the study are presented in Sections 4 and 5 respectively. In Section 6, the patterning in the botanical record from each case study is presented and interpreted within the framework established in Section 3. Lastly, in Section 7, the broader implications of the results for understanding 3rd–6thcentury habitation are discussed.Figure 1.Plan and hypothetical reconstruction drawing of a late Iron Age longhouse at Vorbasse in Jutland (after Hedeager and Kristiansen, 1988, p.139).