Last September I directed two weeks of excavations at SÃ¤ttuna in Kaga, an amazing metal detector site I’ve been working at since 2006. I was hoping to find building foundations from a late-6th century aristocratic manor indicated by the metalwork. But I couldn’t get permission to dig the most promising bit of the site. Instead my team of Chester students and I dug off to one side and found no end of pits and hearths, but hardly any artefacts at all. Those bits that we did find are lithics, apparently belonging to a Late Mesolithic shore site.
Yesterday I got the radiocarbon results. They line up pretty well with what we knew from the artefact finds, with two exceptions: there’s no late-6th century at all, and there’s a funny 3rd Millennium BC date that corresponds to none of our finds.
This shows that the people on this site avoided burying stuff that keeps, not just during one era, but over repeated use phases covering thousands of years. Drat.
|Lab code||Material||Feature||BP||Calibrated date||Period|
|Ua-37499||Oak, rotten||Hearth 45||5560±40||4462-4338 cal BC (95%)||Late Mesolithic|
|Ua-37500||Hazel||Hearth 123||3855±35||2462-2271 cal BC (79%)||Middle/Late Neolithic|
|Ua-37502||Spruce, trunk||Pit 170||1660±30||321-436 cal AD (86%)||Late Roman/Migration|
|Ua-37501||Maple||Hearth 135||1585±30||412-545 cal AD (95%)||Migration|
|Ua-37498||Scots pine, rotten||Posthole 8||1205±35||763-895 cal AD (81%)||Viking|
Many thanks to Ulf Strucke for wood species and anatomy determination.