Possible Traces of Reindeer Corralling at a Hearth-Row Site from 1000–1300 CE in Northern Norway
In this paper, we aim to present a methodology for identifying reindeer corralling-herding in connection with prehistoric hearth-row sites in Northern Fennoscandia by using a multiproxy approach of geochemical and geophysical analyses. In previous studies, these sites have been associated with Sámi settlements based on their geographical distribution and
archaeological material. The approach is demonstrated in a case study from the Steintjørna site in the municipality of Sør-Varanger in the county of Finnmark, Norway. In order to identify traces of reindeer corralling, fractionation analyses of both organic and inorganic phosphates have been conducted on samples collected from areas near hearths as well as from the surrounding environment. The results show high amounts of organic to inorganic phosphate in two areas extending outward from the hearths terminating the row, which indicate reindeer corralling in small pen-like areas that otherwise lack visible remains and structures.