Strange attractors in the Norwegian Stone Age

DSpace Repository


Dokumentart: ConferencePaper
Date: 2023-10-31
Source: Human History and Digital Future : Proceedings of the 46th Annual Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology
Language: English
Faculty: 5 Philosophische Fakultät
Department: Archäologie
DDC Classifikation: 930 - History of ancient world to ca. 499
Keywords: Chaostheorie , Archäologie
Other Keywords: seltsamer Attraktor
Lærdal Mountains
Lake Vavatn
strange attractor
Chaos theory
Show full item record


This paper explores an application of concepts from chaos theory and nonlinear system theory, and argues that nonlinear system theory is a useful tool in understanding the use of landscape and the creation of taskscapes by prehistoric and modern people around Lake Vavatn in Lærdalsfjellene (the Lærdal Mountains), a part of the high mountains in South Norway. It is necessary to replace a static model based on duration and stability with a model that can focus on change and variability in recorded archaeological material that is the result of past and present events. Sites and areas that have artefacts indicating many events are seen as focal points in the landscape. The trajectories of movements and events in time and space are described as strange attractors. These strange attractors are visualised through the Poincaré set created by sites and single artefacts. In the case of Lake Vavatn, traces of human activity from several periods have created points in the Poincaré set; the typologically dated stone artefacts from earliest Middle Mesolithic at several early intervals, possible pastoralist activities from the Neolithic, the probably medieval animal fall pits at a later time, the modern shieling, cottages for leisure, and archaeological surveying today. The sum of observations does not allow statements about continuation during this over 8000-year period of archaeological and modern history, but it does show that Lake Vavatn has been attractive throughout multiple periods.

This item appears in the following Collection(s)