Long time – long house. Dwelling with animals in Scandinavia in prehistory

Author(s): Kristin Armstrong Oma

Year: 2017


The three-aisled longhouse is one of the most long-lived forms of dwelling-place known from prehistory, with its span from the Early Bronze Age (1500 BCE) until the Viking period (1000C CE). During some 2500 years, the architectural outline and form remained surprisingly similar. The three-aisled longhouse is, in terms of human culture (albeit not in geological terms), a longue durée institution, a materialisation of a particular lived space, where humans and domestic animals lived under the same roof. The aim of this paper is twofold: First, I explore the tenets of this lived space, and its implications in terms of social practice with a particular regard to the life-space shared between humans and animals inside the longhouse. Further, I examine the dynamics between patterns of change in prehistoric societies and the longhouse that endures as a basic building block for the farming household. I use the ontological turn as a framework for thinking through both of these topics. I mainly focus on the archaeological record from early Bronze Age until the Viking period in Rogaland, SW Norway.

Cite this Record

Long time – long house. Dwelling with animals in Scandinavia in prehistory. Kristin Armstrong Oma. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429562)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15273