An important new find by a team of Swedish archaeologists indicates that the Finland-Sweden border area around the Torne River Valley was inhabited up to 11,000 years ago.
The discovery, located near Pajala in Sweden’s far north, is the oldest settlement to be found in the county of Norrbotten, according to archaeologist Olof Ostlund. “Now the pages in the National Encyclopaedia regarding inland ice can be torn out and burned,” said Ostlund.
The find was made during a routine search for ancient remains by archaeologists in the area around Kaunisvaar where a new mine is scheduled to open, reports The Local. First located in early September, Ostlund’s team was able to date the settlement with the aid of radiocarbon dating.
“I had been expecting old dates. But when I saw that the first numbers were very high I felt immediately that this was bingo. When the second number was five figures – I felt faint,” Ostlund stated. The scientist compared the discovery to a similar settlement in nearby Kangofors which was discovered five years ago and dated back 10,000 years.
Ostlund related the find to the discovery of stone-age shelters dating back some 6,000 years in Voullerim in the 1980s which caused a revaluation of common assumptions on the historical habitation of the Norrland region.
“So this is important. Especially as in archaeological circles, in southern Sweden, the accepted theory is that there was no ancient age up here in northern Sweden it is thus important to raise the issue,” Ostlund reasoned.