The Large Stone Age Settlement at Refsnes

An archaeologist walks along the trails at Refsnes. She’s looking for traces of Stone Age people. The search begins near the summit. In the early Stone Age, over nine thousand years ago, the land was depressed by the great ice sheet, and the sea level was much higher. People set up camp and settled at good locations near the beach. Because of this, she finds the oldest traces of ancient settlements on higher ground.

Eventually new land rose from the ocean. Millennia passed. Stone Age people continued to settle on suitable locations on the oceanfront. The lower the terrain where a settlement is found, the younger it is.

On the plains near the cliff, archaeologists have made discoveries across a fairly large area. Maybe they are traces of a single large settlement where a group of people once lived? Or is it evidence of several small settlements? We do not know. After a settlement is abandoned and centuries and millennia have passed, it is often virtually impossible to distinguish between one large and multiple smaller living spaces. Archaeologists consider several theories about what might have happened at the location, and we can never be sure whether ONE single account holds the full truth.

What we do know is that people used this place once during the Neolithic Era, between 4000 and 1500 BC. For some reason people found this area on the cape desirable. Maybe it was the fishing grounds surrounding the cape or out in the bay which lured them here? Was it perhaps the salmon, then as now? Or maybe it was the hunting of various land animals?