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The northern margin of cereal cultivation in Sweden during the Middle Ages

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Author list: Welinder, Stig
Publication year: 2019
Start page: 36
End page: 42
Number of pages: 7
ISSN: 0015-7813
View additional information: View in Web of Science™

Abstract

One Medieval farm and one coeval summer farm in the Swedish province of Jamtland are discussed in the framework of a demographic and economic expansion from the regional introduction of agriculture in the early 3rd century until the agrarian crisis in the 14th and 15th centuries. The farm was deserted, while neighbouring farms specialising in iron production were not. The summer farm, on the other hand, was first used around the time of the crisis. Households in Jamtland had a diversified economy including outland-production of goods for the European market, for example, squirrel and beaver furs, elk hides and iron bars. This provided flexibility for the households, allowing them to subsist on barley cropping in a marginal agricultural area, and thus surviving the Late Medieval agrarian crisis. They even increased their outland production of export commodities.


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