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MILJØ2015-Norsk miljøforskning mot 2015

LAND: The Norwegian Millstone Landscape

Awarded: NOK 4.0 mill.

The 'Norwegian millstone landscape' is the historical narrative of human interaction with specific stone resources crucial to the production of the most fundamental food, flour. The shaping of these extensive cultural landscapes by millstone quarrying pro vides a rich historical record of the social, economic and political processes that surrounded food production for over 1500 years. Moreover, the consumption of millstones at local, regional and international scales represents conduits in the evolution of trade and social networks that grew around the millstone quarrying industry, and that define an extended millstone landscape. Today, the socio-cultural and economic values of these millstone landscapes are at best greatly underestimated or, at worst, com pletely unknown. This project seeks to shed new light on the physical and historical aspects of these multifaceted landscapes through comprehensive field surveys and interdisciplinary research, including geology, archaeology, history, and landscape geogra phy, aiming at characterisation and reconstruction of the Norwegian millstone landscape as a narrative that links the past with the present in a common heritage. The project is built on three approaches: 'The Physical Millstone Landscape' focuses on the v ariety of quarry areas in Norway, their common and diverse physical features and time depth. This study is symbiotic to a study of the distribution and trade of millstones 'The Extended Millstone Landscape' focusing on temporal and spatial distribution pa tterns of millstones (consumption). The third perspective 'Millstone Landscape Values' is to articulate the character-defining elements of these landscapes in terms of their significance at the local, regional and international level, providing heritage a uthorities with information and interpretation necessary to encourage local preservation and promotion of these landscapes as key socio-cultural and economic resources.

Funding scheme:

MILJØ2015-Norsk miljøforskning mot 2015