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Tracking down the history of early settlement in the Barents Region
The story begins after the Second World War – or to be more precise – it really begins over 10.000 years ago. Who were the first pioneers of the Barents Region? And where did they come from?
Norwegian Kåre Sivertsen started to make archeological findings from the ancient habitation in Neiden after the Second World War when he was burying fallen soldiers together with his brother. It took over 60 years before Sivertsen’s samples were properly analyzed by modern methods. The arte-facts from ancient campfires proved to be about 8.000–10.000 years old, much older than the archeologists in Tromsø had estimated.
Sivertsen has planned for an archeology project with his friend Tuomo Silvenius from Barents House, Neiden. This year the project received some start-up funding from the Norwegian Barents Secretariat and in April Sivertsen handed over his samples and information about the locations to Norwegian and Finnish archeologists.
“It is extremely valuable information because archeologists seem to have difficulties in finding the locations without the local knowledge provided by Sivertsen and his old friends from the Finnish side of the border, Elias Mosnikoff and Risto Semenoff”, Silvenius says.
A first expert meeting will take place in May in Neiden bringing archeologist together from Norway, Finland, Sweden and Russia. The aim is to collect and discuss the findings trying to place them in a historical-archeological context and appraise the project plan.
Secondly, the aim is to continue to work with Sivertsen’s findings in Finland and Norway. One of the important priorities is also to develop a tourism program based on the archeological findings. Sivertsen points at the high unemployment rates in Sevettijärvi and hopes that the development of touristic sites in the area would bring jobs especially for the youth in summer time.
BarentSaga will follow the project and report on the results and conclusions of the studies.
Upper left photo:
Kåre Sivertsen is doing his favorite work. Here he is holding the sign of the identification data of one the findings close to Neiden.
Lower right photo:
Kåre Sivertsen handed over his findings and collected data to archeologist Jan Ingolf Kleppe from Finnmark Fylkeskommune and archeologist Eija Ojanlatva from Siida, the National Museum of the Finnish Sámi.
Neiden - in the heart of the Barents Region.