Ancient Houses







Intro

You are standing on a part of the village field in the village of Siim. Today the entire area is named Kildebjerg, but on an old map from 1783 the area right here is called Sven Fields and perhaps it is another name for Swine Fields.

To the west, in those days, was Kielbjerg Fields and to the east Cattle Drove Fields, the name of an area for gathering cattle to drive them into the forest for grazing. Archaeological examinations prior to the recent Kildebjerg building activities showed that back in the New Stone Age there were settlements in this place. When archaeologists remove a layer of top soil, they may find traces of earlier settlement in the form of dark spots showing where the carrying posts of houses had been. The pattern made by such post holes can indicate the period from which a house originates. Houses from the New Stone Age have a single row of posts, down the middle of the house, which supported the roof. Thus, archaeologists will find a single row of dark spots from such roof bearing posts. At Kildebjerg on sandy sites, two types of houses from the New Stone Age have been found. The first and oldest type of house was around 12-14 metres long and 5-6 metres wide. The second type dates back to the most recent part of the New Stone Age and early Bronze Age. They were about the same size, but at the eastern end a lowered floor is seen, the reason for which is unknown. During the Bronze Age, the houses became larger with two rows of roof bearing posts. During the Iron Age, Denmark’s first real villages appeared. Before this, there was typically one house with space for both animals and humans together, as well as the family’s possessions, but in the Iron Age the houses started to have different functions. They began to build pole (or partially open-sided) barns, sheds for storing supplies and the like, maybe also workshops. In the early Iron Age neither villages nor farms were fenced, but from around the year zero they started to fence in farms and villages. This means that archaeologists can also use post marks from fences in order to date settlment sites. For example, under the playground of the new Kildebjerg Children’s Centre have been found originating from the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age. So children have been growing up and playing here since ancient times.