Selecting the test sites for VEMOP is key for the relevance of the project’s results. This is why we spent considerable time choosing suitable candidates. Potential sites need to contain frequently found archaeological features typical for the region, for example post holes and cooking pits. But they must also be representative of the environmental factors present in Vestfold, in particular of the different soil types. In addition, we have to think about practicalities, such as access to the areas we will be monitoring for 14 months. Landowners and farmers need to agree to rent out these parts of their fields. In order to minimise affected areas and thus costs, test sites should be located at the border of a field versus in the middle of it.
After many a discussion as well as input from our reference group, we decided on four test sites: a field of burial mounds in Odberg, a large dwelling at Hovland, a harbour settlement at Gokstad and a cooking pit field at Lunde. These sites cover the four soil types most frequently found in Vestfold: Stagnosol, Cambisol, Arenosol and Albeluvisol.
In the next step, each of these sites will be fitted with a monitoring station to measure the environmental factors most relevant for our investigations.