The research group OSSO, consisting of Anna-Kaisa Salmi and Tiina Äikäs from Oulu University, Marte Spangen from UiT - The Arctic University of Norway and Markus Fjellström from Stockholm University with contribution of Inga-Maria Mulk from Ájtte Mountain and Sámi Museum in Sweden are showing that offerings at Sámi offering sites were made already from the 6th century, with a long tradition of doing so as the latest offered animal is dated to the 20th century.

The oldest dated sample, of a bear, is traced back to late Iron Age. The earliest reindeer offerings date to the 13th century with a peak between the 15th to the 17th centuries. The latter coincides with when reindeer pastoralism became the main livelihood for the Sámi in a larger part of Sápmi. This illuminates major historic changes in northern Fennoscandia regarding hunting, pastoralism, trading, Christianism, religious changes and colonialism.

More information

"Tradition and transformation in Sámi animal-offering practices". Article in Antiquity, Volume 92, Issue 362, April 2018 , pp. 472-489