View over a cultural landscape! Photo: Naturcentrum AB.View over a cultural landscape! Photo: Naturcentrum AB.

Sami cultural landscape

Gränslandet contains many Sami cultural remains. But the traces may be difficult to spot for an untrained eye. Sami people used nature’s own materials, which eventually decomposed back into the soil.

If you find a dug pit with a stone covered bottom, it could be a milk pit. This is where reindeer keepers in the past stored milk until spring, when they returned to the settlement. The milk was stored in wooden kegs and became viscous.

Long after a peat hut has collapsed a rounded bank of fallen birch bark and moss remains. In the centre there are often signs of a fireplace surrounded by stones. Sometimes the stones have sunk deep into the ground and all that remains is a patch of different, lusher vegetation. Charcoal has fertilised grass and herbs. If you see something like this, it could well be the remains of a Sami cot.

A circular area with lush vegetation could be evidence of an abandoned reindeer enclosure. These were often enclosed with wood or stone and reindeer were brought here for milking. Sometimes the stones were removed from the enclosure and left as small cairns. With time the enclosure became overgrown by juniper shrub and brushwood.

Milk pit. Photo: Ewa Ljungdahl.Milk pit. Photo: Ewa Ljungdahl.

Old Sami cot at Rödsjöarna. Photo: Marcus Elmerstad.Old Sami cot at Rödsjöarna. Photo: Marcus Elmerstad.


Gaaltije - Southern Sami Culture Centre »

Sami Information
Centre »


Reading tip

Ljungdahl, E. 2008: Samerna och rennäringen i södra Jämtland. Gaaltije och Länsstyrelsen i Jämtlands län.

Protected by law

Sami remains, like all cultural monuments, are protected by law. The protection also applies to an area around the remains.

Swedish Act concerning Ancient Monuments and Finds »

Norwegian Cultural Heritage Act »

Sami cultural remains

bone depositsfireplaces milk pits
sacrificial sites
enclosed pastures
reindeer pens
Sami cots
decaying cots
Sami cot remains
storage pits