The Sami settlement at lake Gausjosjön

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A beautiful and easily accessible path leading to the summer settlement used by the northern Sami in the 1930s. The settlement is located at the foot of Artfjället and on the banks of Lake Överuman. The trail leads you there through 2.5 km of easy terrain. On-site information boards provide more background about the settlement´s history. Visitors are asked to respect the privacy of those huts which are privatley owned.

People have lived around the shores of the lake for 6000 years. At the time of the great expansion of water power in the 1960s a number of prehistoric settlements were discovered along the shores of the lake. About 30 such settlements have been studied around lake Överuman.
There are two excavated Stone Age settlements directly after the second bridge across the inlet to lake Gausjosjön. The northern one especially has yielded a wealth of finds in the form of debris from arrowhead-making and hearths. There is little to be seen today. The site has been dated at 1000 BC to the year zero. Another settlement, 200 metres to the west, has been dated at 4000 BC. A hike of two km along the lake brings you to lake Gausjosjön’s Sami settlement. At the lakeshore below the sheds there is a Stone Age settlement with finds dating back to 1000 BC. An eighteenth century clay pipe with tobacco still in its bowl was also found at the same place. In other words there is reason to believe that this place has been inhabited in summer ever since the Stone Age.

The present tent huts and sheds were erected by compulsorily resettled Sami from the county of Norrbotten in the 1930s. The design of these north Sami tent huts is different from that of the original south Sami. The north Sami tent hut is more spacious at the top and more rounded than the south Sami. The turfs are laid horizontally instead of flat. 500 metres to the east there is a settlement at the Sotsbäcken brook with tent huts of the south Sami design. Visitors should show respect for these privately-owned residences.

Length: 5 km return trip
Elevation change: 30 m
Level of difficulty: Blue (4 km/hour, path, mostly dry terrain)

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