The first settlers arrived at the end of the Ice Age, as the glaciers retreated north. Archaeological remains in Finnmark in the north and in Rogaland in the southwest of Norway date from between 9500 to 8000 BC and suggest coastal, hunting-fishing communities. By 2500 BC a new influx of settlers brought cattle and crop farming and gradually replaced the earlier hunting-fishing communities. Although there is little evidence of the impact of the bronze and iron ages on Norway as its people had not yet found ways to exploit their natural resources for trade, links with Roman-occupied Gaul in the first four centuries AD were strong. By the time of the collapse of the Roman Empire, tribal groups had started to develop and by AD 800 had each established their own legislative and adjudicatory assemblies, known as things.
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