Historically, Norwegian settlement archaeology and research has depended on secondary materials, such as graves, non-contextual artefacts, and historical maps, often used in a retrogressive manner. Primary settlement materials were scarce, which to some extent justified the use of such methodologies. However, an increasing amount of rescue and commercial archaeology projects, combined with mechanical topsoil removal, has led to a vast increase in available primary material. This paper examines two sites excavated as part of E18-prosjektet Gulli-Langåker, namely Gulli and Auli, using both primary and secondary materials to illuminate its settlement structure during the late iron age. The archaeological material suggests that the two settlements performed continuous dwelling activities within a smaller confined area, though not at a fixed point in the landscape, throughout most of the iron age. These settlements did not reside in the landscape, they were the landscape. As external pressure changed, so did the composition of the landscape at any particular point. The nature, and force, of the pressures experienced during the Migration- and early Merovingian period led to significant changes in the interactions with the surrounding landscape. The result was neo-localization and a contraction of the local social sphere, seen by the changed field of inquiry at the new dwelling sites. A need to mark the geographical extent of the social sphere, as well as an act of dedication to the group, communal gravesites were placed on top of the earlier settlements. The road into the social sphere went through the graves, largely consisting of mounds, creating a theatric and symbolic access and exit point. So, to locate more early iron age dwelling sites one must look beyond the sites from the previous period, using knowledge of contemporary challenges and the phenomenology of the landscape as a compass.