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Reconsidering the Pitted Ware chronology: A temporal fixation of the Scandinavian Neolithic hunters, fishers and gatherers

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  • Rune Iversen, Københavns Universitet, Danmark
  • Bente Philippsen
  • Per Åke Persson, Kulturhistorisk Museum, Oslo, Norge
The Pitted Ware culture continues to attract attention from scholars. Being chronologically situated in the Neolithic, the Pitted Ware phenomenon breaks with our traditional view on cultural and social evolution by representing a return to, or continuation of, an otherwise abandoned hunter-gatherer lifestyle. One of the key issues trying to understand the Pitted Ware is its chronology – when and where did this phenomenon emerge for the first time, how did it spread and when and why did it end? In order to clarify these issues this paper presents the hitherto largest sample of new as well as old recalibrated and error corrected radiocarbon dates from Pitted Ware sites all over Scandinavia. From more than 900 collected radiocarbon dates, we are able to look through the many obstacles that often hamper the interpretation of the limited numbers of individual dates obtained from single sites. Furthermore, we are able to present a model showing a rapid spread of the Pitted Ware from a supposed origin in central eastern Sweden (c. 3400 cal BC) to vast, mostly coastal, areas on the Scandinavian Peninsula and northeastern Denmark. The rapid spread can be explained by Pitted Ware engagement in far-reaching flint exchange networks. The end of the Pitted Ware phenomenon (c. 2200 cal BC) can be seen as a consequence of the agricultural intensification and expansion northwards during the Late Neolithic.
TidsskriftPraehistorische Zeitschrift
Sider (fra-til)44-88
StatusUdgivet - 2021
BegivenhedPitted Ware Culture on Djursland and beyond: MCH seminar - Afd. for Arkæologi, Aarhus University, Højbjerg, Danmark
Varighed: 11 maj 201711 maj 2017


KonferencePitted Ware Culture on Djursland and beyond
LokationAfd. for Arkæologi, Aarhus University

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