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Fragments of life and death : the biography of grinding and polishing stones found in long barrows at the Almhov burial site

Hydén, Susan LU (2014) In Landscapes, histories and societies in the Northern European Neolithic Frühe Monumentalität und soziale Differenzierung 4. p.247-260
Abstract
The burial and gathering site Almhov was discovered as a result of large-scale archaeological excavations in southern Sweden revealing the remains of five long barrows, two dolmens and a large number of pits, rich in finds. Given the multitude of activities performed at the site including, for example, monument-building, pit-digging, burying, feasting and axe-manufacturing, the site can serve as an example ofthe complexity of large Early Neolithic gathering places. The activities, as well as the physical monuments and pits, can be interpreted as an expression of how Early Neolithic man made sense of the changing world brought about by the Neolithization. Different perspectives as well as archaeological remains of various kinds offer... (More)
The burial and gathering site Almhov was discovered as a result of large-scale archaeological excavations in southern Sweden revealing the remains of five long barrows, two dolmens and a large number of pits, rich in finds. Given the multitude of activities performed at the site including, for example, monument-building, pit-digging, burying, feasting and axe-manufacturing, the site can serve as an example ofthe complexity of large Early Neolithic gathering places. The activities, as well as the physical monuments and pits, can be interpreted as an expression of how Early Neolithic man made sense of the changing world brought about by the Neolithization. Different perspectives as well as archaeological remains of various kinds offer different narratives of this on-going process. Artefacts interpreted as polishing and grinding stones were by far the most common type of ground stone artefacts found at Almhov, and the interesting contexts in which they were discovered,as well as their sheer number, poses a variety of questions about their presence at Almhov. How can we, for example, make these artefacts tell us something about the people in the area and the Neolithic way of life? This article focuses on the grinding and polishing stones found in two of the long barrows on Almhov, and uses them as the basis of a case study of how a biographical approach can be utilized as a method of categorizing and interpreting ground stone artefacts. Why, for example, were pieces of grinding stones placed in connection with the façade of one of the long barrows? Why were grinding stones, broken in half, put into graves? This paper suggests that the tools represented the novelty of making monuments and that putting them together with the dead could have been a way of mediating new practices with reference to the past. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Long barrows, Early Neolithic period, grinding stones, ground stone artefacts, biographical perspective
in
Landscapes, histories and societies in the Northern European Neolithic
editor
Furholt, Martin; Hinz, Martin; Mischka, Doris; Noble, Gordon and Olausson, Deborah
volume
Frühe Monumentalität und soziale Differenzierung 4
pages
247 - 260
publisher
Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte der CAU Kiel / Habelt
ISBN
978-3-7749-3882-3
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d6fc81f6-a6d6-48d9-adf8-e88c38ee8a5a (old id 4648264)
date added to LUP
2014-09-23 14:51:38
date last changed
2016-04-16 07:21:42
@misc{d6fc81f6-a6d6-48d9-adf8-e88c38ee8a5a,
  abstract     = {The burial and gathering site Almhov was discovered as a result of large-scale archaeological excavations in southern Sweden revealing the remains of five long barrows, two dolmens and a large number of pits, rich in finds. Given the multitude of activities performed at the site including, for example, monument-building, pit-digging, burying, feasting and axe-manufacturing, the site can serve as an example ofthe complexity of large Early Neolithic gathering places. The activities, as well as the physical monuments and pits, can be interpreted as an expression of how Early Neolithic man made sense of the changing world brought about by the Neolithization. Different perspectives as well as archaeological remains of various kinds offer different narratives of this on-going process. Artefacts interpreted as polishing and grinding stones were by far the most common type of ground stone artefacts found at Almhov, and the interesting contexts in which they were discovered,as well as their sheer number, poses a variety of questions about their presence at Almhov. How can we, for example, make these artefacts tell us something about the people in the area and the Neolithic way of life? This article focuses on the grinding and polishing stones found in two of the long barrows on Almhov, and uses them as the basis of a case study of how a biographical approach can be utilized as a method of categorizing and interpreting ground stone artefacts. Why, for example, were pieces of grinding stones placed in connection with the façade of one of the long barrows? Why were grinding stones, broken in half, put into graves? This paper suggests that the tools represented the novelty of making monuments and that putting them together with the dead could have been a way of mediating new practices with reference to the past.},
  author       = {Hydén, Susan},
  editor       = {Furholt, Martin and Hinz, Martin and Mischka, Doris and Noble, Gordon and Olausson, Deborah},
  isbn         = {978-3-7749-3882-3},
  keyword      = {Long barrows,Early Neolithic period,grinding stones,ground stone artefacts,biographical perspective},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {247--260},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x92c0d68)},
  series       = {Landscapes, histories and societies in the Northern European Neolithic},
  title        = {Fragments of life and death : the biography of grinding and polishing stones found in long barrows at the Almhov burial site},
  volume       = {Frühe Monumentalität und soziale Differenzierung 4},
  year         = {2014},
}