Advanced

Axeheads and fire - the transformation of wealth

Larsson, Lars LU (2004) Conference on Lithic Studies in the Year 2000 In Lithic in Action. Papers from the Conference Lithic Studies in the Year 2000 p.197-205
Abstract
Massive destruction of flint and stone artefacts by fire has been found at two sites in south-eastern Scania, the southernmost county of Sweden. At the site of Svartskylle, dated to the Early Funnel-Necked Beaker Culture (TRB) at about 3400 cal. BC, fragments showed that several thin-butted flint axeheads as well as a small number of thin-bladed axeheads had been heavily fragmented by fire. During an extensive survey in the 1990s, another site with fragments of flint artefacts destroyed by fire was found about 17km to the east of Svartskylle. The site is situated on a small plateau on the southern side of the river valley. More than a hundred flint axeheads and chisels as well as a large number of arrowheads, scrapers and blades were... (More)
Massive destruction of flint and stone artefacts by fire has been found at two sites in south-eastern Scania, the southernmost county of Sweden. At the site of Svartskylle, dated to the Early Funnel-Necked Beaker Culture (TRB) at about 3400 cal. BC, fragments showed that several thin-butted flint axeheads as well as a small number of thin-bladed axeheads had been heavily fragmented by fire. During an extensive survey in the 1990s, another site with fragments of flint artefacts destroyed by fire was found about 17km to the east of Svartskylle. The site is situated on a small plateau on the southern side of the river valley. More than a hundred flint axeheads and chisels as well as a large number of arrowheads, scrapers and blades were damaged by fire. Non-flint tools such as axeheads and battle-axes had also been broken into pieces intentionally. The excavation revealed a number of pits of various sizes in which the damaged flint and stone artefacts had been deposited together with pottery and crushed human bones. The finds are dated to the Late Battle-Axe Culture at c. 2300 cal. BC. differs in number but not in ritual from the destruction by fire of single. What is expressed at this site differ artefacts, mainly axeheads, which is evident at settlement sites, megalithic tombs and causewayed enclosures throughout the Middle Neolithic. Ritual burning has a public, direct, evocative and magical appearance. Flint undergoes a colour transformation from natural black or grey, sometimes to red and finally to white. This change is similar to the cremation of a human body. The destruction of material culture must have been very obvious, and the wealth represented by the number of tools and exotics included must have been considerable. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
in
Lithic in Action. Papers from the Conference Lithic Studies in the Year 2000
editor
Walker, E.A.; Wenban-Smith, F.; Healy, F.; ; and
pages
197 - 205
publisher
Oxbow Books
conference name
Conference on Lithic Studies in the Year 2000
external identifiers
  • wos:000228177600022
ISBN
1-84217-130-5
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
dd96dbf4-707a-42bc-83fa-ec659e40270a (old id 738481)
date added to LUP
2007-12-11 13:51:52
date last changed
2016-04-16 08:53:14
@inproceedings{dd96dbf4-707a-42bc-83fa-ec659e40270a,
  abstract     = {Massive destruction of flint and stone artefacts by fire has been found at two sites in south-eastern Scania, the southernmost county of Sweden. At the site of Svartskylle, dated to the Early Funnel-Necked Beaker Culture (TRB) at about 3400 cal. BC, fragments showed that several thin-butted flint axeheads as well as a small number of thin-bladed axeheads had been heavily fragmented by fire. During an extensive survey in the 1990s, another site with fragments of flint artefacts destroyed by fire was found about 17km to the east of Svartskylle. The site is situated on a small plateau on the southern side of the river valley. More than a hundred flint axeheads and chisels as well as a large number of arrowheads, scrapers and blades were damaged by fire. Non-flint tools such as axeheads and battle-axes had also been broken into pieces intentionally. The excavation revealed a number of pits of various sizes in which the damaged flint and stone artefacts had been deposited together with pottery and crushed human bones. The finds are dated to the Late Battle-Axe Culture at c. 2300 cal. BC. differs in number but not in ritual from the destruction by fire of single. What is expressed at this site differ artefacts, mainly axeheads, which is evident at settlement sites, megalithic tombs and causewayed enclosures throughout the Middle Neolithic. Ritual burning has a public, direct, evocative and magical appearance. Flint undergoes a colour transformation from natural black or grey, sometimes to red and finally to white. This change is similar to the cremation of a human body. The destruction of material culture must have been very obvious, and the wealth represented by the number of tools and exotics included must have been considerable.},
  author       = {Larsson, Lars},
  booktitle    = {Lithic in Action. Papers from the Conference Lithic Studies in the Year 2000},
  editor       = {Walker, E.A. and Wenban-Smith, F. and Healy, F.},
  isbn         = {1-84217-130-5},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {197--205},
  publisher    = {Oxbow Books},
  title        = {Axeheads and fire - the transformation of wealth},
  year         = {2004},
}