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Trends and Breaks in Stone Age History

– Research-project affixed to the excavation project of E18 Tvedestrand-Arendal at The Museum of Cultural History.

The Scandinavian Stone Age encases a timeframe of about 11 000 years – spanning from the Pioneer phase until the Bronze Age. The traces of human activity from this timespan have many common features, but its perseverance is also partly characterized by rapid changes in technology, settlement patterns and sustenance. How can we approach these persistent and decisive shifting “trends” suggested by the archaeological material of this time?

Mesolithic pecked, round-butted stone axe (to the left) and a Neolithic flint axe (to the right) from the same site at Krøgenes in Arendal, Aust-Agder. Long lines of history or shifting “trends”? Photo: Museum of Cultural History, UiO

About the project

Between the years of 2014-2016, large-scale archaeological excavations will be conducted in conjunction with the establishment of a new European highway route through the region of Arendal along the southern coast of Norway. 34 Stone Age sites will be excavated, many of which are evenly allocated within a timeframe of 9000-2350 BC and suggests short-term exploitation. The excavated material will thus provide a unique opportunity in the study of not only the long lines of history, but also the disruptions of these.


The research-project ”Trends and Breaks in Stone Age History” will focus on the shifting perceptions of the Stone Age world such as it is portrayed through material studies, settlement organization and the changing landscape. The aim of the project is to highlight the dynamic relationship between the cultural, natural and technological forces through the archaeological material of the Stone Age.


The project will further be affixed to the overall study of “Landscape – rapid changes. Habitation and environments during 12 000 years” - a prioritized area of research at The Museum of Cultural History (MCH), which in turn will arrange lectures and seminars about relevant issues. The end result will be an anthology in English with a planned publication in 2017.

Published Feb. 27, 2015 10:35 AM - Last modified Feb. 27, 2015 10:35 AM