Lithics of the Bronze Age – materials, types, contexts and technologies

The Bronze Age has often been regarded as a period when metal played a significant role in social and economic life across the Nordic region. On the other hand there is great regional diversity—among other things connected to the uneven distribution of natural resources—which earlier resulted in major discussions on the nature of the Bronze Age society. Different geographic scopes points towards a much more multi-scaled society with a number of contrasting diversities on the material level as well as in social and economic relations. On the other hand the lithic material, although sparse, is in fact the common denominator across the region, though with variation of raw materials, types and contexts. A more thorough understanding of the use of lithic material and its use in the Bronze Age, will therefore give us better and more understanding of the society and its dynamics.

Therefore this session aims at exploring the avenues of lithic use during the Bronze Age, as there is a great need to broaden our understanding of the period beyond metals, rock art and settlements. For a long time it has been acknowledged that lithic material is present in Bronze Age contexts, though there has been little research on the theme. The session therefore aims at major questions such as;

- what kind of lithic types do we find securely dated to the period?

- what types of raw materials are used, including other raw materials such as quartz, quartzite, porphyry etc.?

- what types of lithic technologies are we able to identify, and are there different? technologies connected to different raw materials, or are there regional differences?

- what kind of context do we find lithic material connected to the period?

We explicitly seek to frame these issues by exploring the relation between material culture and resources leading to social and political constellations and how this is framed by environmental differences. What happens when resources and technologies change or are transformed and how is production of lithic artifacts organized from a social and spatial point of view.

The session also welcome papers that addresses these themes from a theoretical point of view and case studies which focus lithic issues related to the Late Neolithic-Bronze age, and Bronze Age-Early Iron Age transitions.


Session organisers

Jan Apel

Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Lund University


Nils Anfinset

University Museum of Bergen, University of Bergen

Published Oct. 10, 2016 9:19 PM - Last modified Oct. 10, 2016 9:22 PM