Flint working is the oldest known craft in the world. Moreover, it is a skill that has to be acquired and which cannot be exercised successfully without a certain amount of knowledge, experience and ability (motor as well as mental, i.e. know-how). Advanced lithic studies operate accordingly within the field of cognitive archaeology. The approach employed emphasises a dynamic technological analysis of primary production sequences (based on experimental flint knapping and refitting of inventories), as well as of schéma and chaîne opératoires, complexity and completeness of assemblages, technological skills and degrees of specialization in tool production. Sourcing and provenance analysis provide a basis for discussing the acquisition of lithic raw material in relation to other socioeconomic activities, such as scheduling, control and management of resources, as well as mobility patterns and communication networks. My current research spans from “Craft’s apprenticeship and transmission of knowledge in Bronze Age flintworking” to “Heat treatment of chert as a cultural marker in the early mesolithic of Southwest Germany”. Lithic technology is a key-element in all projects related to the study of prehistoric hunter-gatherers and will remain so in my future research.
One of my primary research interests relates to the question of how late glacial and early postglacial hunter-gatherer groups moved into frontier areas and coped with more or less rapid environmental changes. This entails perspectives on origins, colonization and migration; mobility; socio-economic organization of technology and settlement; subsistence economic adaptations and land use; various spatiotemporal issues; as well as the methodological approach. My latest research has focused on the need for a reliable correlation of the relative archaeological and absolute geochronological frameworks for the late glacial and earliest postglacial, and on the question of the timing and nature of colonization in relation to the environmental preconditions in Southern Scandinavia.
Reindeer represents a valuable prey species for human hunters in subarctic and arctic biotopes and probably was a key resource for the human colonization of the Baltic and Scandinavian area following the retreat of the Fennoscandian glacier during the Late Glacial. Previous studies of the classic Hamburgian and Ahrensburgian fauna inventories from Meiendorf, Poggenwisch and Stellmoor have addressed these aspects by way of traditional archaeozoological (B. Bratlund) or ethnoarchaeological (B. Grønnow) approaches. A current research project headed by researchers from ZBSA involves modern archaeochemistry and archaeogenetic analyses to address "Late Glacial reindeer migrations in Northwest Europe" (in collaboration with Prof. Dr. T.D. Price, University of Wisconsin, and others). Another project focuses on the reindeer as a supplier of raw material for artefact production (in collaboration with Dr. Eva David, and others). This project is entitled: "Defining the Ahrensburgian. Contributions from a technological study of reindeer antler artefacts". The Late Glacial reindeer antler clubs and mattocks in question have often been associated with the classic Ahrensburgian culture. However, the spatio-temporal distribution of these artefacts (also known as Lyngby-axes) is somewhat different from that of Ahrensburgian lithic inventories and may likely correspond to that of the Tanged Point complex sensu lato. Based on a re-examination of the Lyngby-axes from Stellmoor and other northeuropean sites this pilot study will attempt to answer questions pertaining to the socio-cultural importance of these implements.
During the rescue excavation in 2001 of an Iron Age village at Hammelev in Southern Jutland, Danish archaeologists unexpectedly uncovered a well-preserved ochre grave and various settlement remains from the Early Mesolithic. The ochre grave contained the cremated remains of an adult individual accompanied by unburned grave goods belonging to the Maglemose culture. Radiocarbon analysis confirms an age of approximately 8000 cal BC. From this period human remains, with or without a burial context, are very rare, and cremation graves even more so. Previously, this was thought to be a simple reflection of the fact that these people were highly mobile hunter-gatherers with little or no need for complex burial practices. Accordingly, this is a truly unique find with far-reaching interpretational implications concerning both the living and the dead in the Early Mesolithic of Northern Europe.
|2011||Transfer of habilitation to the University of Kiel. Venia legendi in Prehistory (Ur- und Frühgeschichte)|
|2010||Habilitation, University of Tübingen. Thesis: “Transitions and Transformations. From late Pleistocene reindeer hunters to Bronze Age flint knappers”|
|1989||PhD degree in Prehistoric Archaeology from the University of Aarhus. Thesis: “Change and Continuity in a Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherer Society”|
|1984-1989||Doctoral studies at the University of Tübingen and at the University of Aarhus|
|1984||Masters degree in Prehistoric Archaeology, University of Aarhus|
|2014||Professor II, University of Bergen, Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion (part time professorship)|
|2009-||Head of research, “Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology” (ZBSA) in the “Stiftung Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen Schloss Gottorf”|
|2007-2008||Fixed term lecturer, University of Aarhus, Department of Prehistoric Archaeology|
|2002-2007||Senior research fellow, Moesgaard Museum|
|2000-2002||Fixed term lecturer, University of Aarhus, Department of Prehistoric Archaeology. Research fellow at Ferskvandsmuseet and Museet for Thy og Vester Han herred|
|1997-1999||Associate professor, University of Aarhus, Department of Prehistoric Archaeology|
|1996||Research fellow, Museet for Thy og Vester Han herred. Research travels in Germany|
|1992-1995||Assistant professor, University of Aarhus, Department of Prehistoric Archaeology|
|1990-1992||Alexander von Humboldt research fellow, University of Tübingen, Institut für Urgeschichte|
|2009-||President of the UISPP Commission for "The Final Palaeolithic of Northern Eurasia / Le Paléolithique Final de l'Eurasie du Nord"|
|1998-2009||Founding member and secretary of the UISPP Commission XXXII: "Final Palaeolithic of the Great European Plain / Paléolithique final de la Grande Plaine européenne"|
|1992-2003||Founding member and secretary of the INQUA working group on "The Archaeology of the Pleistocene-Holocene Transition"; 1999-2003 also secretary of the INQUA Commission on "Human Evolution and Paleoecology"|
|1999-2003||Secretary of the Danish Alexander von Humboldt Club|
|2004-2007||The Danish Research Council for the Humanities kindly financed the project: “Production strategies in Bronze Age flintworking – the decline and fall of a master craft”. Grant no. 25-03-0520.|
|1992-1995||The Danish Research Council for the Humanities kindly financed the project: “Patterns of ethnogeographic variability in late Pleistocene and early Holocene Central and North Europe”. Grant no. 15-8654.|
|1990-1992||The Alexander von Humboldt Research Foundation kindly financed the project: “Räumliche Variabilität der urgeschichtlichen Jäger- und Sammlergemeinschaften im spätglazialen und frühpostglazialen Mittel- und Nordeuropa”. Grant no. IV 1 701-2.|
A complete list of publications as well as downloads, description of edited volumes, etc., may be found at HTTP://WWW.PALAEOLITHIC.DK/BOOKS