NBTN-Session at the MESO 2015


THE STUDY OF TECHNOLOGY AS A KEY TO UNDERSTANDING PIONEER MOVEMENTS – A NORTH-WEST EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE

As a socially learned and transmitted system, technology can be considered a fundamental part of any human culture. Thus, the study of technology can provide an understanding of, for example, mobility and social relations during the Mesolithic. The study of blade technologies is instrumental for understanding the Late Palaeolithic/ Early Mesolithic pioneer colonization processes in the Circum-Baltic region, the area that was the last to be freed from the continental glacier after the Ice Age. Yet there has been little consensus among researchers from the different countries about how to classify, analyse, and understand blade assemblages, and the various classification systems have been largely incompatible with each other.

Starting in 2009, the Nordic Blade Technology Network has arranged a series of twelve workshops for researchers and graduate students, with the aim of acquainting the participants with blade assemblages – both old established and newly excavated ones – from most of the Circum-Baltic countries.  In addition, individual researchers and research groups within the Network have carried out their own expeditions to museums and research institutions to add to the corpus of studied assemblages.

The purpose of this research has been to enhance our understanding of pioneer processes, but also, employing the chaîne opératoire approach, to develop a research tool that will make it possible to analyse different blade assemblages as evidence of dynamic processes, using similar parameters, and to allow comparisons across the borders created by national research traditions.

This monographic session will present the results of this research from several geographic and chronological points of view. We invite other researchers to take part and bring their own data and views to bear in generating a comprehensive view of how blade technologies can be analysed, understood, and used as a key to tracking the technological knowledge and the movements of ancient populations across vast Mesolithic landscapes.

PARTICIPANTS

Session organisers (in alphabetical order):

-          Jarmo Kankaanpää, Veikkola, Finland: Chaîne opératoire in Post-Swiderian blade industries

-          Kjel Knutsson, Department Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University, Sweden: The pioneer settlement of Scandinavia and its aftermath: New evidence from western Scandinavia

-          Tuija Rankama, Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies/ Archaeology, University of Helsinki, Finland: Chaîne opératoire in Post-Swiderian blade industries

-          Mikkel Sørensen, The Saxo institute, Department of Archaeology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark: Analysing lithic blade technologies from morphological blade attributes by classification: Experiences and results from the Nordic Blade Technology Network 2009-2015

Other participants:

-          Niko Anttiroiko, Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies/ Archaeology, University of Helsinki, Finland: Sæleneshøgda - a reanalysis of a classical phase II assemblage in northern Norway

-          Inger Marie Berg-Hansen, Culture Historical Museum, University of Oslo, Norway: Social and technological change at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition

-          Hege Damlien, Arkeologisk Museum i Stavanger AMS, University of Stavanger, Norway: The pioneer settlement of Scandinavia and its aftermath: New evidence from western Scandinavia

-          Daniel Groß, Stiftung Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen Schloss Gottorf, Germany: Re-evaluation of Pinnberg 7. A multilayered site in northern Germany

-          Michel Guinard, Department Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University, Sweden:

-          Matilda Kjällquist, Department Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University, Sweden: The pioneer settlement of Scandinavia and its aftermath: New evidence from western Scandinavia

-          Sandra Söderling, Department Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University, Sweden: A Middle Mesolithic refitted tuff and porhyry blade production site in Central Sweden