DIVERSITY OF MESOLITHIC VEDBAEK

Article (PDF Available)inActa Archaeologica 86(1):7-13 · December 2015with 729 Reads
DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0390.2015.12048.x
TAGUNGEN DES
LANDESMUSEUMS FÜR
VORGESCHICHTE HALLE
ISBN 978-3-944507-43-9
ISSN 1867-4402 13/I 13/I 2016 TAGUNGEN DES LANDESMUSEUMS FÜR VORGESCHICHTE HALLE
Edited by Judith M. Grünberg, Bernhard Gramsch,
Lars Larsson, Jörg Orschiedt and Harald Meller
Mesolithic burials – Rites, symbols and social
organisation of early postglacial communities
Mesolithische Bestattungen – Riten, Symbole und soziale
Organisation früher postglazialer Gemeinschaften
International Conference
Halle (Saale), Germany, 18th–21st September 2o13
Mesolithic burials – Rites, symbols and
social organisation of early postglacial communities
Tagungen des
Landesmuseums für Vorgeschichte Halle
Band 13/I | 2016
Mesolithic burials –
Rites, symbols and social organisation
of early postglacial communities
Mesolithische Bestattungen –
Riten, Symbole und soziale Organisation
früher postglazialer Gemeinschaften
International Conference
Halle (Saale), Germany, 18th–21st September 2o13
Internationale Konferenz
Halle (Saale), Deutschland, 18.–21. September 2o13
landesmuseum für vorgeschichte
Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt
Edited by
Judith M. Grünberg,
Bernhard Gramsch,
Lars Larsson,
Jörg Orschiedt
and Harald Meller
Halle (Saale)
2o16
Tagungen des
Landesmuseums für Vorgeschichte Halle
Band 13/I | 2016
Mesolithic burials –
Rites, symbols and social organisation of
early postglacial communities
Mesolithische Bestattungen –
Riten, Symbole und soziale Organisation
früher postglazialer Gemeinschaften
International Conference
Halle (Saale), Germany, 18th–21st September 2o13
Internationale Konferenz
Halle (Saale), Deutschland, 18.–21. September 2o13
Bibl iografische Infor mation der Deutschen Nationa lbibliothek
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issn 2194-9441
isbn 978-3-9445o7-43-9
Koordination Jud ith M. Grü nberg • Ha lle (Saale)
Wissenschaftliche Redaktion Judith M. Grünberg • Halle (Saale), Bernhard Gramsch • Potsdam
Englisches Lektorat A lison Wilson Cambridge, UK
Deutsche Zusammenfassungen der
Beiträge von Nicht-Mut tersprachlern Jud ith M. Gr ünberg • Ha lle (Saa le), Bernha rd Gram sch • Pots dam
Übersetzung englischer Texte (22, 27) Ali son Wi lson, Gerda T. Mamot t • beide Cambridge, UK
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Inhalt / Contents
Band I
11 Preface of the editors
13 Judith M. Grünberg
Mesolithic burials – Rites, symbols and social organisation of early postglacial communities
25 Christopher Meiklejohn, Jeff Babb and Weldon Hiebert
A chrono-geographic look at Mesolithic burials: an initial study
Eine chronologisch-geographische Sicht auf mesolithische Bestattungen: Eine erste Studie
47 Erik Brinch Petersen
Afterlife in the Danish Mesolithic – the creation, use and discarding of »Loose Human Bones«
Nachleben im Mesolithikum Dänemarks – Entstehung, Nutzung und Wegwerfen
»loser menschlicher Knochen«
63 Søren A. Sørensen
Loose human bones from the Danish Mesolithic
Lose menschliche Knochen aus dem Dänischen Mesolithikum
73 Berit V. Eriksen and Hans Chr. H. Andersen
Hammelev. An Early Mesolithic cremation grave from Southern Jutland, Denmark
Hammelev. Eine frühmesolithische Brandbestattung aus Südjütland, Dänemark
81 Esben Kannegaard
Late Mesolithic ochre graves at Nederst, Denmark: ochre rituals and customs of personal adornment
Spätmesolithische Ockergräber bei Nederst, Dänemark: Ockerrituale und Bräuche des persönlichen Schmucks
95 Ole Lass Jensen
Double burials and cremations from the Late Mesolithic site of Nivå 1o, Eastern Denmark
Doppel- und Brandbestattungen vom spätmesolithischen Fundplatz Nivå 1o, Ostdänemark
109 Peter Vang Petersen
Papooses in the Mesolithic? A reinterpretation of tooth and snail shell ornaments found in grave 8
at Bøgebakken and other Mesolithic burials
»Papooses« im Mesolithikum? Eine Neuinterpretation von Verzierungen mit Zähnen und Schneckengehäusen,
gefunden im Grab 8 bei Bøgebakken und in anderen mesolithischen Bestattungen
125 Karl-Göran Sjögren and Torbjörn Ahlström
Early Mesolithic burials from Bohuslän, western Sweden
Frühmesolithische Gräber von Bohuslän, Westschweden
145 Sara Gummesson and Fredrik Molin
The Mesolithic cemetery at Strandvägen, Motala, in eastern central Sweden
Das mesolithische Gräberfeld bei Strandvägen, Motala, im östlichen Mittelschweden
161 Fredrik Hallgren and Elin Fornander
Skulls on stakes and skulls in water. Mesolithic mortuary rituals at Kanaljorden, Motala, Sweden 7ooo BP
Schädel auf Pfählen und Schädel im Wasser. Mesolithische Bestattungsriten bei Kanaljorden, Motala,
Schweden 7ooo BP
175 Lars Larsson
Some aspects of mortuary practices at the Late Mesolithic cemeteries at Skateholm, southernmost Sweden
Einige Aspekte der Bestattungssitten auf den spätmesolithischen Friedhöfen bei Skateholm, im südlichsten
Teil Schwedens
185 Marja Ahola
Re-thinking the Stone Age burial ground of Jönsas, Southern Finland
Überdenken des steinzeitlichen Gräberfeldes von Jönsas, Südfinnland
193 Adomas Butrimas
Biržulis lake islands Donkalnis and Spiginas Mesolithic cemeteries (West Lithuania)
Mesolithische Gräberfelder auf den Inseln Donkalnis und Spiginas im Biržulis See (Westlitauen)
219 Rimantas Jankauskas, Žydru¯ne˙ Miliauskiene˙ and Mantas Daubaras
Skeletal markers of activities and social status in Lithuanian and Latvian Mesolithic-Neolithic population
Markierungen von Tätigkeiten am Skelett und sozialer Status in der mesolithisch-neolithischen Bevölkerung
Litauens und Lettlands
225 Ilga Zagorska
Mesolithic burial traditions in Latvia. A case study from Zvejnieki burial ground
Mesolithische Bestattungstraditionen in Lettland. Eine Fallstudie vom Gräberfeld Zvejnieki
241 Harald Lübke, Ute Brinker, John Meadows, Valdis Be¯rzin¸š and Ilga Zagorska
New research on the human burials of Rin
n
ukalns, Latvia
Neue Forschung an den menschlichen Bestattungen von Rin
n
ukalns, Lettland
257 Judith M. Grünberg
The Mesolithic burials of the Middle Elbe-Saale region
Die mesolithischen Bestattungen im Mittelelbe-Saale-Gebiet
291 Judith M. Grünberg, Heribert A. Graetsch, Karl-Uwe Heußner and Karla Schneider
Analyses of Mesolithic grave goods from upright seated individuals in Central Germany
Analysen der mesolithischen Grabbeigaben von den aufrecht sitzenden Individuen in Mitteldeutschland
329 Marcus Stecher, Judith M. Grünberg and Kurt W. Alt
Bioarchaeology of the Mesolithic individuals from Bottendorf (Thuringia, Germany)
Bioarchäologie der mesolithischen Individuen von Bottendorf (Thüringen, Deutschland)
345 Mario Küßner and Torsten Schunke
A Mesolithic cremation burial and a hazelnut roasting site in Coswig, Wittenberg District, Central Germany
Eine mesolithische Brandbestattung und ein Haselnussröstplatz in Coswig, Lkr. Wittenberg, Mitteldeutschland
359 Mario Küßner
Mesolithic burials and loose human bones on the northern edge of the Thuringian mountains in Central
Germany
Mesolithische Bestattungen und einzelne menschliche Knochen am Nordrand der Thüringer Gebirge
in Mitteldeutschland
373 Jörg Orschiedt and Claus-Joachim Kind
Mesolithic human remains from Southern Germany
Mesolithische Menschenreste aus Süddeutschland
385 Bernhard Gramsch
The Mesolithic burials of North-Eastern Germany – synopsis and new aspects
Die mesolithischen Gräber im Nordosten Deutschlands – Synopsis und neue Aspekte
401 Maha Ismail-Weber
A burial on the edge of the Oderbruch
Eine Bestattung am Rand des Oderbruchs
419 Bettina Jungklaus, Andreas Kotula and Thomas Terberger
New investigations into the Mesolithic burial of Groß Fredenwalde, Brandenburg – first results
Neue Untersuchungen am mesolithischen Grab von Groß Fredenwalde, Brandenburg – erste Resultate
435 Stefan Pratsch
The old woman from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Die alte Frau aus Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Band II
439 Zofia Sulgostowska
New data concerning Mesolithic burials in Polish territory
Neue Daten zu mesolithischen Bestattungen auf dem Gebiet Polens
457 Łukasz Maurycy Stanaszek and Hanna Man´kowska-Pliszka
A new osteological analysis of Janisławice Man
Eine neue osteologische Analyse des Mannes von Janisławice
465 Witold Gumin´ski and Karolina Bugajska
Exception as a rule. Unusual Mesolithic cemetery and other graves at Dudka and Szczepanki,
Masuria, NE-Poland
Die Ausnahme als Regel. Ungewöhnlicher mesolithischer Friedhof und andere Gräber bei Dudka und
Szczepanki, Masuren, NO-Polen
511 Karolina Bugajska and Witold Gumin´ski
How many steps to heaven? Loose human bones and secondary burials at Dudka and Szczepanki,
the Stone Age foragers’ sites in Masuria, NE-Poland
Wie viele Stufen zum Himmel? Einzelne menschliche Knochen und Sekundärbestattungen bei Dudka und
Szczepanki, den steinzeitlichen Wildbeuterfundstellen in Masuren, NO-Polen
545 Emily Hellewell and Nicky Milner
Analyses of the placement of disarticulated human remains in Stone Age shell middens in Europe
Analysen zur Platzierung von disartikulierten menschlichen Resten in steinzeitlichen Molluskenhaufen
in Europa
555 Rick J. Schulting
Holes in the world: the use of caves for burial in the Mesolithic
Löcher in der Welt: Die Nutzung von Höhlen für Bestattungen im Mesolithikum
569 Marcel J.L.Th. Niekus, Patrick H.J.I. Ploegaert, Jørn T. Zeiler and Liesbeth Smits
A small Middle Mesolithic cemetery with cremation burials from Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Ein kleiner mittelmesolithischer Friedhof mit Brandbestattungen von Rotterdam, Niederlande
593 Leendert Louwe Kooijmans, Tom Hamburg and Liesbeth Smits
Burial and non-burial at Late Mesolithic Hardinxveld (NL)
Bestattung und Nicht-Bestattung beim spätmesolithischen Hardinxveld (NL)
609 Éva David
The bone pins from Téviec (Morbihan, France) illuminate Mesolithic social organisation
Knochenpfrieme aus Téviec (Morbihan, Frankreich) beleuchten die soziale Organisation im Mesolithikum
629 Rita Peyroteo Stjerna
Roots of death: origins of human burial and the research on Early Holocene mortuary practices in the
Iberian Peninsula
Wurzeln des Todes: Ursprünge der menschlichen Bestattung und die Erforschung frühholozäner Bestattungs-
sitten auf der Iberischen Halbinsel
645 Mary Jackes and David Lubell
Muge Mesolithic burials, a synthesis on mortuary archaeology
Die mesolithischen Bestattungen von Muge, eine Synthese zur Gräberarchäologie
673 Olívia Figueiredo, Cláudia Umbelino and Nuno Bicho
Mortuary variability at Moita do Sebastião & Cabeço da Amoreira (Muge, central Portugal)
Variabilität in den Bestattungen bei Moita do Sebastião & Cabeço da Amoreira (Muge, Mittelportugal)
683 Cláudia Umbelino, Célia Gonçalves, Olívia Figueiredo, Telmo Pereira, João Cascalheira, João Marreiros
and Nuno Bicho
Human burials in the Mesolithic of Muge and the origins of social differentiation: the case of Cabeço da
Amoreira, Portugal
Menschliche Bestattungen im Mesolithikum von Muge und die Ursprünge der sozialen Differenzierung:
Der Fall vom Cabeço da Amoreira, Portugal
693 Pablo Arias
Grave goods in the Mesolithic of southern Europe: an overview
Grabbeigaben im Mesolithikum Südeuropas: Ein Überblick
705 Xavier Terradas, Juan F. Gibaja, Maria Eulàlia Subirà, F. Javier Santos, Lidia Agulló, Isabel Gómez-Martínez,
Florence Allièse, Javier Fernández-López de Pablo, Eva Fernández, Cristina Gamba, Eduardo Arroyo and
José Aparicio
The Mesolithic cemetery of El Collado. State of the art and new results
Der mesolithische Friedhof von El Collado. Neuester Stand und neue Resultate
719 Patrice Courtaud, Hans C. Petersen, Aurélie Zemour, Franck Leandri and Joseph Cesari
The Mesolithic burial of Campu Stefanu (Corsica, France)
Das mesolithische Grab von Campu Stefanu (Korsika, Frankreich)
733 Rita T. Melis and Margherita Mussi
Mesolithic burials at S’Omu e S’Orku (SOMK) on the south-western coast of Sardinia
Die mesolithischen Bestattungen bei S’Omu e S’Orku (SOMK) an der südwestlichen Küste von Sardinien
741 Federica Fontana, Antonio Guerreschi, Stefano Bertola, François Briois and Sara Ziggiotti
The Castelnovian burial of Mondeval de Sora (San Vito di Cadore, Belluno, Italy): evidence for changes in
the social organisation of Late Mesolithic hunter-gatherers in north-eastern Italy
Das Castelnovien Grab von Mondeval de Sora (San Vito di Cadore, Belluno, Italien): Belege für Änderungen
in der sozialen Organisation bei spätmesolithischen Jäger-Sammlern im nordöstlichen Italien
757 Adina Boroneant¸ and Clive Bonsall
The Icoana burials in context
Die Icoana-Bestattungen im Kontext
781 Kristiina Mannermaa
Good to eat and good to think? Evidence of the consumption of ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) and white-tailed
eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) in the Late Mesolithic at Yuzhniy Oleniy Ostrov, NW Russia
Gut zu essen und gut zu denken? Hinweise auf den Verzehr von Fischadlern (Pandion haliaetus) und Seeadlern
(Haliaeetus albicilla) im Spätmesolithikum auf der südlichen Hirschinsel [Olenij Ostrov], NW Russland
793 Svetlana V. Oshibkina
Funeral rituals of the population of the Eastern Lake Onega region (based on materials from Popovo and
Peschanitsa cemeteries)
Bestattungsriten der Bevölkerung in der Region am östlichen Onega-See (nach dem Material der Friedhöfe
von Popovo und Peschanitsa)
809 Jörg Orschiedt
Bodies, bits and pieces II: the Late Palaeolithic and Early Mesolithic burial practices in Europe
Körper und Einzelteile II: Bestattungspraktiken im Spätpaläolithikum und Frühmesolithikum Europas
827 Birgit Gehlen
No future? No past? Mesolithic heritage in Neolithic burials
Ohne Zukunft? Ohne Vergangenheit? Mesolithisches Erbe in neolithischen Bestattungen
851 Johan Jelsma
Subsistence and status at Port au Choix, Newfoundland, Canada: Maritime Archaic Indian
mortuary practices and social structure
Ernährung und Status bei Port au Choix, Neufundland, Kanada: Bestattungssitten und Sozialstrukturen
der Indianer des maritimen Archaikums
865 Glen H. Doran and Geoffrey P. Thomas
Windover: an overview
Windover: Ein Überblick
885 Ruth Struwe
Ethnological records of Australia’s sub-recent indigenes – their treatment of corpses before final disposal
Über die Totenbehandlung vor einer abschließenden Beisetzung nach ethnologischen Quellen zu subrezenten
Ureinwohnern Australiens
903 Lars Larsson
Final comments
909 Programme of the international conference on »Mesolithic burials – Rites, symbols and social organisation
of early postglacial communities«, Halle (Saale), 18th–21st September 2013
Tagu ng en des L and es mu seu ms für Vo rg es chi ch Te haLL e • Ban d 13 • 2016
Afterlife in the Danish Mesolithic – the creation,
use and discarding of »Loose Human Bones«
Erik Brinch Petersen
Summary
The present paper deals with the problem of »Loose Human
Bones« from Danish Mesolithic sites. Although recognised
since the earliest investigations, the problem has so far not
received a systematic analysis. About 1oo sites with more
than 4oo individual LHB are known today, and the interpreta-
tion varies from destroyed burials to cannibalism.
According to a recent survey, skull bones dominate among
the LHB followed by long bones, whereas ribs are the default.
Interpretation must be based on the nature of the bone itself,
single or multiple, complete or with cut marks and marrow
broken, charred or uncharred, as well as the on-site place of
deposition, such as the inside of a housing structure, on dry
land or in the wet area in front of the site.
One part of the LHB can be linked with the dynamic nature
of the mode of cremation, and teeth and smoked fingers
can be used for adornments or as amulets, while other bone
remains could represent ancestors. Headhunting and the
taking of trophies are also possible, as is cannibalism. The
final and major problem remains though as to how we can
distinguish between a friendly and a hostile act, between vio-
lence and veneration?
Zusammenfassung
Nachleben im Mesolithikum Dänemarks – Entstehung,
Nutzung und Wegwerfen »loser menschlicher Knochen«
Dieser Beitrag beschäftigt sich mit dem Problem der »einzel-
nen menschlichen Knochen« an mesolithischen Fundstellen
in Dänemark. Obwohl seit den frühesten Untersuchungen
erkannt, ist dieses Problem bislang nicht systematisch ana-
lysiert worden. Ungefähr 1oo Fundstellen mit mehr als 4oo
»losen menschlichen Knochen« sind bis heute bekannt und die
Interpretation reicht von gestörten Bestattungen bis Kanniba-
lismus.
Nach einer kürzlich durchgeführten Studie dominieren
Schädelknochen unter diesen »losen menschlichen Knochen«,
gefolgt von Langknochen, während Rippen fast vollständig
fehlen. Eine Interpretation muss auf der Natur der Knochen
selbst aufbauen: einzeln oder zu mehreren, vollständig oder
mit Schnittspuren und wegen des Marks zerbrochen, ange-
brannt oder nicht gebrannt sowie hinsichtlich ihrer genauen
Lage auf der Fundstelle, z. B. in einer Behausungsstruktur, auf
trockenem Land oder in einem feuchten Milieu vor dem Fund-
platz.
Ein Teil der »losen menschlichen Knochen« kann mit der
dynamischen Natur der Art der Einäscherung in Verbindung
gebracht werden: Zähne und geräucherte Finger können als
Verzierung oder Amulett verwendet werden, während andere
Knochenreste von Vorfahren stammen könnten. Kopfjagd
und das Trophäennehmen sind ebenso möglich wie Kanni-
balismus. Als letztes und größeres Problem bleibt jedoch, wie
wir zwischen freundlichen und feindlichen Handlungen, zwi-
schen Gewalt und Verehrung unterscheiden können?
Preamble
A rephrasing of the geological dictum by G. Lyell (183o
1832) must read something like the following: »The Princi-
ples of human Anthropology: being an attempt to explain
former behaviour by reference to behaviour now in opera-
tion«. Modern behaviour is an ongoing process, which we
ought to follow through to its fossilisation in order to com-
pare with the fossil record of the past. It is moreover my con-
tention, that any modern human act against other humans
be it friendly or hostile, was also active in the past, and
therefore the major obstacle now is to recognise, and not just
claim, similar acts from the prehistoric record.
The category of LHB can be followed from the oldest
human sites onwards, and whether the reason for its pres-
ence remains the same is an open question, but somehow
the LHB takes on the role of an archetype by representing
the ultimate Memento Mori. Vanitas still-life paintings from
the 17th century and religious relics illustrate the present
and near-present use of LHB, and it is interesting to note that
skulls and long bones are also used here to communicate the
message (Fig. 1).
Definition
Loose Human Bone is a technical term for a single or several
human bones that are not part of a burial. The dualism of
LHB versus burials has for long been a practical separation
of prehistoric human remains, but actually there is also a
third category, namely that of a full, or nearly full, skeleton
with no evidence for burial, as for example a drowned per-
Tagu ng en des L and es mu seu ms für Vo rg es chi ch Te haLL e • Ban d 13 • 2016
48 ERIK BRINCH PETERSEN
son. The term LHB hides or encompasses a number of differ-
ent causes and interpretations, some of which are related to
the dynamic nature of burial modes, while others are con-
nected with violence and even with cannibalism.
More problems
The appearance of Loose Human Bones on a Mesolithic site
has since the first investigations been an enigma (Steen-
strup et al. 2oo2), and over the years the intra-site presence
of such human bones has meticulously been noted by zool-
ogists when analysing the faunal material from Mesolithic
sites (Winge 1895; 19o3; 19o4; 1914; 1919; Degerbøl 1927;
1928; 1942; 1943; Møhl 1971; Aaris-Sørensen 1976; Bratlund
1993; Richter/Noe-Nygaard 2oo3; Bødker Enghoff 2o11;
Trolle 2o13). Anthropologists have also described this mate-
rial (Nielsen 19o6; 1911; 1921; Arnborg 1925; Bennike 1997;
2oo7). An important step forward was taken by Newell et
al. (1979), and in 2oo6 I made my first contribution to the
topic (Brinch Petersen 2oo6). Today, LHB are known from
more than 1oo sites in Denmark with some 4oo examples,
and here the coastal sites from the Middle and Late Meso-
lithic dominate, with only a few from the inland Maglemose.
A recent survey of submerged Mesolithic sites by J. Skaarup
(2oo4) has listed a number of LHB, and the two most recent
site monographs by S.H. Andersen (2oo9; 2o13) have like-
wise contributed to the growing list of LHB.
A first and major problem is the chronological reliability
of the LHB. Most Maglemose examples come from peat cov-
ered bog sites and are probably reliable, whereas the ones
from Kongemose and Ertebølle are from open coastal sites
or »køkkenmøddings«, and these are most often topped by a
Neolithic material. Therefore, whether the bones in question
come from a Mesolithic or a Neolithic horizon is difficult
to prove, and only a direct radiocarbon dating can give the
answer. Accordingly, at the moment we are lacking several
hundred single dates, which together with the relevant iso-
topic analyses, d13C and d15N, and even aDNA investigations,
could provide us with a unique Mesolithic database.
A second problem relates to the exact provenance data, or
rather to the lack of it. Prior to 1893 no intra-site locations for
Fig. 1 Vanitas Still-Life, c. 16oo
(artist unknown).
                      
49AFTERLIFE IN THE DANISH MESOLITHIC – THE CRE ATION, USE AND DISCARDING OF »LOOSE HUMAN BONE
the LHB are known, but from then on the use of the square
metre system for excavation and recording has prevailed at
most excavations. Apart from the køkkenmøddings, lake
and coastal sites can be separated into two parts, a dry area
with habitation and a wet part with refuse, whereas dwelling
structures have only been identified after the 195os. How-
ever, the identification of a dwelling structure on a coastal
site or a køkkenmødding still remains problematic. Never-
theless, the tripartite site location: inside a housing struc-
ture, in the dry part of the site or in the wet part, is a further
step towards better provenance information.
According to a recent survey (Albrechtsen 2o11) skull
fragments and fragments of long bones are the most numer-
ous ones. Fragments of vertebrae, pelvic bones and rib cages
are rare and so are also the patellae. Skulls and long bones
are nearly always found as fragments and not as intact ele-
ments. The numeric difference among the identified bones
is to some degree due to ease of identification, as it is clearly
much easier to pick out a human skull fragment than a rib
fragment from among a faunal sample.
Unfortunately, very few LHB, if any have been identified
in the field during the excavation proper, and therefore there
is also a lack of detailed information concerning the imme-
diate context of the bone in question (Degerbøl 1942). None
of the LHB are found in burials and nearly all come from
dwelling sites with or without burials. There are a few cases
though from non-site contexts like a bog, but as they have
been recovered by chance, we cannot tell whether this is a
genuine category or merely one lacking in information.
Burials
Inhumations and cremations are the two burial modes from
Denmark, with more inhumations than cremations, but the
latter, from the middle Maglemose, represent so far the old-
est known burial. Inhumations are known from the younger
Maglemose, and both continue parallel to the end of the
Mesolithic. For some reasons the major part of both modes
belongs to a period around 5ooo cal BC and they all come
from a coastal environment. Only the Maglemose burials,
the cremation from Hammelev (cf. Eriksen/Andersen in the
present volume) and the inhumations from Holmegård (Fi-
scher et al. 2oo7), represent inland cases. Both types of bur
ials
are placed in a grave pit, the only exception is the male inhu-
mation from Ertebølle (Neergaard 19oo) together with two
infants from the same site. All three were apparently lying on
a surface of the midden, and a similar infant burial has also
been identified at the køkkenmødding of Nederst (Kanne-
gaard Nielsen 1993). – In contrast to the Polish evidence from
Dudka (cf. Gumin´ski/Bugajska in the present volume) Loose
Human Bones have so far not been found in a Danish burial.
Fig. 2 Map of t he sites to be mentioned.
200 km
Tagu ng en des L and es mu seu ms für Vo rg es chi ch Te haLL e • Ban d 13 • 2016
50 ERIK BRINCH PETERSEN
Inhumations and cremations are all onsite phenomena,
and so far there is only a single case of an isolated burial,
sépulture isolée as defined by Bosset and Valentin (2o13),
namely the above-mentioned cremation from Hammelev.
Most recently M. Ravn (2o1o) has suggested, that bog finds
like Koelbjerg, representing most probably an entire corpse
(Bröste/Fischer-Møller 1943; Bröste/Jørgensen 1956; Ben-
nike 1986; Tauber 1986; Thrane 1986), should be interpreted
Fig. 3 Vedbæk. Grave H B:1o (left) and 11 (right)
during excavation in 1975, a first view.
Fig. 4 Vedbæk. Grave H B:1o (left) and 11 (right)
during excavation in 1975, a second view.
as a genuine bog burial, and therefore also as an isolated one.
As peat cuttings and the like have recovered such bog finds
accidentally, it remains difficult to distinguish between a
buried and a drowned person, but the only known wet bur-
ial at Møllegabet II (Skaarup/Grøn 2oo4) was situated right
in front of the dwelling site.
One burial has been published from the area of Korsør
Nor (Fig. 2), but apparently there were more, and some of the
                      
51AF TERLIFE IN THE DANISH MESOLITHIC – THE CREATION, USE AND DISCARDING OF »LOOSE HUMAN BONES«
Fig. 5 Mullerup 19oo–197o. Site plan with three LHB.
Fig. 6 Young Andam an girl carry ing the skull of her dead sister.
seven other individuals identified here could represent other
transgressed and washed out burials (Norling-Christensen/
Bröste 1945; Bennike 1997; Schilling 1997). Such remains
are therefore left out of the group of LHB. Also Tybrind Vig
represents a similar situation with some washed out burials
(Andersen 2o13; Trolle 2o13). However, we cannot assume
a priori that every one of these human bones comes from a
burial, as LHB and burials can be found at the same site.
According to the information from Nivå 1o (cf. Jensen
in the present volume) the burials there are found next to
the dwelling structures, and this was probably also the case
at Vedbæk: Henriksholm-Bøgebakken (Albrethsen/Brinch
Petersen 1977; Brinch Petersen 2o15). Some infant burials
are even located inside a housing structure like Vedbæk:
Gøngehusvej 7 (Brinch Petersen et al. 1993). Inhumations
are normally single, though double and triple ones includ-
ing one with eight persons do appear (Brinch Petersen 1988),
but the single burial is the most common. All of the multiple
ones represent a unique event, and there are no sequential
interments in the same grave pit. A disturbance of an older
burial by a younger one is a rare phenomenon despite the
fact, that surface markings like headstones or wooden posts
normally are absent; there was, however, one case of disturb-
ance from Henriksholm-Bøgebakken between graves 6 and
15 (Albrethsen/Brinch Petersen 1977).
The buried individuals were all dressed or wrapped
before burial and therefore the exhumation of a complete
corpse, HB:11 (Fig. 3–4) must have taken place soon after
the interment (Albrethsen/Brinch Petersen 1977), whereas
the removal of individual bones, Nivå 1o (cf. Jensen in the
present volume), or the lifting of an entire limb, Skateholm
I:28 (Fahlander 2oo8; 2o1o), presupposes a longer period of
decay. At Nivå 1o the exhumed bones could have been trans-
ferred from the burial to the adjacent pit dwelling only a few
metres away. A similar active use of LHB comes from the
earlier Maglemose site of Mullerup, Sarauw’s excavation
(19o3), where the three human bones, two from an adult and
one from a child, (Fig. 5), were deposited at the rear end of
the posited hut structure (Toft 2oo9). And with no burials
nearby these LHB must have been brought on to the site, but
were probably a bit more discrete than in the Andaman case
(Fig. 6) described by A.R. Radcliffe-Brown in 1922.
The cremations comprise between one and five persons
and here too the burial is a unique event. Sometimes the
deceased has been placed on the pyre with ochreous and deco-
rated dresses as at Gøngehusvej 7:N (Brinch Petersen/Meikle-
john 2oo3). Handling leading up to the cremation as well as
after the cremation can apparently both produce LHB. Initial
scaffolding might also have been the cause, as could the dis-
membering of the corpse to be cremated. For the cremation of
Gøngehusvej 7:N we have argued for a previous scaffolding of
the five corpses (Brinch Petersen/Meiklejohn 2oo3). This was
based upon the alleged difference between cremated fresh
and dry bones (Guillon 1986; Buikstra/Swegle 1989; Schut-
kowski 1991; Mays 1998; Valentin/Le Goff 1998), but such an
interpretation has recently been refuted by Gonçalves et al.
(2o11) based upon modern studies. Therefore, this is perhaps
no longer the way to detect the scaffolding method.
Although we could only identify a single cut mark among
the charred remains from Gøngehusvej 7:N other cremations
show more cut marks (Cauwe 2oo1; Toussaint et al. 2o11).
A dismembering of the corpse before cremation would also
produce some uncharred LHB. After the cremation the indi-
vidual bones must be collected from the pyre and deposited
in the burial pit. Mesolithic cremations show remains of the
entire skeleton, though never the complete one, but there are
always some skull bones, thus respecting the spirit and the
individuality of the deceased (Okumura/Siew 2o13). This
is clearly demonstrated by the skeletal diagram of Gønge-
husvej 7, grave N (Fig. 7), where some of the charred bones
from the pyre never reached their intended burial, but were
Human bone
Presumed hutfloor
Mullerup S
1900–1970


Metres

8
5
4
Tagu ng en des L and es mu seu ms für Vo rg es chi ch Te haLL e • Ban d 13 • 2016
52 ERIK BRINCH PETERSEN
Fig. 7 Vedbæk, Gøngehusvej 7: Grave N. Skeletal diagram of five individuals.
GØ: N
                      
53AFTERLIFE IN THE DANISH MESOLITHIC – THE CREATION, USE AND DISCARDING OF »LOOSE HUMAN BONES«
left behind and deposited with the faunal waste as observed
at Vedbæk, Stationsvej 17–19 (Brinch Petersen 2o15). So far
there is no indication of an active use of loose charred human
bones from the Danish Mesolithic.
In anticipation of cannibalism, see later, it must be under-
lined that so far there is no evidence of a secondary burial
rite like the one at La Chaussée-Tirancourt (Somme) where
the de-fleshed human bones had been deposited in a small
pit (Ducrocq et al. 1996).
Site inauguration
In another publication (Brinch Petersen 2o15) I propose that
at some sites the burial of a single person might be the first
event, a way of using an ancestor to inaugurate a specific
site like Vedbæk Boldbaner or Vænget Nord. This is based
upon an older radiocarbon date of the burial compared to
the other dates, and upon a homogeneous burial infilling
without any remains of the cultural background such as
fragments of lithics, charcoal and cooking stones.
Do we have similar evidence for the LHB? Again there are
two Ertebølle cases pointing in this direction. The first is the
above-mentioned case from Fannerup F where the severed
lower arm was found below the occupation layer. The sec-
ond comes from the site of Agernæs (Richter/Noe-Nygaard
2oo3) where the fragment of a tibia again was found below
the cultural horizon, and also had an earlier 14 C date than
indicated by the other dates and the archaeological material
from the same site.
Human teeth as ornaments
Considering the reported use of animal teeth as personal
ornaments (Brinch Petersen 1979) the similar use of human
teeth is a rare phenomenon in the Danish Mesolithic. Single
human teeth are also found in a surprisingly small numbers
on Mesolithic sites, and the rate of recovery of such teeth
has not increased since the introduction in 1975 of system-
atic wet screening of the back dirt from the excavations.
Perforated human teeth are likewise rare, known from only
three sites of which two are Maglemose ones, Friesack 4,
Brandenburg (Gramsch 2oo1), and Sværdborg I-1943 (Hen-
riksen 1976), and at both sites these perforated human
teeth have simply been left behind. The only example of
the direct use of such pendants is seen at Vedbæk, where
the female in grave HB:19C had been buried with a compli-
cated set of adornments (Fig. 8), of which three premolars,
most likely from one and the same person, constitute a part
Fig. 8 Vedbæk, Henr iksholm-Bøgebakken. Decoration from g rave 19C.
Tagu ng en des L and es mu seu ms für Vo rg es chi ch Te haLL e • Ban d 13 • 2016
54 ERIK BRINCH PETERSEN
(Albrethsen/Brinch Petersen 1977; Brinch Petersen 1979;
2o15). Whether such teeth are used as ancestor veneration
or as a trophy has not yet been established pending an iso-
topic investigation. From the sub-marine site of Møllegabet
I Skaarup (2ooo) has recovered a lower jaw with the front
teeth knocked out.
Hands and fingers as ornaments
Apart from the teeth hands and fingers could be the only
other element of the corpse to be used as decoration or amu-
lets. It must be emphasised though, that there is no direct
evidence for this, but some secondary evidence, all Ertebølle,
points in the direction of using smoked fingers and hands
as amulets just as in the example (Fig. 9) from New Guinea
(Bjerre 1954). The first case is a lower left arm from the mid-
den of Fannerup F (Brinch Petersen 2oo6), where the hand
had been chopped off. The second case is the evidence of a
single finger joint in a pit structure from Havnø (S.H. Ander-
sen, pers. comm.). The third case is from Nivågård, where
Winge (1914) identified some human bones, and here he
was also able to rearticulate two finger joints, found several
metres apart (Fig. 1o).
Fig. 9 New Guinea. Boy adorned with a
smoked hand and some fingers of a dead
relative.
                      
55AFTERLIFE IN THE DANISH MESOLITHIC – THE CREATION, USE AND DISCARDING OF »LOOSE HUMAN BONES«
Fig. 1o Nivågå rd 1912–1914. Excavation plan wit h re-articulation of t wo
finger joi nts.
Human bone
Human tooth
Human metacarpals
re-articulated
Nivaagaard
1912–1914
Metres

8
5
4
Heads, skulls and trophies
Head or skull burials are absent from the Danish material
and so are depositions of both (Boulestin/Gambier 2o12),
but a couple of epistrophei with cut marks bear witness to
the mode of decapitation (Degerbøl 1942). There are, how-
ever, cases where fragments of skulls like the one at Hede-
gård have been recovered from an apparently off-site con-
text (Heinemeier/Rud 1999). The finds having been located
by chance, the reasoning behind such depositions remains
obscure as we lack the proper site information. Coming
from a bog they might even have been part of a »bog bur-
ial« like the female from Koelbjerg (Bröste/Fischer-Møller
1943; Bröste/Jørgensen 1956; Ravn 2o1o) or the remains of
a drowned person perhaps like the individual from Køge
Sønakke (Fischer et al. 2oo7).
The new evidence of skull depositions at Kanaljorden,
Sweden (cf. Hallgren/Fornander in the present volume),
could also be an explanation, although direct proof of such
behaviour is still missing from the Danish area. However,
the Maglemose amber pendant from Sindalgård, Åmosen
(Mathiassen 196o; Toft/Brinch Petersen 2o15) has a unique
illustration (Fig. 11a–b). The back of the pendant shows four
geometrical and standing persons with upright arms with a
fifth floating above while a severed head is being presented
by the last standing figure to the right.
Scalping and violence
Scalping (Hamperl 1967; Murphy et al. 2oo2) is known
from the Danish area in two cases. The first is the well-
known skullcap of a young female from the site of Dyrhol-
men (Degerbøl 1942). The other unpublished case comes
from the site of Ålekistebro, while a third is from Drigge,
Rügen (Terberger 1999; Lidke/Terberger 2oo1). These three
all appeared as skull fragments among the faunal remains,
whereas a fourth scalped person from Skateholm I:33 had
been buried (Ahlström 2oo8). This again underlines the thin
and difficult line between a friendly and a hostile act when
we try to interpret human behaviour from past archaeolog-
ical remains.
Violence (Orschiedt 1999; Peter-Röcher 2oo2; Roksandic´
2oo4; Brinch Petersen 2oo6; Roksandic´ et al. 2oo6; Schult-
ing/Fibiger 2o12) appears as cranial trauma, and there is no
evidence of wounds to the rest of the body (contra Newell et
al. 1979; Brinch Petersen 2oo6). The exception is, of course,
the spectacular case of HB:19A, but with the precise impact
of the bone point this is now regarded as an execution and
not as the result of an accidental arrow (Brinch Petersen
2oo6). Violence, finally, must also have been used in the
making of the cannibalistic marked bones.
Cannibalism
In order to identify cannibalism at a given site, the human
bones should show the following characteristics: many
bones with the same type of interference, with cut marks,
with defleshing marks, with impact scars, longitudinal
splits, fresh fractures, marrow breakages and traces of scalp-
ing and decapitation (Degerbøl 1942; 1942a; Villa et al. 1986;
White 1992; Turner/Turner 1995; Boulestin 1999; Núñez
2oo5; Jones et al. 2o15; Schulting et al. 2o15).
About 1oo human bones representing between ten and
2o individuals from the site of Dyrholmen, Jylland, certainly
make this particular site unique (Degerbøl 1942; 1942a;
Mathiassen 1942; Troels-Smith 1942); and so does the pres-
ence of all the above mentioned characteristics of cannibal-
ism. However, before discussing the cultural aspects of these
human bones some specific problems must first of all be
dealt with.
Extent of the excavation? It is obvious from the distribu-
tion plan (Fig. 12) that the human bones have all been depos-
ited in the wet area in front of the site, the refuse area, and
with a concentration along the eastern border of the excava-
tion the recovered ones probably represent only one half of
the original number of bones deposited here.
Exact provenance of the bones? There is a disagreement
between the list of finds made by U. Møhl at the Zoological
Museum (now Statens Naturhistoriske Museum) and the list
published by M. Degerbøl (1942).
Identification of the recovered bones? There is also a sec-
ond disagreement between the above mentioned lists con-
cerning the identification of the individual human bones.
Missing parts of the skeletons? Finally, there is an enig-
matic discrepancy between the presence of skull and long
bones compared to the lack of vertebrae, hand and foot
bones, and whether this is technical or cultural is vital to the
interpretation. If cultural, this type of site could in a sense
precede one like Cnoc Coig on Oronsay, Inner Hebrides, with
its many hand and foot bones (Meiklejohn et al. 2oo5).
Furthermore, whether the accumulation of cannibal-
ised bones at Dyrholmen represents a single or more than
Tagu ng en des L and es mu seu ms für Vo rg es chi ch Te haLL e • Ban d 13 • 2016
56 ERIK BRINCH PETERSEN
Fig. 11a–b Sindalgård. Rear side of an amb er pendant with a person presenting a severed he ad (L. 6.5 cm, W. 56 g).
a
b
                      
57AFTERLIFE IN THE DANISH MESOLITHIC – THE CREATION, USE AND DISCARDING OF »LO OSE HUMAN BONES«
one event is unknown for the time being with only a sin-
gle radiocarbon date to hand (POZ-17o34: 668o ± 5o BP, d13C
–1o.8 ‰, d15N 13.3 ‰; Fischer et al. 2oo7). With the frag-
ments coming from the same wet area and also with a few
refits among them, the possibility of a unique event remains
possible. Whether this is a case of endo- or exo-cannibalism
cannot be determined based on the single set of isotopes
quoted above, but these values agree with the ones from
the adjacent coastal population (Brinch Petersen 2o15). A
long-distance raid inland is therefore out of the question.
Both younger and older individuals are present at Dyrhol-
men, but most individuals are between 14 and 18 years of
age. As mentioned above, a single skullcap from a child has
cut marks indicative of a previous scalping before being
deposited in the wet area. Another bone, the lower part of
a femur, shows traces of being gnawed by a carnivore, most
probably a dog. Either some of the bones had been lying in
the open in the dry area of the site before being deposited
under water, or perhaps even the dogs had participated in
the cannibalistic feast? Another bone with traces of gnaw-
ing is seen at Henriksholm-Bøgebakken, but in contrast to
Dyrholmen, only this single cannibalised bone was found
here (Brinch Petersen 2o15), just like the Maglemose case
of Vinde-Helsinge (Degerbøl 1943). Now, how can we inter-
pret such occurrences of a single cannibalised or gnawed
bone (Fig. 13)?
Clearly, after the feast at Dyrholmen the cannibalised
bones had to be removed from the living area of the site and
discarded in the wet part in front of the site together with
the remains of the ordinary cuisine. This must be the ulti-
mate way of helping some people into oblivion. »First you
kill them, then you dismember, deflesh and devour them, so
you smash their bones and suck their marrow, and finally
you hide their desecrated bones at the bottom of the sea«!
People on the move
Actually, the content of this chapter does not deal with the
LHB per se, but it is about movements of people across the
landscape as seen through the stable isotopes of the LHB.
Did a transhumance between the coast and the inland region
take place during the Middle and Late Mesolithic? Judg-
ing from the isotopic evidence (Fischer et al. 2oo7; Brinch
Petersen 2o15), the human individuals from the coastal sites
normally show the marine signals, d13C above –18 ‰ and
d15N above 12 ‰, whereas the inland ones lie below these
values. The LHB with appropriate isotopic measurements
Fig. 12 Dyrholmen 1942. Excavation plan with
Loose Human Bon es.
Human bones
Dyrholmen
1924 –1939

Tagu ng en des L and es mu seu ms für Vo rg es chi ch Te haLL e • Ban d 13 • 2016
58 ERIK BRINCH PETERSEN
Fig. 13 Albert Eckhout 1641. Tapuia woman
holding a severed hand, Dutch Brazil.
mostly agree with the local signals (Brinch Petersen 2o15).
There are, however, a few individuals who are found outside
of their natural environment, and they will be dealt with in
the following paragraphs.
Two LHB from Tågerup on the Scanian side of Øresund
have non-marine dates, d13C –2o.5 ‰ and –21.1 ‰ although
they were both located at a marine site from the begin-
ning of the Kongemose (Ahlström 2oo3). The opposite case
comes from the very marine site of Østenkær, northern-
most Jylland, and here the human fragment is measured to
d13C –2o.1 ‰. Even a dog, Canis familiaris, from the same
Ertebølle site has a corresponding low inland value of d13C,
–21.8 ‰, but this dog is apparently a 1ooo years younger
than the human individual (Bødker Enghoff 2o11). Here, the
same pattern, a movement from coast to inland must here
have been repeated at least once.
Only one inland human with a marine value is known,
from the site of Bodal K, Åmosen, and its two d13C meas-
urements centre on –16 ‰, whereas the single d15N value
lies at 13.4 ‰ (Fischer et al. 2oo7). As a caveat it must be
mentioned, that so far there are only five other Late Meso-
lithic individuals in all from the inland and with measure-
ments of d13C, two from Sjælland and two from Scania, and
of these only Bodal K shows a marine value. Based on this,
a seasonal and a general transhumance between the coast
and the inland region does not seem likely, and we must
perhaps reckon with a coastal as well as an inland popula-
tion.
                      
59AFTERLIFE IN THE DANISH MESOLITHIC – THE CRE ATION, USE AND DISCARDING OF »LOOSE HUMAN BONES«
Summing up
This has been an essay in examining and understanding the
enigmatic problem of the Loose Human Bones from Danish
Mesolithic sites; the material is overwhelming, and so per-
haps also are the problems connected with the chronological
reliability of the same material.
There are many explanations behind the category of
LHB, and some have been presented here. The simple case
of disturbed or washed out burials must be accepted in
some cases, see Korsør Nor and Tybrind Vig, while other
LHB have a more complicated origin. To see the LHB as
a secondary burial ritual is possible, but as such a term
is vague and therefore meaningless, it is not used here.
Some skeletal elements have been removed from their bur-
ials, Nivå 1o and Skateholm, and so has even the complete
corpse of an adult male, Henriksholm-Bøgebakken grave
11. The deposition of LHB inside a dwelling structure is
known from two cases only, Mullerup, Sarauw’s excava-
tion, and Nivå 1o, and here the role as ancestral bones or
relics is therefore possible.
The use of human teeth as a personal jewellery is known
from a single case only, Henriksholm-Bøgebakken grave
19C, and with only two more sites showing such pendants
left behind. As an analogical interpretation I have tried to
view some remains of hand and finger bones as evidence
for smoked amulets, e.g. Nivågård. Perhaps more far-fetched
is the idea of using a single human bone, or a burial, as a
consecration of a forthcoming site, Fannerup F and Ager-
næs. The evidence for the non-burial use of heads and
skulls is still very vague, but taking into consideration the
new evidence from Kanaljorden, Sweden, this is certainly
a possibility. However, a single Maglemose amber pendant
from Sjælland is decorated with a scene showing one out
of four standing persons holding a severed head, the dra-
matic motif so beloved by European artists several thou-
sand years later.
Scalping is known inter alia at Dyrholmen, and the same
site is unique due to its more than 1oo remains of cannibal-
ised human bones deposited in the wet area in front of the
site. Interestingly, the interpretation of this material received
fierce opposition when presented at the Halle meeting, but if
the Dyrholmen scenario is not cannibalistic, then what is it?
Although evidence of trauma in the Mesolithic population of
Denmark is limited to head wounds, and a single execution,
HB:19A, violence on the interpersonal level must have been
frequent.
The buried individuals together with the individuals rep-
resented by the LHB are spread across time and space and
by comparing their isotopic life stories it now becomes pos-
sible to give an indication of human movements across the
landscape. And for the Kongemose and Ertebølle, Middle
and Late Mesolithic, it looks like two separate populations,
an inland and a coastal one.
Epilogue
The LHB are among the most enigmatic finds from the Meso-
lithic, and the more information we can get about their
appearance, habitus and context the better. The present con-
tribution has favoured some interpretations, but surely there
must be many more. Each single bone and its context must
therefore be scrutinised before making a statement, but
remember that any interpretation also shares the same fate
as we do (Fig. 1):
»He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down:
he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not«
(Book of Job 14.2).
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stenalderboplads på D jursland. Det Kongelige
Danske Videnskaber nes Selskab. Arkæolo-
gisk-Kunst historiske Skrifter 1,1 (København
1942) 138–212.
Tro lle 2 o13
T. Trolle, Human and anim al bones from Ty-
brind Vig. Ana lysis of material from a burial
and settlement. I n: S.H. Andersen, Tybrind
Vig: submerged Mesolith ic settlements in
Denmark . Moesgård Museum, The National
Museum of Denma rk, Jutland Archaeologica l
Society P ublications 77 (Aa rhus 2o13) 413–
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Turner/Turner 1995
C.G. Turner/J.A. Turner, Cann ibalism in the
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cal Science 1o3,1, 1995, 1–22.
Valentin/Le G off 1998
F. Valentin/ I. Le Goff, La sépulture se condaire
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tures sur os f rais ou os secs? L’ Anthropologie
1o2,1, 1998, 91–95.
Villa et al . 1986
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M. Branca, Ca nnibalism in the Neol ithic.
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Winge 1895
H. Winge, Faunab estemmelse af knoglerne
fra Ørum Å [C openhagen, National Museum
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Winge 19o3
H. Winge, K noglerne, 194–198. In: G.F.L.
Sarauw, En stenalders boplads i Mag lemose
ved Mullerup, sa mmenholdt med beslægtede
fund: bidrag ti l belysning af nystenalderen s
begy ndelse i norden. Aarbøger for Nordisk
Oldkynd ighed og Historie 19o3, 148–315.
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H. Winge, Om jordf undne pattedyr fra Da n-
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Winge 1919
H. Winge, Sværdborg- fundets levninger af
hvirveldy r, 128–133. In: K. Friis Johans en, En
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His torie 1919, 1o6–235 .
Tagu ng en des L and es mu seu ms für Vo rg es chi ch Te haLL e • Ban d 13 • 2016
62 ERIK BRINCH PETERSEN
Source of figures
1 Museum für Kunst und Kultur-
geschichte, Dortmund, C 5822
(per mission of reproduction,
AT R 411o)
2–4 author
5 P.A. Toft
6 from Radcliff-Brown 1922
7 C. Meiklejoh n
8 L. Larsen (National Museum of
Den mark, Copenhagen)
9 from Bjerre 1954
1o aut hor
11 G. Brovad (Zoological Museum,
Copenhagen)
12 from Mathiassen 1942 with
additions
13 National Museum of Denmark,
Copenhagen
Address
Erik Brinch Petersen
Saxo Institute
Faculty of Humanities
University of Copenhagen
Karen Bli xensvej 4
23oo København S
Denmark
ebp@hum.ku.dk
Tagu ng en des L and es mu seu ms für Vo rg es chi ch Te haLL e • Ban d 13 • 2016
Programme of the international conference on
»Mesolithic burials – Rites, symbols and social
organisation of early postglacial communities«,
Halle (Saale), 18th–21st September 2013
Wednesday, 18 September 2o13
8:oo–14:oo
Registration/Poster installation/Coffee
1o:oo Opening session
Welcome words from Harald Meller,
State Archaeologist and Director of the State Office
for Heritage Management and Archaeology
Saxony-Anhalt, Director of the State Museum of
Prehistory Halle (Saale)
Session Chair: Berit V. Eriksen, Schleswig (DE)
1o:1o Judith M. Grünberg, Halle/Saale (DE):
Introduction to the conference topic
1o:3o Christoper Meiklejohn & Jeff Babb,
Winnipeg (CA):
A chrono-geographic look at Mesolithic
burials: an initial study
11:oo Glen H. Doran, Tallahassee (US):
Florida’s window on the past – bog burials
11:3o Ruth Struwe, Bernau (DE) & Birgit Scheps-
Bretschneider, Leipzig (DE):
Ethnological records on the treatment of corpses
preceding disposal of Australia’s sub-recent
indigenes
12:oo Discussion
12:1o Lunch Break
Session Chair: Pablo Arias, Santander (ES)
13:3o Bernhard Gramsch, Potsdam (DE):
The Mesolithic burials of northeastern Germany –
synopsis and new aspects
14:oo Maha Ismail-Weber, Wünsdorf (DE):
A burial at the edge of the Oderbruch (state of
Brandenburg) – description and discussion of a
possible Mesolithic grave
14:3o Ruth Bollongino, Mainz (DE), Jan Heinemeier, Aarhus
(DK), Bettina Jungklaus, Berlin (DE), Andreas Kotula,
Greifswald (DE) & Thomas Terberger, Hannover (DE):
New information on the multiple burial site of Gr
Fredenwalde, Brandenburg
15:oo Marcus Stecher, Mainz (DE), Judith M. Grünberg,
Halle/Saale (DE) & Kurt W. Alt, Mainz (DE):
The Mesolithic burials of the Middle Elbe-Saale
region
15:3o Leendert P. Louwe Kooijmans, Eerbeek (NL):
Human bones amidst refuse in the Late Mesolithic –
the Hardinxveld case, the Netherlands
16:oo Discussion
16:1o Group photograph of the participants in front of the
main entrance of the »State Museum of Prehistory«
16:3o Poster session
17:3o Special tour through the permanent exhibition of the
State Museum of Prehistory guided by Bernd Zich,
head of the department »State Museum«, and
Judith M. Grünberg
19:oo »Icebreaker Party« at the State Museum of Prehistory
(lecture room) with small buffet. Film by E. Brinch
Petersen, København (DK):
»Digging Mesolithic Burials: Henriksholm-Bøgebak-
ken 1975 – Strøby Egede 1986 – Gøngehusvej 7, 199o«
Thursday, 19 September 2o13
Session Chair: Christoper Meiklejohn, Winnipeg (CA)
8:3o Rick Schulting, Oxford (GB):
Holes in the world: the use of caves for burial in the
Mesolithic
9:oo Erik Brinch Petersen, København (DK):
Afterlife in the Mesolithic – from inhumation,
cremation and exhumation to discard into oblivion
Tagu ng en des L and es mu seu ms für Vo rg es chi ch Te haLL e • Ban d 13 • 2016
910 Programme of the international conference
9:3o Berit V. Eriksen, Schleswig (DE):
Grave matters in Southern Scandinavia. Mortuary
practice and ritual behaviour of the Maglemose
people
1o:oo Discussion
1o:1o Coffee Break
Session Chair: Erik Brinch Petersen, København (DK)
1o:3o Ole Lass Jensen, Hørsholm (DK):
Inhumations and cremations from the Late Mesolithic
site of Nivå 1o, Eastern Denmark
11:oo Esben Kannegaard, Randers (DK):
The early Ertebølle ochre graves from the location
Nederst in eastern Jutland
11:3o Christian Bender Koch, København (DK), Erik Brinch
Petersen, København (DK) & Esben Kannegaard,
Randers (DK):
A material science perspective on ocher from
Mesolithic graves
12:oo Discussion
12:1o Lunch Break
Session Chair: Zofia Sulgostowska, Warszawa (PL)
13:3o Lars Larsson, Lund (SE):
Perspectives on the Skateholm burial grounds
14:oo Torbjörn Ahlström, Lund (SE) & Karl-Göran
Sjögren, Göteborg (SE):
Early Mesolithic burials from Bohuslän, Western
Sweden
14:3o Fredrik Hallgren & Elin Fornander, Västerås (SE):
Skulls on stakes and skulls in water. Mesolithic
mortuary rituals at Kanaljorden, Motala, Sweden,
7ooo BP
15:oo Fredrik Molin, Linköping (SE) & Sara Gummesson,
Stockholm (SE):
How to settle the dead – burials on the Mesolithic
settlement Motala, Sweden
15:3 o Discussion
15:4o Coffee Break
Session Chair: Leendert P. Louwe Kooijmans,
Eerbeek (NL)
16:oo Zofia Sulgostowska, Warszawa (PL):
New data concerning Mesolithic burials from
Polish territory
16:3o Witold Gumin´ski & Karolina Bugajska,
Warszawa (PL):
Exception as a rule. Diversified burial rite at Dudka
and Szczepanki (Masuria, NE-Poland)
17:oo Karolina Bugajska & Witold Gumin´ski,
Warszawa (PL):
How many steps to heaven? Loose human bones and
secondary burials at Dudka and Szczepanki, Masuria
(NE-Poland)
17:3o Adomas Butrimas & Marius Irše˙nas, Vilnius (LT):
New data on the Donkalnis and Spiginas (West
Lithuania) Mesolithic cemeteries
18:oo Discussion
19:3o Public evening talk
Bernhard Gramsch, Potsdam (DE):
Hunters 1o,ooo years ago – excavations near Friesack
in the Marchia of Brandenburg
Jäger vor 1o.ooo Jahren – Ausgrabungen bei Friesack
in der Mark Brandenburg
(afterwards social evening in a restaurant)
Friday, 2o September 2o13
Session Chair: Margherita Mussi, Roma (IT)
8:3o Ilga Zagorska, Rı¯ga (LV):
Mesolithic burials traditions in Latvia, Eastern Baltic
9:oo Gunita Zarin˛a, Rı¯ga (LV) & Kathleen Faccia,
London (GB):
Some aspects of Mesolithic population of Latvia
9:3o Valdis Berzin˛š, Rı¯ga (LV), Ute Brinker, Schwerin
(DE), Harald Lübke, Schleswig (DE), John Meadows,
Kiel (DE) & Ilga Zagorska, Rı¯ga (LV):
The human burials of Rin˛n˛ukalns, Latvia –
new investigations to clarify an old reseach
dispute
1o:oo Discussion
1o:1o Coffee Break
Tagu ng en des L and es mu seu ms für Vo rg es chi ch Te haLL e • Ban d 13 • 2016
911Programme of the international conference
Session Chair: Ilga Zagorska, Rı¯ga (LV)
1o:3o Rimantas Jankauskas, Vilnius (LT):
Skeletal markers of activities and social status in
Lithuanian and Latvian Mesolithic-Neolithic
population
11:oo Mari Tõrv, Tartu (EE)/Schleswig (DE):
Body as evidence: tracing hunter-gatherer
(c. 52oo –3ooo cal BC) burial practices in present-
day Estonia
11:3o Kristiina Mannermaa, Helsinki (FI):
Interpretation of meanings of animals in prehistoric
hunter-gatherer burials in the North – multiple
lines of evidence approach
12:oo Discussion
12:1o Lunch Break
Session Chair: Jörg Orschiedt, Berlin (DE)
13:3o Éva David, Nanterre (FR):
Late Mesolithic social organisation from Téviec
(Morbihan, France) burials grounds
14:oo Patrice Courtaud, Talence (FR), Hans C. Petersen,
Odense (DK), Aurélie Zemour, Nice (FR), Franck
Leandri, Ajaccio (FR) & Joseph Cesari, Ajaccio (FR):
The Mesolithic burial of Campu Stefanu
(Corsica, France)
14:3o Pablo Arias, Santander (ES):
Grave goods in the Mesolithic of southern Europe
15:oo Discussion
15:1o Coffee Break
Session Chair: Lars Larsson, Lund (SE)
15:3o Juan F. Gibaja, Barcelona (ES), Javier Fernandez,
Tarragona (ES), Maria Eulalia Subira, Barcelona (ES),
Eva Fernandez, Liverpool (GB), Xavier Terradas,
Barcelona (ES), Cristina Gamba, Dublin (IE) &
Jose Aparicio, Valencia (ES):
Lecture around the Mesolithic necropolis of
El Collado (Alicant, Spain)
16:oo Mary Jackes & David Lubell, Waterloo (CA):
Muge Mesolithic burials, a synthesis on mortuary
archaeology
16:3o Rita Peyroteo Stjerna, Uppsala (SE):
Roots of death: funerary rituals and the shell
middens of SW Atlantic Europe (Tagus and Sado
valleys, Portugal)
17:oo Nuno Bicho, Faro (PT), Cláudia Umbelino, Coimbra
(PT), Célia Gonçalves, Faro (PT), Olívia Figueiredo,
Faro (PT), Telmo Pereira, Faro (PT), João Cascalheira,
Faro (PT), João Marreiros, Faro (PT) & T. Douglas
Price, Madison (US):
Human burials in the Mesolithic of Muge and the
origins of social differentiation: the case of Cabeço da
Amoreira, Portugal
17:3o Olívia Figueiredo, Faro (PT), Cláudia Umbelino,
Coimbra (PT) & Nuno Bicho, Faro (PT):
Mortuary variability at Moita do Sebastião & Cabeço
da Amoreira (Muge, central Portugal)
18:oo Discussion
19:3o Social evening in a restaurant with buffet
Saturday, 21 September 2o13
Session Chair: Patrice Courtaud, Talence (FR)
8:3o Federica Fontana, Ferrara (IT), Antonio Guerreschi,
Ferrara (IT), Stefano Bertola, Innsbruck (AT),
François Briois, Toulouse (FR), Cristina Cilli, Torino
(IT), Emanuela Cristiani, Cambridge (GB), Valentina
Gazzoni, Mantova (IT), Giacomo Giacobini, Torino
(IT), Gwenaëlle Goude, Aix-en-Provence (FR), Estelle
Herrscher, Aix-en-Provence (FR) & Sara Ziggiotti,
Villafranca Padovana (IT):
The Castelnovian burial of Mondeval de Sora
(San Vito di Cadore, BL, Italy): evidence for changes
in the social organisation of Late Mesolithic hunter-
gatherers in north-eastern Italy
9:oo Margherita Mussi, Roma (IT), Rita T. Melis, Cagliari
(IT) & Roberto Macchiarelli, Paris/Poitiers (FR):
Mesolithic burials at S’Omu e S’Orku (SOMK) on the
south-western coast of Sardinia
9:3o Adina Boroneant¸, Bucharest (RO) & Clive Bonsall,
Edinburgh (GB):
Icoana revisited
1o:oo Discussion
1o:1o Coffee Break
Session Chair: Mary Jackes, Waterloo (CA)
1o:3o Jörg Orschiedt, Berlin (DE):
Bodies, bits and pieces: Late Palaeolithic and Early
Mesolithic burials in Europe
11:oo Søren A. Sørensen, Køge (DK):
Loose human bones from Late Mesolithic sites
in Denmark
Tagu ng en des L and es mu seu ms für Vo rg es chi ch Te haLL e • Ban d 13 • 2016
912 Programme of the international conference
11:3o Amy Gray Jones, Chester (GB):
»Loose« human bone in the Mesolithic – isolated
or integrated?
12:oo Discussion
12:1o Lunch Break
Session Chair: Clive Bonsall, Edinburgh (GB)
13:3o Emily Hellewell & Nicky Milner, York (GB):
Analyses of the placement of disarticulated human
remains in stone age shell middens in Europe
14:oo Johan Jelsma, Zuidhorn (NL):
Social and spatial differences at Port au Choix:
the mortuary analysis of a Maritime Archaic
Indian cemetery at Newfoundland, Canada
14:3o Liv Nilsson Stutz, Atlanta (US):
Testing the tribal hypothesis. An attempt to use
anthropological theory to reconstruct Mesolithic
cosmology and social organization from treatment
of the dead
15:oo Discussion
15:1o Coffee Break
Session Chair: Liv Nilsson Stutz, Atlanta (US)
15:3o Peter Vang Petersen, København (DK):
Papooses in the Mesolithic? – A reinterpretation of
tooth and snail shell pendants from Bøgebakken,
burial 8 and other Mesolithic burials
16:oo Judith M. Grünberg, Halle/Saale (DE):
Remains of the Mesolithic mortuary rituals of upright
seated individuals in Central Germany
16:3o Mary Jackes & David Lubell, Waterloo (CA):
Capsian mortuary practices at Site 12
(Aïn Berriche), Aïn Beïda region, eastern Algeria
17:oo Final Discussion
17:3o Lars Larsson, Lund (SE):
Summary of the conference and conclusions
18:oo End of the meeting
Poster Presentations
1 Marja Ahola & Kristiina Mannermaa, Helsinki (FI):
Vantaa Jönsas – a Mesolithic burial ground?
2 Birgit Gehlen, Köln (DE):
Mesolithic heritage in Neolithic burials
3 Mario Küßner, Weimar (DE):
A child’s grave from the rock shelter Fuchskirche I
near Allendorf (Thuringia, Germany)
4 Jörg Orschiedt, Berlin (DE) & Claus-Joachim Kind,
Esslingen (DE):
Mesolithic human remains from Southern Germany
5 Svetlana V. Oshibkina, Moscow (RU):
Mesolithic cemeteries in the north of Eastern Europe
6 Torsten Schunke, Halle/Saale (DE) &
Mario Küßner, Weimar (DE):
Mesolithic cremation burial and camp in Coswig,
Wittenberg District, Central Germany
Tagu ng en des L and es mu seu ms für Vo rg es chi ch Te haLL e • Ban d 13 • 2016
913
Volumes of the series »Tagungsbände des Landesmuseums
für Vorgeschichte Halle / Conference papers of the
State Museum of Prehistory Halle« published to date
This series of conference volumes edited by the Landes-
museum was launched in 2oo8. The decision was taken
during the conference »Luthers Lebenswelten (Luther’s life-
worlds)«, organised in Halle in 2oo7. The second conference
volume was devoted to »Battlefield Archaeology«, focussed
on at the »Central German Archaeology Conference« (Mit-
teldeutscher Archäologentag), which is annually organised
and published by the State Office for Heritage Management
and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt (Landesamt für Denkmal-
pflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt) since 2oo8. Due to
the large proportion of international authors involved, many
contributions in this series are written in English with a
German summary. The lectures and poster presentations
of the 7th Central German Archaeology Conference »22oo
BC – A Climate Collapse as the Cause of the Fall of the Old
World?« were presented in numerous articles by renowned
researchers from various disciplines.
The following volumes are available:
Band 1/2oo8 Harald Meller / Stefan Rhein /
Hans-Georg Stephan (Hrsg.),
Luthers Lebenswelten.
Tagung vom 25. bis 27. September 2oo7
in Halle (Saale).
ISBN 978-3-939414-22-3, € 19,oo
Band 2/2oo9 Harald Meller (Hrsg.),
Schlachtfeldarchäologie. Battlefield Archaeology.
1. Mitteldeutscher Archäologentag vom
o9. bis 11. Oktober 2oo8 in Halle (Saale).
ISBN 978-3- 939414-41-4, € 35,oo
Band 3/2o1o Harald Meller / Kurt W. Alt (Hrsg.),
Anthropologie, Isotopie und DNA –
biografische Annäherung an namenlose
vorgeschichtliche Skelette?
2. Mitteldeutscher Archäologentag vom
o8. bis 1o. Oktober 2oo9 in Halle (Saale).
ISBN 978-3-939414-53-7, € 19,oo
Band 4/2o1o Harald Meller / Regine Maraszek (Hrsg.),
Masken der Vorzeit in Europa I.
Internationale Tagung vom 2o. bis 22. November
2oo9 in Halle (Saale).
ISBN 978-3-939414-54-4, € 19,oo
Band 5/2o11 Harald Meller / François Bertemes (Hrsg.),
Der Griff nach den Sternen. Wie Europas Eliten
zu Macht und Reichtum kamen.
Internationales Symposium in Halle (Saale)
16.–21. Februar 2oo5.
ISBN 978-3-939414-28-5, € 89,oo
Band 6/2o11 Hans-Rudolf Bork / Harald Meller /
Renate Gerlach (Hrsg.),
Umweltarchäologie – Naturkatastrophen und
Umweltwandel im archäologischen Befund.
3. Mitteldeutscher Archäologentag vom
o7. bis o9. Oktober 2o1o in Halle (Saale).
ISBN 978-3-939414-64-3, € 32,oo
Band 7/2o12 Harald Meller / Regine Maraszek (Hrsg.),
Masken der Vorzeit in Europa II.
Internationale Tagung vom 19. bis 21. November
2o1o in Halle (Saale).
ISBN 978-3- 939414-9o-2, € 32,oo
Tagu ng en des L and es mu seu ms für Vo rg es chi ch Te haLL e • Ban d 13 • 2016
914
Band 8/2o12 François Bertemes / Harald Meller (Hrsg.),
Neolithische Kreisgabenanlagen in Europa.
Neolithic circular enclosures in Europe.
Internationale Arbeitstagung 7. bis 9. Mai 2oo4
in Goseck (Sachsen-Anhalt).
ISBN 978-3-939414-33-9, € 59,oo
Band 9/2o13 Harald Meller / Francois Bertemes /
Hans-Rudolf Bork / Roberto Risch (Hrsg.),
16oo – Kultureller Umbruch im Schatten des
Thera-Ausbruchs? 16oo – Cultural change in the
shadow of the Thera-Eruption?
4. Mitteldeutscher Archäologentag vom
14. bis 16. Oktober 2o11 in Halle (Saale).
ISBN 978-3- 9445o7-oo-2, € 69,oo
Band 1o/2o13 Hara ld Meller / Christia n-Heinrich
Wunderlich / Franziska Knoll (Hrsg.),
Rot – die Archäologie bekennt Farbe.
5. Mitteldeutscher Archäologentag vom
o4. bis o6. Oktober 2o12 in Halle (Saale).
ISBN 978-3- 9445o7-o1-9, € 49,oo
Ba nd 11/2o14 Harald Meller / Roberto Risch /
Ernst Pernicka (Hrsg.),
Metalle der Macht – Frühes Gold und Silber.
Metals of power – Early gold and silver.
6. Mitteldeutscher Archäologentag vom
17. bis 19. Oktober 2o13 in Halle (Saale).
ISBN 978-3- 9445o7-13-2, € 119,oo
Band 12/2o15 Harald Meller / Helge Wolfgang Arz /
Reinhard Jung / Roberto Risch (Hrsg.),
22oo BC – Ein Klimasturz als Ursache für den
Zerfall der Alten Welt? 22oo BC – A climatic break-
down as a cause for the collapse of the old world?
7. Mitteldeutscher Archäologentag vom
23. bis 26. Oktober 2o14 in Halle (Saale).
ISBN 978-3-9445o7-29-3, ¤ 1o9,oo
Band 13 /2o16 Judith M. Gr ünberg / Bernhard Gramsch /
Lars Larsson / Jörg Orschiedt / Harald Meller (eds.),
Mesolithic burials – Rites, symbols and social
organisation of early postglacial communities
Mesolithische Bestattungen – Riten, Symbole
und soziale Organisation früher postglazialer
Gemeinschaften.
International Conference, Halle (Saale),
Germany, 18th–21st September 2o13.
ISBN 978-3-9445o7-43-9, € 81,oo
Band 14/2o16 Harald Meller / Hans Peter Hahn /
Reinhard Jung / Roberto Risch (Hrsg.),
Arm und Reich – Zur Ressourcenverteilung in
prähistorischen Gesellschaften. Rich and Poor –
Competing for resources in prehistoric societies.
8. Mitteldeutscher Archäologentag vom 22. bis
24. Oktober 2o15 in Halle (Saale).
ISBN 978-3-9445o7-45-3, € 89,oo
Band 15/2o16 Harald Meller / Alfred Reichenberger /
Christian-Heinrich Wunderlich (Hrsg.),
Alchemie und Wissenschaft des 16. Jahrhunderts.
Fallstudien aus Wittenberg und vergleichbare
Befunde.
Internationale Tagung vom 3. bis 4. Juli 2o15 in
Halle (Saale).
ISBN 978-3-9445o7-48-4, € 49,oo
The publications are available in bookshops
or by directly contacting:
Verlag Beier & Beran
Thomas-Müntzer-Straße 1o3
DE-o8134 Langenweißbach
Germany
Tel. +49 / (o)376o3 / 36 88
verlag@beier-beran.de
www.Denkmal-Buch-Geschichte.de
  • ... Gurina 1956;Edgren 1966;Strassburg 2000;Nilsson Stutz 2003;Tõrv 2016). However, the tradition of continuous burials at a designated place indicates that the cemeteries were not only disposal areas for the dead, but also important places for the Stone Age communities ( Borić 1999;Nilsson Stutz 2014;Brinch Petersen 2015;Peyroteo Stjerna 2015;Tõrv 2016). According to radiocarbon dates (e.g. ...
    ... Even though these examples derive from diff erent regions of Europe, they nevertheless suggest that a particular state of mind regarding the reuse of ancient sites and objects was also present during the Stone Age. Indeed, as has been suggested previously ( Borić 1999;Nilsson Stutz 2004Peyroteo Stjerna 2015;Brinch Petersen 2015), many of the repeatedly used Late Mesolithic hunter-gatherer cemeteries can be considered communal places to which people repeatedly returned to bury their dead. In the lives of non-sedentary hunter-gatherers, these sites would also have served as navel points within the landscape (Tõrv 2016), i.e. places where social memory was passed on. ...
    ... Nilsson Stutz 2004;Borić 1999;Zvelebil 2008;Conneler 2013). For example, since the Stone Age cemeteries are often located either on islands (O' Shea & Zvelebil 1984;Larsson 1989;Zagorskis 2004Zagorskis (1987) or with a close connection to rivers and lagoons ( Larsson 1989;Borić 1999;Brinch Petersen 2015), a strong association between death and water has been suggested (Zvel ebil 2003). Indeed, water was fundamental in many ritual practices and conceptions of the cosmos in several prehistoric religions ( Oestigaard 2011), and it has often been seen as functioning as a boundary between the sacred and the profane (e.g. ...
    Article
    Stone Age people handled their dead in various ways. From the Late Mesolithic period onwards, the deceased were also buried in formal cemeteries, and according to radiocarbon dates, the cemeteries were used for long periods and occasionally reused after a hiatus of several hundred years. The tradition of continuous burials indicates that the cemeteries were not only static containers of the dead but also important places for Stone Age communities, which were often established in potent places and marked by landscape features that might have had a strong association with death. The paper explores the tradition of burials in cemeteries exemplified through Jönsas Stone Age cemetery in southern Finland. Here the natural topography, along with memories of practices conducted at the site in the past, played a significant role in the Stone Age mortuary practices, also resulting in the ritual reuse of the cemetery by the Neolithic Corded Ware Culture.
  • ... Previous organic residue studies on Ertebølle ceramics from Denmark and northern Germany have shown that pots were used primarily to process aquatic animal products, both at the coast and hinterland, along with terrestrial animal foods but to a lesser extent ( Craig et al., 2007Craig et al., , 2011Heron et al., 2013). This conforms well to the mixed faunal as- semblages at the sites and the predominance of aquatic animal remains (Brinch Petersen and Jønsson, 2015). Isotopic analysis data of human remains suggest similarly a highly aquatic diet for both the coastal and inland Late Mesolithic people from Denmark (Tauber, 1981;Fischer et al., 2007;Brinch Petersen and Jønsson, 2015). ...
    ... This conforms well to the mixed faunal as- semblages at the sites and the predominance of aquatic animal remains (Brinch Petersen and Jønsson, 2015). Isotopic analysis data of human remains suggest similarly a highly aquatic diet for both the coastal and inland Late Mesolithic people from Denmark (Tauber, 1981;Fischer et al., 2007;Brinch Petersen and Jønsson, 2015). In southern Sweden, however, a more diversified diet was revealed based on both aquatic and terrestrial animal resources in varying proportions according to site locations ( Lidén et al., 2004), corroborating an earlier suggestion for a possibly higher complexity and variability for the Ertebølle diet as a whole ( Richards et al., 2003). ...
    ... It is interesting that the Danish samples yielded more enriched marine values compared to the presumably marine inter- mediate ones from Scania. This could be explained by the location of the Danish sites at areas with possibly greater influence from the saline Atlantic waters ( Emeis et al., 2003;Brinch Petersen and Jønsson, 2015). On the other side, the intermediate values in the Scanian west coast may reflect a lower salinity due to the possibly more limited access of saltwater from the narrow strait that connects Øresund with the Kat- tegat Sea. ...
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    The Late Mesolithic Ertebølle and Narva cultures (6th-5th/4th millennium BC) in the southwest and eastern Baltic, respectively, shared similar vessel types, namely pointed-based pots and oval bowls. As a consequence, this phenomenon raised questions about inter-cultural connections across the Baltic and possible influence for the production of pottery from the Narva to the Ertebølle hunter-gatherers. Whereas the two pottery traditions were shown to be different with regards to raw materials and manufacture, in this study we further attempt a comparison on the basis of function using a lipid residue analysis approach. The aim is to examine whether typological analogies were based on common functional requirements. This paper presents new evidence for the use of Ertebølle ceramics in the southwest Baltic from the analysis of pottery samples from a number of coastal sites in southern Sweden (Scania) and eastern Denmark (Lolland). Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and gas chromatography-combustion-isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-c-IRMS) analysis were performed on the absorbed lipid residues to determine their structural characteristics and the stable carbon isotopic composition of selected fatty acids. Results are discussed and compared with analogous published data of Narva ceramics from Estonia. Data from other coastal sites in Denmark and northern Germany are also included for wider comparison. Based on our findings, we conclude that despite little variability in the isotope values of residues, Ertebølle and Narva pots did not serve the same functional demands, and different motives led to their production. Whilst the Narva ceramics appear to have had a specialized role in processing aquatic products, the Ertebølle were more multipurpose vessels, used also for terrestrial animal and plant resources.
  • ... Furthermore, the construction and main- tenance of fish weirs requires large numbers of branches, which is often interpreted as evidence of wood management by the Ertebølle Culture (Zvelebil 1994;Davies, Robb, and Ladbrook 2005;Zvelebil 2008;Bishop, Church, and Rowley-Conwy 2015). Richards and Koch 2001;Richards, Price, and Koch 2003;Richter and Noe-Nygaard 2003;Price et al. 2007;Ritchie, Gron, and Price 2013;Brinch Petersen 2015). Dogs not attributed to a specific period are not accurately dated but fall either within the Mesolithic or the Neolithic. ...
    Article
    This paper presents a stable isotope and radiocarbon study on a total of 85 samples of wild boar (Sus scrofa), humans (Homo sapiens), dogs (Canis familiaris), red deer (Cervus elaphus) and roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) from four Late Mesolithic sites in Jutland, Denmark. Four of the eight Sus scrofa samples from one site, the shell midden of Fannerup F, show markedly enriched carbon and nitrogen isotope values, indicating a dietary intake of a substantial amount of marine food. In contrast to standard interpretations of Late Mesolithic animal economy, we suggest that the enriched values of Sus scrofa may be an indication of management by Ertebølle groups in the area that facilitated access to substantial amounts of marine foods for these wild boars compared to contemporaneous conspecifics. The ¹⁴C dates of the Sus scrofa range from 5290 to 4335 cal BC, suggesting that the management of Sus scrofa developed independently of contact with Neolithic societies. Although the sample size remains small, the interpretation of Late Mesolithic animal management adds to the growing evidence for political and economic complexity in the Ertebølle culture.
  • ... In the Late Mesolithic, cemeteries and burial grounds are often located on visible spots along the coastline (Larsson, 1988(Larsson, , 1993(Larsson, , 1995Petersen et al., 2015) which signals another territorial link to the surrounding landscape (Layton and Rowley-Conwy, 2013). So far, no evidence has been found of such types of territorial displays. ...
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    During the Early and Mid-Holocene significant changes in the ecology and socio-cultural spheres occurred around the Baltic Sea. Because of the underlying climatic changes and thus environmental alterations, the area was the scene for various cultural developments during the period under investigation. In the course of the melting of the glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age, isostatic and eustatic movements caused continual changes to the Baltic Sea basin. Changes in water level, however, affected not only the Early and Mid-Holocene coastlines, but also the whole Baltic Sea drainage system, including large lakes, rivers and watersheds in the hinterland were also dramatically impacted by these ecological changes. Prehistoric people were thus affected by changes in resource availability and reduction or enlargement of their territories, respectively. In order to evaluate the impact of changes in the water and land networks on the environment, resource availability, and human behaviour, and to reconstruct human responses to these changes, we pursue an interdisciplinary approach connecting environmental and archaeological research highlighted through different case studies.