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I palissadernas tid. Om stolphål och skärvor och sociala relationer under yngre mellanneolitikum.

by Brink, Kristian, PhD

Abstract (Summary)
The overall aim of this work is to study and interpret how social relations were expressed, shaped, and changed in the Late Middle Neolithic. The empirical foundation is a study of settlement in the Malmö area, south-west Skåne, Sweden. Other parts of southernmost Sweden (and eastern Denmark) are also concerned. Sites are discussed and given an overall interpretation as regards chronological and cultural relations and the form and change of settlement. A historical perspective is applied, and existing knowledge of the Early Middle Neolithic and the Late Neolithic is used in the discussion. The form and change of settlement and the use and context of material culture – from small artefacts to large structures – serve as a basis for the interpretations. The theoretical basis of this work is structuration theory. The focus is mainly on two phenomena – palisaded enclosures and farms. In the Malmö area the early part of the Late Middle Neolithic – c. 2800–2500 BC – is characterized by a landscape with sites of differing dignity which together form a totality of relations and functions. At the local level there was great mobility and accessibility to sites with different functions and significance. The palisaded enclosures were a type of site in this landscape. This mobility should not be confused with a nomadic way of life. Sites were used for continuous periods of varying length, but the presence of houses indicates that people lived on farms for several years. This is a state of affairs which can be followed into the later part of the Late Middle Neolithic and the Early Late Neolithic – c. 2500–2200 BC – but in this period farm continuity was often longer. The classical graves of the Battle Axe culture were dug at the farms. During this later part of the studied period palisaded enclosures were no longer built. Social relations were changed in a direction which meant that it was no longer possible to achieve this type of large arena for collective concerns. Instead the farm became the central social and mental unit for the people. The palisaded enclosures and activities carried out there were an expression of people’s perceptions of how the world was ordered and what opportunities existed, and at the same time they affected this perception and were thus an active part of the change that can be seen in society in the latter part of the Late Middle Neolithic. On a general level, the change can be related to the change in society that is traditionally associated with the Late Middle Neolithic – the shift from the Funnel Beaker culture to the Battle Axe culture. This so-called culture shift is here discussed as the result of a social change that took place within local communities as the result of an encounter with new material culture and new social traditions.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Lunds universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:HUMANITIES and RELIGION; History and philosophy subjects; grave; farm; social change; Battle Axe culture; Middle Neolithic B; palisade enclosures; Malmö area; southeast Scandinavia

ISBN:91-85341-32-0

Date of Publication:01/01/2009

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