Scandinavian Flint – an Archaeological Perspective

Project: Research

Layman's description

In Scandinavia, as elsewhere, cryptocrystalline rocks such as flint were an integral part of peoples’ lives during prehistory. However, the terminology for flint types in Scandinavia is contradictory and confusing. The project aim is an archaeologically useful classification for flint types in Scandinavia. Types are evaluated from a user’s perspective and prehistoric availability is assessed.

In Scandinavia, as elsewhere, cryptocrystalline rocks such as flint were an integral part of peoples’ lives during prehistory and indeed they continued to be used during historic periods. Knowledge about flint, its properties, its uses, and its many names, was no doubt transmitted through the generations as part of everyday life. As archaeologists, we are interested in how prehistoric people dealt with flint and what they might have seen as the strengths and weaknesses of the various kinds of flint available. But in order to answer such questions it is also necessary that we are able to talk to each other about flint in an informed and informative manner.

In the project we have surveyed and studied flint from all known primary sources in Scandinavia. Based on this work we propose a classification system for use by Scandinavian archaeologists. The 17 flint types are described and evaluated in terms of knappability, limitations posed by nodule size, and prehistoric availability, rather than in terms of morphogenesis or chemical composition. We have also looked at geographic distribution of flint sources in Scandinavia. The results have been published in a book with the same title.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date2001/01/012007/12/31

Participants

Related research output

Högberg, A. & Deborah Olausson, 2007, Aarhus Universitetsforlag. 158 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

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