An integrated analysis of Maglemose bone points reframes the Early Mesolithic of Southern Scandinavia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The extensive peat bogs of Southern Scandinavia have yielded rich Mesolithic archaeological assemblages, with one of the most iconic artefacts being the bone point. Although great in number they remain understudied. Here we present a combined investigation of the typology, protein-based species composition, and absolute chronology of Maglemosian bone points. The majority of the bone points are made from cervids and bovines. However, changes both in species composition and barb morphology can be directly linked to a paucity of finds lasting nearly 600 years in Southern Scandinavia around 10,300 cal BP. We hypothesize that this hiatus was climate-driven and forced hunter-gatherers to abandon the lakes. Furthermore, the marked change in bone points coincides with a change in lithic technology. We, therefore, propose that the Maglemose culture in Southern Scandinavia is fundamentally divided into an Early Complex and a Late Complex.


  • Theis Zetner Trolle Jensen
  • Arne Sjöström
  • Anders Fischer
  • Erika Rosengren
  • Liam Thomas Lanigan
  • Ole Bennike
  • Kristine Korzow Richter
  • Kurt Joseph Gron
  • Meaghan Mackie
  • Morten Fischer Mortensen
  • Lasse Sørensen
  • David Chivall
  • Katrine Højholt Iversen
  • Alberto John Taurozzi
  • Jesper Olsen
  • Hannes Schroeder
  • Nicky Milner
  • Mikkel Sørensen
  • Matthew James Collins
External organisations
  • University of Copenhagen
  • University of York
  • Sealand Archaeology
  • Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
  • Durham University
  • National Museum of Denmark
  • University of Oxford
  • Technical University of Denmark
  • Aarhus University
  • University of Cambridge
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Archaeology
Original languageEnglish
Article number17244
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication categoryResearch