Tools and technology: Lithic technological analysis of Neolithic axe morphology

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)


Through practical experiments, edge-wear analysis, and the study of archaeological collections, the dissertation explores the complex relationship between style and function in a specific class of artifacts: the Neolithic axe. The results of the three-part approach described above, when applied for instance to thin-butted axes from the Funnel Beaker Culture, indicated that there was no clear-cut cass of unusable prestige axes, but rather that axe length more likely reflected practical rather than stylistic considerations. The methods were also applied to discovering the possible reasons behind the choice of flint or greenstone for the manufacture of certain types of otherwise morphologically similar Neolithic axes. The results of practical trials with axe manufacture and use, as well as a study of raw material availability, suggested that groundstone axes were tools in their own right, suited for primarily coarser tasks where there was a danger of bending stress.An approach combining controlled experiments, edge-wear analysis, and examination of archaeological collections can profitably be employed on other classes of artifacts in order to study functional utility and social status in the past.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Archaeology


  • Lithic technology, Neolithic, flint axes, stone axes, practical trials, style
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
  • Berta Stjernquist, Supervisor
Award date1983 May 11
Place of PublicationLund
  • Lund University
Print ISBNs91-7222-591-2
Publication statusPublished - 1983
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 1983-05-11 Time: 10:15 Place: Carolinasalen, Kungshuset, Lund University External reviewer(s) Name: Broadbent, Noel Title: [unknown] Affiliation: Department of Archaeology, University of Uppsala ---

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Related research output

Deborah Olausson, 1983, CWK Gleerup. (Scripa minora regiae societatis humaniorum litterarum Lundensis)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Deborah Olausson, 1983, In: Acta Archaeologica. 53, 1982, p. 121-88

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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