Människor och kvarts : sociala och teknologiska strategier under mesolitikum i östra Mellansverige
Sammanfattning: This thesis deals with the social dimension in lithic technology during the Mesoltihic in eastern central Sweden. The starting point is the empirical observation of the disappearing bipolar-on-anvil method of reduction around 4500 BC. This method of reduction is often used on quartz and it is the dominant method of reduction at Stone Age sites dated to the period before 4500 BC. It subsequently almost disappears without any sign of technological innovation at the time. Several other changes in the Mesolithic society occur at this time; the large aggregation sites disappear and contact with other areas changes. All this points to that the technological change is only one indication of more profound changes in the organisation and structuring of the society at this time. By looking at technology as a practice, it can be related to the social communications and negotiations that occur between different people. Tool making is seen as an arena where people of different gender and age are engaged. Lithic technology has a strong performative character that is an important part in the constant communications of social identities. This performative character is expressed at the knapping floors. The knapping floors are analyzed spatially and with a fracture analysis. The method of fracture analysis is developed as a result of experimental knapping. The result of the analysis of knapping floors from seven Mesolithic sites indicate that there is a contradiction between on the one hand organizing tool production in different strategies, as a result of different social groups being engaged in the making of quartz tools, and on the other hand, the spatially structuration of knapping floors where all stone working is located in one place. This contradiction is seen as an example of the duality of action and structure. By spatially organising the knapping floors as places where people met, they were given a purpose as a levelling device in an egalitarian structure. The disappearance of the bipolar-on-anvil method of reduction around 4500 BC is only a small symbol of more profound changes in the social structure in the Mesolithic society, changes in the way people percieved their world and themselves.
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