Skapa plats i landskapet : tidig- och mellanneolitiska samhällen utmed två västskånska dalgångar
Sammanfattning: This dissertation deals with Early and Middle Neolithic societies in a valley landscape in western Scania, in the southern part of Sweden. Several archaeological excavations conducted by the National Heritage Board have revealed a great number of Neolithic remains in this region. The sites constitute a substantial continuous sequence from the earliest to the latest phase of the Funnel Beaker Culture and from the Battle Axe Culture – including wetland depositions, settlements, graves and central places. The various sites constitute separate elements of a society, but taken together they give us a more complete picture of the social, economic and ideological processes in a community. Through arrangements on different sites and their locations in the landscape I try to understand the character of the social organisation. Any area of landscape will have a long evolution, and many successive episodes or chronological horizons are likely to leave their mark on it. The historical landscape therefore should be read, interpreted and perceived in terms of two dimensions: space and time. Time and space together relate to the third element, social action, and work as underlying structures which are important forces creating the social organisation. Social and economic development during the earliest Neolithic carried on in the same manner as during the late Mesolithic. Several of the settlements dated to EN I in west Scania were located in places that had been occupied during Mesolithic times. A part of the population moved to the inland along the waterways during a later phase of the Early Neolithic. The conception of the landscape changed. When new areas were settled it became necessary to socialise the new and unknown landscape and create landscape spaces. This could been done by moving out different activities which previously were tied to the settlement. Offerings in wetlands outside settlements increased enormously during this phase. It is also during this period that the first megalithic graves were built. The new landscape spaces could been seen as macro-settlements, including dwelling, offering and funeral. There are indications of breakdowns on several levels during late Funnel Beaker Culture. It seems as if the landscape spaces created during EN II dissolved and that the population did not live in a coherent society at the end of MNA. The development towards increasing social differentiation during the Middle Neolithic had led a part of the population to break with the old manner of life and join new groups of people living on the coast. These groups originally belong to the Pitted Ware Culture and probably had a more egalitarian way of life. Another part of the population somewhat later, at the beginning of MNB, totally broke with the old traditions and received continental currents from the Corded Ware Culture. The base for power apparently switched from control of sacred knowledge and ritual practice to control of production, consumption and distribution of goods.
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