Changes, Activities and Bones : Intra-site analysis of the Pitted Ware Culture site Ajvide on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland

Sammanfattning: In this dissertation the structure, practices and evolution of a single Pitted Ware Culture site, Ajvide on Gotland, is explored and placed within the larger Pitted Ware Culture context. The site has been excavated over a period of 24 years, making it one of the most excavated Pitted Ware Culture sites in Sweden. Extensive archaeological and osteological material, burials, scattered human skeletal remains and faunal skeletal remains were discovered at Ajvide. Through the lens of practices identified by the means of these archaeological and osteological materials within different areas of Ajvide, the extensive remains can be untangled, creating a deeper insight to the Pitted Ware Culture on Gotland, Sweden and Åland. The osteological mass material has been analysed by studying species distribution, age, distribution of body parts, degree of bone fragmentation and more. It has thus been possible to provide an in-depth image of the handling of animal remains. This was achieved by applying GIS through the use of distribution maps as well as visual and statistical analysis. Seal hunting, fishing, the question of keeping and/or hunting domestic pigs/wild boars, the introduction of new species and rituals involving animals at Ajvide can all be studied throughout the 800 years of Middle Neolithic use of Ajvide. Combining the handling of animal remains with other prominent datasets, such as the documented features, dark areas and postholes, the archaeological data revealed a detailed timeline of practices and the impact of environmental events on those practices. Ajvide, and the practices identified there, can be placed within a greater context through comparative studies of other Pitted Ware Culture sites on Gotland, the Swedish mainland and Åland.