Akademisk avhandling för avläggande av filosofie doktorsexamen i arkeologi vid Stockholms universitet som offentligen kommer att försvaras lördagen den 19 december 2009 kl. 10.00 i Föreläsningssalen, Botanicum, Lilla Frescativägen 5.




Along the shores of Lake Hjälmaren and beyond – the relationship between the Pitted Ware Culture and the Boat Axe Culture.

The nature of the relationship between the Pitted Ware Culture and the Boat Axe Culture has dominated Swedish Middle Neolithic research, since the question was raised a century ago. Basically, the debate is concerned with whether or not the two material cultures express two different ethnical groups. Proponents for the currently established perspective stress that the cultures represent two distinct ethnic groups. A large amount of research has focused on identifying differences between the two cultures in the archaeological record.

This study will test an alternative approach to the archaeology of the Middle Neolithic. Rather than presuming an antithetical relationship between the two cultures attention will be given to investigating the relationship between the Pitted Ware Culture and the Boat Axe Culture. This willbe done by a landscape centered approach.

In the first case I will test the conventional opinion expressing that the two cultures are spatially separated to the coast and the inland. In addition, the analysis seeks to understand how different activities were located in relation to various landscape phenomena. In the second case study, phenomenology and current landscape theory combined with a viewshed GIS-analysis will form the basis for a discussion regarding the localisation and function of the Pitted Ware sites. In the third case I will discuss connective features of the Middle Neolithic landscapes in the Lake Hjälmaren area. Focus will be given to the long-term processes and the reproduction of the cultural landscapes over time.

Based on the results, I will propose that the Middle Neolithic archaeological record, rather than being the result of two ethnic groups, express a dynamic and active society that manifests itself through a variety of different places, which were maintained for specific purposes.