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Människor, djur och varelser i miniatyr: Flerartliga förbindelser i den gropkeramiska kulturen
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4657-9460
2024 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Animals, humans and miniature beings : Multispecies connections in the Pitted Ware culture (English)
Abstract [en]

This thesis attempts to understand the relationships between humans and animals in the Middle Neolithic (c. 3300-2300 BC) Pitted Ware culture (PWC) in Eastern Sweden and the Baltic islands of Gotland and Åland. This is accomplished through an examination of the zoomorphic and anthropomorphic clay figurines that have been found on many PWC sites in the study area, and to a lesser extent also the use and deposition of animal bones. The archaeological material is approached using a theoretical framework that draws upon hunter-gatherer relational ontologies and new materialisms.

Comparisons between the anthropomorphic figurines and the zoomorphic figurines reveal clear morphological differences that are not attributable to the bodily differences between humans and animals. Instead, it is argued that they indicate contrasts in human-animal and human-human interactions respectively, and that they also had bearing on the engagements and relationships between humans and figurines. The chronological and geographical distribution of figurines further suggest that the anthropomorphic figurines represent a younger, more localized development in the PWC figurine tradition commencing around 2900 BC. This could possibly also be understood against the backdrop of a general ‘anthropomorphization’ in Europe during the 3rd millennium BC and the wider societal changes in northern Europe. 

In contrast to the figurines, which are uncommon in burials and deposits, animal bones have obviously been selectively deposited at many PWC sites. Unmodified animal bones found in certain features, deposits and burials reveal interesting patterns, where bones from the limbs and heads are overrepresented. The parts chosen can be described as those that relate to the perception and movements of the various animals deposited. The treatment of the animal bones might be understood as a way of dealing with a persistent animal awareness that resided in the bones and needed to be controlled.

Zoomorphic figurines and animal bones thus seem to have had complementary uses at the PWC sites and configured human-animal relations in different ways. The figurines might have been involved in influencing prospective prey animals, while the deposition of animal bones was a means of handling animals that had been successfully killed. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för arkeologi och antikens kultur, Stockholms universitet , 2024. , p. 215
Series
Stockholm Studies in Archaeology, ISSN 0349-4128 ; 85
Keywords [en]
Pitted Ware culture, Middle Neolithic, foragers, animals, figurines, deposits, ontology, multispecies
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Archaeology with General Specialisation
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-228153ISBN: 978-91-8014-803-0 (print)ISBN: 978-91-8014-804-7 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-228153DiVA, id: diva2:1853761
Public defence
2024-06-13, hörsal 9, hus D, Universitetsvägen 10, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2024-05-21 Created: 2024-04-23 Last updated: 2024-05-14Bibliographically approved

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Lindström, Tobias

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