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Settlement and rituals. The red deer at Late Mesolithic and Early Neolithic settlement sites in SW Norway

Author(s): Trond Meling

Year: 2017

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The red deer is one of the most common motifs at several Late Mesolithic rock carving sites along the coast of southern Norway. It is assumed that this animal was both an important food resource as well as an object of rituals and religious beliefs during this period. The focus of this paper will be to examine how the red deer appears in different contexts at settlement sites during the Stone Age, and to explore how these contexts reflect diverse activities, including rituals and ceremonies. Our knowledge about how animals have been a part of rituals at Stone Age settlement sites is very limited because of bad preservation for bones. Recent excavations of three adjacent settlement sites from Rogaland in SW Norway have however produced new insights. The sites are dated to the latter part of the Late Mesolithic and the Early Neolithic, around 4000 cal. BC. The preservation conditions were unusually good and around 50 000 fragments of bones were recovered. The great majority of these bones are from red deer. This paper aims to explore entanglements between people and red deer and the diversity of structural remains and material culture springing from this in the late Mesolithic.

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Settlement and rituals. The red deer at Late Mesolithic and Early Neolithic settlement sites in SW Norway. Trond Meling. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429577)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16716

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America