Keramikk fra norske bronsealdergraver : En studie av morfologi, kronologi, forbindelser og deponeringspraksiser i tidsrommet 1700-500 f.Kr.
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This thesis provides new, fundamental insights into the morphological features, chronology and development of Bronze Age ceramics from Norwegian burial contexts (1700-500 BC). It furthermore focuses on how different depositional practices of pottery in the Bronze Age, as well as the pottery itself, can be interpreted socially and ritually within a framework of relational identity. The study has included finds of ceramic vessels and lids from both Early Bronze Age/EBA (1700-1100 BC) and Late Bronze Age/LBA (1100-500 BC). Based on the prevalence of the findings, a division was made into four analysis regions: Nordland/North-West Norway, Sunnhordland/Karmøy, South-West Norway and Eastern Norway. The material were then divided into two main categories: rock-tempered ceramics and western Norwegian asbestos ceramics. The rock tempered ceramics is interpeted as part of an overreaching tradition and development primarily from southern Scandinavian bronze age pottery. The asbestos ceramic is exclusively found in EBA graves in the northernmost analysis region, rooted or influenced by the Fennoscandian tradition of asbestos tempering but made in a specifically local style and in burial contexts that connects to southern Scandinavia. Methodically, the analysis builds on detailed classifications and reconstructions of pottery. The basis for the chronology is a combination of new 14C datings of cremated remains from urns, re-calibrated 14C dates from several previously dated contexts as well as typological dates. The works and knowledge on ceramics from the bronze age i Norway is extremely limited, chronologies and insights from mainly Danish and Swedish publications have therefore been actively applied. Overall, the development can be described as follows: In the EBA the rock tempered pottery appears in both inhumation and cremation graves. The finds are few in number and often fragmented, partly because of the practice of intentional deposition of fragmented pottery/pottery sherds in graves. These are coarse-tempered wares, small-medium size vessels that shows a limited range of shapes and designs – similar to the better studied South Scandinavian EBA-pottery. The asbestos tempered pottery is in one way related to the Fennoscandian tradition of asbestos tempering but with an isolated and specifically regional style, operating as regional emblems of identity in an elite network with ties to Skjælland in Denmark. The rock-tempered ceramics in southern Scandinavia are undergoing major changes from EBA to YBA, due to the fact that new drinking culture and table culture were shared through new contact routes. This also changed the areas of use for ceramics, seeing new shapes, styles and uses. In Norway, very few graves are associated with this transition, and the pottery provides little morphological information. However, cremation became dominant in large parts of Europe around 1100 BC as part of the Urnfield pheonmenon and the use of ceramic vessels as urns became common in many places simultaneousy. As this study shows, the practice of using ceramic containers as burial urns are established in Norway around 1100 BC – first in the areas of Sunnhordland/Sør-Vestlandet. The urns from this early phase are part of a shared northern European stylistic design/ideal with similar shapes, sizes and design patterns (known as A-type). Around period IV/V, there is greater variation and individuality in the urns and in this phase the first face-urns emerges. Face urns are concidered part of the European face-urn phenomenon – a set of shared similar ideas and practices but made in local styles. Towards the end of the Bronze Age, the choice of vessel shapes and decorations is narrowed down and simplified and this follows into the start of the Pre-Roman Iron Age. In the later part of the LBA the connection to southern Scandinavia are clear through the B-type designs – designs that are adopted also into the earliest soapstone vessels and Risvik-asbestos ceramics. This thesis gives new insight into a category of archaeological finds from the Norwegian Bronze Age that never before have been systemized. Furthermore, it contrubutes to a wider and perhaps different perspective on burial practices in the Bronze Age by recognizing ceramics as a meaningful source of knowledge on how burial customs were carried out and how relational identity was displayed – locally, regionally and inter-regionally.