A Revised Chronology of the Mesolithic in Southeast Norway
Chapter, Peer reviewed
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Original versionIn: Dag Erik Færø Olsen (ed.) (2022). The Stone Age Conference in Bergen 2017.
A chronological outline of the Mesolithic in southeast Norway was published by Egil Mikkelsen in 1975, dividing the Mesolithic period into four succeeding phases. Since then, this chronology has remained the main framework for arranging Mesolithic settlement finds, although with slight later adjustments. However, when Mikkelsen published his study, very few settlement sites had been excavated. This has now changed, as a large number of sites have been investigated in recent years. The data from these sites have dramatically raised the potential for studies into the chronological development in the region. However, the newly unearthed assemblages are in some cases difficult to fit into the established chronology. In this paper, the empirical foundation of the established Mesolithic chronology is reassessed, and it is concluded that the chronological scheme is due for a revision. Based on a high number of recently excavated sites and associated radiocarbon dates, a revised chronology of the Mesolithic in southeast Norway is suggested. It is claimed that six Mesolithic phases can be distinguished – three main phases (Early, Middle and Late Mesolithic), with each of them, in turn, divided into two sub-phases.