A Review of the Early Late Neolithic Period in Denmark: Practice, Identity and Connectivity

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Helle Vandkilde


The focus of this study is the early part of the Late Neolithic  Period in Denmark with particular emphasis on impact from the European Bell Beaker culture in the fi nal centuries of the third millennium BC. The history of research is briefl y reviewed and the published evidence of domestic and ritual practices and of material expressions are discussed in some detail. The underlying intention is to provide a preliminary conclusion useable as a framework for describing future research potentials and aims. Flint daggers and various other things and materials enriched with symbolic meanings, culture and knowledge were exchanged over northern central Europe and Scandinavia, but were diff erentially received locally. The specifi c cultural and social situation in northern Jutland – associated with a marked concentration of Beaker elements – can best be understood as dependent on a series of internal conditions such as rich sources of high quality fl int as well as on interaction with a wider Late Neolithic realm in southern Scandinavia and with late Bell Beaker and affi liated groups in western Europe.
A scenario of competing social identities is presented in which strategies were closely coupled to appropriation of new kinds of material culture and in some measure also new cultural and  social practices. External impulses were continuously translated  into a local cultural language. Future research into Beakers may benefit from an interpretive approach that combines analyses of archaeological data with social theories about the role of  material culture in social practices, identifi cation strategies and cross-cultural connectivity.

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How to Cite
Vandkilde, Helle. 2005. “A Review of the Early Late Neolithic Period in Denmark: Practice, Identity and Connectivity”. Journal of Neolithic Archaeology, December. https://doi.org/10.12766/jna.2005.13.