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Book: Technology of Early Settlement in Northern Europe

Chapter: Axes in Transformation: A Bifocal View of Axe Technology in the Oslo Fjord area, Norway, c. 9200–6000 cal BC

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.30717


The first Mesolithic core axes were produced in South Eastern Norway c. 9000 BC. The raw material was flint, and morphologically the axes had a bifacial shape which closely resembles axes from other parts of Northern Europe. 3000 years later core axes were still produced, but they were made of locally available non-flint raw material. Nøstvet axes from the 6th millennium BC were produced with a very different three-sided production strategy. The article discuss the numerous transitions and variations in morphology, technology and raw material of Mesolithic core axes from South Eastern Norway, in the period between c. 9000 – c. 6000 cal. BC. This is based on finds of axes and debitage from axe production at sites in the Oslofjord area. The article also links changes in technology to changes in society, from a highly mobile pioneer culture to a situation with increased sedentism and regionalization.

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