Exceptional sites with exceptional preservation. The interpretation of the early Mesolithic bog sites from eastern Denmark

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The early Mesolithic settlement at Køng-Sværdborg bog and Holmegaard bog in southern Zealand (DK) has been an important frame of reference for the Maglemose culture in general. But can these sites really live up to this honour? The sites were mainly excavated in the first half of the 20th century, under circumstances that are hard to believe today: water everywhere, almost no skilled labour and a tight time schedule rushing ahead of the peat diggers.Could the exceptional preservation have fooled the researchers into exaggerating the importance of the sites?
The bog sites represent a wide range of different types, from butchering sites with only animal bones, to small summer-camps situated directly on the bog surface and large sites on the dry land shore that could represent aggregation camps used during the cold season. No sites are properly scientifically dated and there has been no attempt to unravel the problems of different phases on the same sites.
Since 2013 the University of Copenhagen, The National Museum and The Museum of Southeast Denmark has conducted fieldwork on selected sites in Holmegaard bog. The aim has been to evaluate the present state of preservation in the bog and to search for potential supersites to excavate. By comparing the old excavations, with only limited field registrations, with newer excavations it becomes possible to make a preliminary interpretation of how the bogs were used during the early Mesolithic.
So far the conclusions are that although a large part of the bog has been destroyed by agriculture and drainage, large areas of the bog are still intact and could house potentially very well preserved sites.

Periode7 jun. 2018
BegivenhedstitelThe XVIII° UISPP World Congress in Paris (4-9 June 2018)
Grad af anerkendelseInternational