Re-use of quern-stones in settlement contexts in Iron-Age Denmark

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Querns are as technologically brilliant as they are simple in design. This simplicity often leads us to mistake quern-stones for something that holds very little significance beyond the act of grinding. If we consider the contexts in which querns are found; the variety and depositional patterns this notion is obviously incorrect.
Unfortunately, few archaeologists pay much attention to querns and their context, and the metaphors mediated by the querns are thus overlooked. This paper will present a case in which the depositional contexts of querns on a large-scale excavation was analyzed. Most of the quern-stones found were re-used in a new context and clearly with a new agenda. Clear depositional patterns emerged from the depths of the GIS-based database proving that querns played important roles in the assemblage and the demolition of households throughout the Roman Iron Age.
The value, symbolism and meaning of querns in the past are probably impossible for us to understand, but the treatment, re-use and the subsequent deposition of the querns can definitely give us a hint.
Periode16 sep. 2023
Begivenhedstitel74th Internationales Sachsensymposion Stavanger
PlaceringStavanger, NorgeVis på kort
Grad af anerkendelseInternational


  • quern-stones
  • grinding
  • Iron-Age
  • Depositions