Chapter

Mistrust traditions, consider innovations? The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in southern Scandinavia

Lars Larsson

in Going Over: The Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition in North-West Europe

Published by British Academy

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780197264140
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734489 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197264140.003.0028

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy 144

Mistrust traditions, consider innovations? The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in southern Scandinavia

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For the individuals participating in the Mesolithic–Neolithic transition, one question must have recurrently emerged as a prime concern: ‘Should I mistrust traditions and consider innovations’? This concern encompassed the introduction of new material culture and new techniques of obtaining food. It also involved new ways of conceiving the world and people's place in it. And it was affected by important – sometimes catastrophic – changes in the physical environment. It must be emphasized that the question of whether to mistrust traditions and consider innovations is not only a matter of concern for prehistoric actors. It is also important for those who are making prehistory today. As is presented in this chapter, the facts presented for south Scandinavia have been variously interpreted as indicating the rapid introduction of a ‘Neolithic’ package with new ways of thinking and acting, as well as reflecting a mixture of traditions and gradually incorporated innovations. Future research into the transition should focus on combining new problem-oriented excavation with fresh ideas about how the transition from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic occurred.

Keywords: neolithization; Neolithic; Mesolithic; tradition

Chapter.  8048 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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