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Mobility and exchange in the Middle Neolithic: Provenance studies of Pitted Ware and Funnel Beaker pottery from Jutland, Denmark and the west coast of Sweden

Journal article
Authors T. Brorsson
Malou Blank
I. B. Friden
Published in Journal of Archaeological Science-Reports
Volume 20
Pages 662-674
ISSN 2352-409X
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Historical Studies
Pages 662-674
Language en
Keywords pXRF, ICP-MA/ES, Elemental composition analysis, Thin-section analysis, Ceramics/pottery, Pitted, portable xrf analysis, ceramics, samples, Archaeology
Subject categories History and Archaeology


This paper presents the results of a ceramics study that forms part of a larger research project, "CONTACT". The aim of this study was to trace the provenance of pottery found at Middle Neolithic sites on both sides of the Kattegat and to discuss possible pottery exchange between Jutland in Denmark and the west coast of Sweden. A combination of pXRF, ICP-MA/ES and thin-section analyses was applied to 524 Funnel Beaker culture (FBC) and Pitted Ware culture (PWC) sherds to investigate their fabric and technology. The different analyses supplemented each other well: The elemental composition of the ceramic material evident from both the XRF and ICP analyses was appropriate for determining the provenance of the clay, while the thin sections gave an indication of techniques recipes and materials employed in pottery production. The PWC pottery proved to be more heterogeneous than the FBC pottery, and several plausible explanations are suggested for this. Some regional exchange was observed, but only two vessels were identified, which could have crossed the Kattegat.

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