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An integrated analysis of Maglemose bone points reframes the Early Mesolithic of Southern Scandinavia

Jensen, Theis Zetner Trolle; Sjöström, Arne; Fischer, Anders; Rosengren, Erika; Lanigan, Liam Thomas; Bennike, Ole; Richter, Kristine Korzow; Gron, Kurt Joseph; Mackie, Meaghan; Mortensen, Morten Fischer; Sørensen, Lasse; Chivall, David; Iversen, Katrine Højholt; Taurozzi, Alberto John; Olsen, Jesper; Schroeder, Hannes; Milner, Nicky; Sørensen, Mikkel; Collins, Matthew James

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Theis Zetner Trolle Jensen

Arne Sjöström

Anders Fischer

Erika Rosengren

Liam Thomas Lanigan

Ole Bennike

Kristine Korzow Richter

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Dr Kurt Gron
Research Development Manager

Meaghan Mackie

Morten Fischer Mortensen

Lasse Sørensen

David Chivall

Katrine Højholt Iversen

Alberto John Taurozzi

Jesper Olsen

Hannes Schroeder

Nicky Milner

Mikkel Sørensen

Matthew James Collins


The extensive peat bogs of Southern Scandinavia have yielded rich Mesolithic archaeological assemblages, with one of the most iconic artefacts being the bone point. Although great in number they remain understudied. Here we present a combined investigation of the typology, protein-based species composition, and absolute chronology of Maglemosian bone points. The majority of the bone points are made from cervids and bovines. However, changes both in species composition and barb morphology can be directly linked to a paucity of finds lasting nearly 600 years in Southern Scandinavia around 10,300 cal BP. We hypothesize that this hiatus was climate-driven and forced hunter-gatherers to abandon the lakes. Furthermore, the marked change in bone points coincides with a change in lithic technology. We, therefore, propose that the Maglemose culture in Southern Scandinavia is fundamentally divided into an Early Complex and a Late Complex.


Jensen, T. Z. T., Sjöström, A., Fischer, A., Rosengren, E., Lanigan, L. T., Bennike, O., …Collins, M. J. (2020). An integrated analysis of Maglemose bone points reframes the Early Mesolithic of Southern Scandinavia. Scientific Reports, 10(1), Article 17244.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 28, 2020
Online Publication Date Oct 14, 2020
Publication Date 2020
Deposit Date Oct 21, 2020
Publicly Available Date Oct 21, 2020
Journal Scientific Reports
Publisher Nature Research
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 1
Article Number 17244


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