Craftful minds – Tracing knowledge through time

HinrichsRecord in progress of production waste from a type IC Danish dagger made by G. Nunn.

The topic of this PhD project focuses on the rise and fall of lithic technology in Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age Southern Scandinavia (2500–1600 BC). With the development of metallurgy, a technological race began which led to the perfection of flint craftsmanship. Elaborate bifacial daggers are thought to be copies of metal role models that were intended to take the same social and symbolic position in Southern Scandinavia where metal was scarce. While metal slowly became more accessible throughout society, new heights in flint working knowledge and skill were achieved. Ultimately, flint craftsmanship lost the race, when flint daggers were not needed anymore and the art of flint knapping retreated to the domestic sphere.
Through the technological analysis of bifacial dagger and sickle production, not only questions regarding skill and knowledge that are needed to perfect and maintain a craft but also how it declines are pursued. Using chaîne opératoire-analysis on experimental and archaeological inventories, the possibility to detect different technological approaches to the material is realised. Furthermore, it will be tested if it is possible to recognize different schools of learning or even find technological fingerprints of individuals. Finally, a better understanding of the development and transmission of familiar knowledge in times with rapid changes and innovations is achieved.

Project by Moiken Hinrichs


Fieldwork + Activities


Participating Institutions