Research topic: The Stone Age
In Norway, the Stone Age is the period from 10500 – 1750 BC. We mainly find stone tools from this period, but also tools and clothing accessories made from bone and wood.
The Stone Age is divided into the older (Palaeolithic) and the younger (Neolithic) stone ages, from around 3950 BC, linked by a transition phase called the mesolithic. The older Stone Age is characterized by hunting, fishing, and gathering cultures. Typical artefacts are axes made of local stone and flint, arrowheads in quartz, quartzite and flint, scrapers and knives. Few Palaeolithic habitations are known in Norway, but there are a number of Mesolithic sites. From the time around the transition to the Bronze Age, at the very end of the Stone Age, there are cleared cultivable plains and fossil grains (barley and wheat), traces of domesticated animals (sheep, goats, cattle), and remains of habitation structures, from tent circles to longhouses.
Knowledge about social conditions in Norway in the younger Stone Age (Neolithic) from around 3950 BC is much discussed, but in some places (the Oslo Fjord, southwestern Norway) people engaged in agriculture and kept domesticated animals. Toward the transition to the Bronze Age (late Neolithic, 235–1750 BC) the farm is established as the important production unit. Findings from this era also include ceramic objects, sharpened weapon axes and work axes, and eventually also daggers.
In the Stone Age we also find the so-called petroglyphs, which are rock carvings and rock paintings with animals and abstract geometric figures as the primary motifs.