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Philosophy and Archaeological Practice. Perspectives for the 21st Century

Edited by Cornelius Holtorf and Håkan Karlsson


The volume presents seventeen articles which confront and illuminate issues of philosophy and archaeological practice. Each article presents a concrete example of what a particular body of theory can offer for the practice of archaeology, ranging from new interpretations of past material culture and innovative ways of presenting results, to improvements of heritage management, new fieldwork techniques and better strategies in the politics of the discipline. The volume has an open dialogical form where each paper are commented.


April 2000: 320 pp: figs. & illus. ISBN 91-973713-0-0, Pb:

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It's about Time. The Concept of Time in Archaeology

Edited by Håkan Karlsson


The four papers presented in this book discusses questions connected to the views of time, advocated both by present archaeological interpreters, as well as by prehistoric actors. They highlight the circumstance that, despite the fact that time is a basic concept in archaeology, the content of this concept is usually viewed as quite unproblematic. As the contributions in this book shows, the content of the concept of time is more complex than the common view let us know.


Mars 2001: 80 pp: illus. ISBN 91-973713-1-9, Pb:

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An Archaeology of Hell. Fire, Water and Sin in Christianity

By Terje Oestigaard


The book investigates how and why Hell originated. Hell is the eternal crematorium and Purgatory is Hell of limited duration. The torturous Hell as we know it does not exist in the Bible, but common people created this image based on lived experience. The witch burning is crucial in this process because it illuminated the most gruesome horror and destiny for humans: to die on the pyre. The pains of Hell were visualised and burnt into human minds. Sins could be purged by fire or purified by water. Once the real, evil Hell was constructed, theologians had to solve the interrelatedness between the different purifying agents and the heinousness of the sins.


May 2003: 138 pp: illus. ISBN 91-973713-5-1, Pb:

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Swedish Archaeologists on Ethics

Edited by Håkan Karlsson


Today there is a growing understanding in western archaeology of the circumstance that the way in which we practice archaeology affects people situated outside the discipline in various ways, and that there are social and moral respon­sibilities connected to our different activities.Swedish Archaeologists on Ethics gathers – and unites – Swedish archaeologists, with different theoretical positions, for a common purpose. Namely, the wish to make a contribution to the important discussion of archaeology’s – and archaeologists – moral and ethical responsibilities in the present societal context. Swedish Archaeologists on Ethics contains 18 papers demonstrating the wide range of moral/ethical issues inherent in contemporary archaeology, and it present Swedish views on these issues. This means, that the book also shows that there are more voices – than the UK and the US based ones – to be heard in archaeology’s theoretical discussions, not at least when it comes to the issue of archaeological moral/ethics.


April 2004: 390 pp: illus. ISBN 91-973713-7-8, Pb:

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Bronze Age Identities: Costume, Conflict and Contact in Northern Europe 1600-1300BC

By Sophie Bergerbrandt


South Scandinavian Bronze Age research has traditionally focused on the male sphere, while women have seldom been seriously considered or analysed in terms of their roles, power or influences on society. In Bronze Age Identities this imbalance is addressed through discussing the evidence for gender relations, social structures and identity. The topic is approached with the use of various case studies from different areas of Northern Europe and from a variety of angels (e.g. costume and appearance, age, violence, long distance contacts), always drawing on the rich material from burials. In a fruitful manner Bronze Age Identities certainlychallenges a number of taken for granted and stereotypes concerning Bronze Age society.


May 2007: 232 pp: illus. ISBN 91-85411-03-5, Pb:

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Six Essays on the Materiality of Society and Culture
By Håkon Glørstad and Lotte Hedeager (eds).

This book provides a platform for scholars of anthropology and archaeology upon which to address central questions concerning the materiality of society in a wide-reaching geographical and cultural setting. Six essays deal with case studies ranging from sacrifice in medieval saami society to museums in present day Cuba. The essays are of relevance to students and scholars of material culture studies and research in the humanities and social sciences. Håkon Glørstad and Lotte Hedeager introduce some of the founding work on social material studies that make up the framework for the present interest in the material qualities of reality.

Contributions by: Fredrik Fahlander, Michelle Tisdel Flikke, Håkon Glørstad, Ole Grøn, Lotte Hedeager, Torunn Klokkernes, Knut Odner, Knut Rio, Michail Turov

December 2008: 214 pp: figs. & illus. ISBN 978-91-85411-06-X, Pb:
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Phenomenology and the Pioneer Settlement on the Western Scandinavian Peninsula

By: Ingrid Fuglestvedt


This book aims at an understanding of the earliest colonization of today’s south-western Norway (i.e. the western Scandinavian peninsula) from the perspective of a northern European Late Upper Palaeolithic tradition. The period studied covers the time span 10 200 / 10 000 – 9 500 BP. The Continental Ahrensburg group is understood as being parallel to, or the “same” as, the oldest part of the Norwegian Fosna Tradition as the result of a renewed investi­gation of the lithic assemblages in Norway in comparison with the Continental find assemblages. With the use of a phenomenological framework, this work studies the pioneer experiences and the pioneer condition from different perspectives. A basic precondition is the recognition that the plains of the European Continent on the one side, and the rocky, moun­tainous landscapes along the south-western and western Nor­we­gian coast on the other, appeared as distinct “worlds” – the homely, habitual world of the Continent in contrast to the alien world on the far side of the Norwegian Trench (parts of today’s North Sea). The pioneer process as a social process and a process of enculturation of a new landscape is investigated by way of phe­no­menological con­cepts such as intentionality, body, inter­subject­ivity and life­world.

November 2009:  410 pp: figs. & illus.  ISBN 978-91-85411-07-8, Pb:

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Neolithisation as if history mattered. Processes of Neolithisation in North-Western Europe
By: Håkon Glørstad & Christopher Prescott (eds).


Since the beginning of the 1990's the field of Neolithic research has been dominated by interpretations of European history as a diverse, local and historically anchored process. Behind this ideographic interest is, however, a predilection for universality. Can general principles or trends be established, or is Neolithisation a locally specific process? Are there any common themes that link otherwise historically discrete developments? And what does the Neolithic represent in different regions? This anthology is based on papers presented at a session entitled Neolithisation as if history mattered at the 12th EAA conference in Cracow, Poland, in 2006. A few papers have been added, compared to the original programme, to furnish a fuller thematic and geographical presentation of the subject. The articles explore the tensions between structure and history in understanding Neolithic developments in North-Western Europe with an emphasis on key regions and new studies. The articles provide an up-to-date survey of trends in Neolithic research in North-Western Europe.


January 2010:  332 pp: figs. & illus.  ISBN 978-91-85411-09-2, Pb:

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The Structure and History of the Late Mesolithic Societies in the Oslo Fjord Area

By: Håkon Glørstad


Since the founding of social research, scholars have repeatedly described and discussed a fundamental process of creating social cohesion through matter. This process can, according to some of them, be termed fetishism. The key argument of the present book is that the concept of fetishism can be a productive perspective for interpreting prehistoric societies, because it directly addresses the main source material available for archaeological research – the material culture of past societies.The Nøstvet culture was the first acknowledged Mesolithic find complex in Norway. A similar find complex in Sweden has given name to the Swedish variant of the same culture – the Lihult culture. Today the Nøstvet/Lihult complex is identified in eastern Norway and western Sweden as the major formation of the late Mesolithic in the area. In this book the concept of fetishism makes up a framework for analysing the structure and history of the Nøstvet complex. The writings on fetishism constitute a meaningful framework for interpreting the fragmented archaeological material of the period by emphasising the importance of the material fabric in the constitution of social relations. Through eight chapters different parts of human life in the societies that have produced the Nøstvet assemblage are analysed. This way a holistic model of these societies is presented. In the final chapter the author discusses how this particular social formation gave the historical framework to the process of Neolithisation in the area.


May 2010: 328 pp: figs. & illus.  ISBN 978-91-85411-19-1, Pb:
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World Crisis in Ruin. The Archaeology of the Former Soviet Nuclear Missile Sites in Cuba

By: Mats Burström, Anders Gustafsson & Håkan Karlsson


The 1962 Missile Crisis is a well-known episode of the Cold War and twentieth-century history. It is documented in a wide variety of sources, and it has been the subject of extensive historical research. But what remains today of the missile sites that once were a focus of world interest? What does a World Crisis in ruin looks like? In order to find new ways of looking at the Crisis we conducted archaeological fieldwork, looking for memories in the ground as well as in people’s minds. The pictorial results of our efforts are presented in this book.


October 2011: 94 pp: illus.  ISBN 978-91-85411-20-7, Hb:
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