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Symposium: The Border of Farming - Shetland and Scandinavia

A symposium "The Border of Farming - Shetland and Scandinavia" will be held at the Danish National Museum during 19th-21st of September . The symposium is a collaboration between 3 projects: "Shetland - The Border of Farming, 4000-3000 b. o. e" (Ditlev L. Mahler), "The Farming Societies - the Expansion to the North" (Flemming Kaul) and "Farming on the edge - the Farming Societies expansion and Complexity in Neolitikum in the North" (Lasse Sørensen).


Preliminary Program

Wednesday 19th September

Morning session – chair: Flemming Kaul


Introduction to the Conference by Per Kristian Madsen, director of the National Museum of Denmark



Alison Sheridan, National Museums Scotland. Shetland’s earliest farming communities, c.3700–1500 BC: an overview.

Val Turner, Shetland Amenity Trust. The answer lies in the soil.

Jenny Murray, Shetland Museum and Archives. Agriculture on Shetland stressing old tradition eventually with roots during prehistoric time


11am-11.30am Break



Ditlev L. Mahler, The National Museum of Denmark. Stanydale, an assembly area or just a large Neolithic house on Shetland?

Lauren Doughton, Shetland Amenity Trust. Burnt mounds on Shetland and their significance for the Bronze Age.

Joakim Goldhahn, Linné University in Kalmar. Variation on a theme - heaps of fire-cracked stones and its history of interpretation.

Matti Leino, Nordiska Museum. DNA analyses on cereals in Scandinavia and the old age of Nordic variants of cereals (barley).


1pm-2pm Lunch


Afternoon session – chair: Ditlev L. Mahler


Inga Merkyte, University of Copenhagen. Agrarian evidences from the Neolithic and Bronze Age in the Baltic countries.

Torben Bjarke Ballin, Hon. Research Fellow, University of Bradford. The Mesolithic / Neolithic transition in southern Norway.

Lasse Sørensen, The National Museum of Denmark. The expansion of agrarian societies during the Neolithic and Bronze Age in Scandinavia.



Final discussion


6.30pm Dinner at some restaurant in Copenhagen.


Thursday 20th September

Excursion by bus to several archaeological sites in Northern Zealand. Departure from The National Museum at 09.30am. The organizers of the symposium will take care of the lunch.

We will return to The National Museum around 4 o’clock depending on the traffic etc.

Dinner at your own



Friday 21st September

Morning session – chair Lasse Sørensen


Søren Diinhoff, Bergen Museum. Late Neolithic and Bronze Age houses in Western Norway and their structure and development.

Gabriel Cooney, University College Dublin. The role of axes from island sources in the Neolithic of Ireland and Britain

Preben Rønne, Vitenskapsmuseet, NTNU, Trondheim. The northernmost signs of South Scandinavian


11am-11.30am Break



Johan Arntzen, University of Tromsø. The northernmost Bronze Age agriculture in Norway.

Flemming Kaul, the National Museum of Denmark. The one-edged razor - northernmost and southernmost.

Martin Mikkelsen: Unfree families as an integrated part of the Nordic society from 2.500-500 BC. Resullts from excavations in the Viborg-area in Jutland, Denmark.


1pm-2pm Lunch.


Afternoon session– chair Flemming Kaul


Palle Østergaard Sørensen, Roskilde Museum. Recent excavations of Bronze Age houses around Roskilde Fjord

Karen Margrethe Hornstrup, Århus University. Danish and Norwegian Bronze Age connections.


Final discussion!



A short tour of the prehistoric exhibition at The National Museum with Flemming Kaul.



Departure from The National Museum to the Frederiksberg Garden followed by THE CONFERENCE DINNER – after which we say goodbye J


Saturday 22nd September

End of conference and leaving the Cabin Hotel