The Stone Cist Phenomenon : a study of stone cists on the island of Gotland and their role in the late Neolithic - early Bronze Age society
This masters essay studies the stone cist phenomenon during the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age on the island of Gotland. The aim of the study is to understand the importance of the stone cist in society during this period, as well as attempting to categorize the stone cists located on the island. It can be argued that society during this period was a agricultural, highly hierarchical society with indications of a power center at the west northwestern parts of the island. Stone cists can be seen having different contexts involving number of individuals, location and features connected to the cist.An osteological study has also been performed on the skeletal material from the stone cist Alskog 48:1, with the aim of getting further knowledge regarding number of individuals and the age and sex distribution of those individuals. As well as questions regarding the stone cist construction and dating. The bone material presented 26 individuals, contrary to the 15 individuals which was initially identified during the excavation. These 26 individuals were of all ages, both male and female, with a slight majority of males. The stone cist which is a natural roofless cave, a natural cist, can according to the criteria defining a stone cist, be regarded as a stone cist and not another construction.
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