SKILLS IN SYNERGY, CRAFTS IN CONTEXT: AN INTEGRATED STUDY OF EASTERN BALTIC STONE AGE TECHNOLOGIES

Project No.: lzp-2021/1-0119  
Implementation period: 3 January 2022 – 30 December 2024 
Project costs: EUR 299 999.70
Principal investigator:  Dr Valdis Bērziņš

Proceeding from investigation into the processing of materials widely utilized in the Stone Age of the Eastern Baltic region – bone/antler, flaked stone, amber and ceramics – we will assess ancient artefact production technologies within a much-needed wider perspective, embracing:

  1. intersections between different technologies,
  2. the context of landscape and resource exploitation, and
  3. the social milieu in which technologies were practiced. 

We will conduct museum artefact studies on major Stone Age assemblages from the environs of Lake Burtnieks in N Latvia, Lake Lielais Ludzas in E Latvia and coastal W Latvia (including the internationally famous sites of Zvejnieki, Riņņukalns and Sārnate), involving macro- and microscopic examination, 2D/3D image processing, archaeological experiments and a suite of analytical methods (elemental/phase analysis of materials; zooarchaeology by mass spectrometry; ceramic petrography; morphological analysis of sand grains in ceramics; radiocarbon dating).

Crucially important for achieving a broader view of ancient technologies will be regular joint seminars, permitting our experts studying the technologies of specific materials to share methodology, results and interpretations, and prepare joint articles, thus fostering very close and purposeful collaboration to establish a cross-material platform for technology studies and simultaneously forging a strong research team for further projects. 

The project group includes Dr Valdis Bērziņš, Dr Ilga Zagorska, Dr Edyta Kalińska, doctoral students Mārcis Kalniņš, Artis Kons, Aija Macāne and Vanda Visocka, and master’s student Agnese Čakare.

Project website