November 6th 2020

Today Erlend Kirkeng jørgensen successfully defended his PhD-thesis, entitled Maritime Human Ecodynamics of Stone Age Arctic Norway. Developing middle-range causal linkages between climate forcing, demography, and technological responses. The committee consisted of Dr. Mikael Manninen (University of Helsinki), Docent Jan Apel (Stockholm University) and professor Gørill Nilsen (Arctic University of Norway). 

Congratulations to Erlend!

Link to the thesis here.


September 2020

Many activities have had to be postponed due to the pandemic. The project Stone Age Demographics has therefore been granted an extenstion till 2022.

December 2019 New job!

We are very pleased to be able to report that our PhD-student Erlend Kirkeng Jørgensen has landed himself a permanent position with NIKU (Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research). Very impressive, considering that he is yet to hand in the thesis! However, he already has several published and submitted papers and many interesting research ideas. We wish him the best of luck and are pleased to keep him in the neighbourhood!

Erlend Kirkeng Jørgensen Foto: M.Skandfer

April 2019:  Promotion!

Dr. Marianne Skandfer has been promoted to full professor! Hard and dedicated work has been rewarded. We send her our warmest congratulations and look forward to more high quality research from her pen!

January 1st 2019

Our senior researcher Dr. Jan Magne Gjerde takes up his permanent position with NIKU (Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research) here in Tromsø. We wish him all the best in his new job. Fortunately he will remain in the Stone Age Demographics project for another full 2 years!

International Conference i Alta Sept. 25th-27th 2018

The project Stone Age Demographics organises an international conference in 2018. For  details please go to  Populating Coastal Landscapes.


March 2018:

Our eminent rock art scholar, Dr. Jan Magne Gjerde, was awarded 1st price for his communication of research to the general public.

For details see Forskerforum and additional information

Our warmest congratulations!


Dr. Jan Magne Gjerde at the UNESCO World Heritage site at Alta. Foto: C.Damm



March 2018: New PhD appointed

Roberta Gordaoff from Anchorage, Alaska will take up our third PhD-position in March. She will be conducting studies of prehistoric demography in the Aleutians to provide a comparative perspective to our studies of Northern Norway.


August 2017: Two new Rock Art sites

In just one week our rock art specialist, Jan Magne Gjerde, discovered two new rock art sites: one rock painting located at Årøya close to a small shelter with several charcoal layers, and a boulder with rock carvings near Isnestoften (but separate from earlier finds in that area).


Rock painting at Årøya Foto: (c) J.M.Gjerde













June-August 2017

This summer we have surveyed both on Sørøya in the Hasvik-area and on Årøya in Altafjorden. Both campaigns were very successfull and we have added many new sites to the records. One of these is Taborshamn, where we plan to excavate in 2018.
























March/May 2017

SARG has been awarded a third 4-year phd-position on the topic Forager Dwellings and Demography – a Circumpolar Comparative study. The successfull candidate is explicitly required to work on material from outside Norway, but to link into the Stone Age Demographics project with regard to overall issues. The application deadline is August 18th 2017.

Please contact Charlotte Damm for further information on the position.


December 2016

The project Stone Age Demographics: a multiscale exploration of population fluctuation and dynamics has been awarded 9.6 mill Nkr for the period 2017-2020 from the Norwegian Research Council under the FRIHUMSAM programme. 



October 2016

Kenneth Webb Vollan har started his 4 years as PhD-student on the Project "Stone Age Demographics". He is employed by Tromsø University museum. He will study demographic patterns at a local and regional scale, investigating contemporaneity of dwellings, longevity of their use and re-use of dwelling pits amongst other things. 


April 2016

Erlend Kirkeng Jørgensen has started his 4 years as PhD-student on the Project 'Stone Age Demographics'. Jørgensens project will focus on  large scale, long term demographic fluctuations based on statistical analyses of 14C-dates.


November 2015

A new 4-year PhD-position linked to the Research Group and based at Tromsø University Museum has now been advertised:

The Application deadline is 3.1.2016. For any further information, please contact Marianne Skandfer or Charlotte Damm


November 2015

In April 2016 SARG will organize a Workshop on 'Off-site Archaeology'

The workshop will challenge us to turn our gaze away from the typical archaeological site, which for Fennoscandian hunter-gatherers has been dwellings and camp sites. In contrast to the rest of Europe, Northern Fennoscandia is in an exceptional position to study early prehistoric societies, as the remains of thousands of dwellings from the Stone Age are still visible on the surface. However, this fortunate situation may affect our awareness towards what happened between and outside the dwelling-sites, which, in turn, constituted the role and meaning of the dwelling-sites. We wish to discuss the theoretical and methodological implications of non-house, between sites, off-site perspectives. What aspects of the hunter-fisher lives and societies emerge when investigated from an off-site position? Presentations may for example discuss movement and mobility issues, off-site activities, or other kinds of new perspectives and approaches. 

The objective of the workshop is not to present new results, but to move beyond the comfort zone and explore, theoretically and methodologically, new approaches that may potentially bring new insights.


May 2015

SARG has been awarded a PhD-scholarship from the Faculty for the project

Stone Age Demographics: Innovative methods for exploring population fluctuations and mobility

The post was advertised with application deadline  August 17th.