Activities in 2018

Dec. 1st. 2018

Marianne Skandfer gave an open popular lecture in Tromsø city centre of some of the project's results, under the heading: "Were there 'Good Old Days' in the Stone Age?". The presentation reflected upon collective memory, the role of materiality/things in remembering, and under what kind of social and political circumstances history matters.

November 11th – 13th  2018

Jan Magne Gjerde was invited to the conference Between animals and humans –archaeological perspectives on animated relationships in Kalmar, Sweden. Gjerde participated with the paper “Accidents were common but drownings rare” – maritime hunting and fishing in Stone Age rock art with focus on maritime hunting and fishing in Stone Age rock art from Fennoscandia with particular focus on the White Sea region in NW-Russia and Alta in N-Norway. 

October 23-26th  2018

Jan Magne Gjerde was invited by Ulsan Petroglyph Museum and Ulsan Museum to South Korea to present the rock art of Alta at the international conference Whale on the rock II, in Ulsan, South Korea. Gjerde presented a paper on the marine mammals in Alta rock art. The paper is published in Korean and English. Adding to this a second paper by Gjerde was published in Korean and English. This is an overview paper on Stone Age rock art in Fennoscandia.

September 25-27th 2018

Stone Age Demographics organises a "Mid-Way conference", hosted by Alta Museum:

Populating Coastal Landscapes


September17th-20th  2018

Jan Magne Gjerde participated with a presentation on Maritime mobility and geographical information in Stone Age Rock Art based on studies of rock art and seascapes in northern Europe with particular focus on the Altafjord-region at the session Markers and Mobilities: Interpreting dynamic landscapes the 5th International Landscape Archaeology Conference (LAC 2018) at the McCord Centre for Landscape at Newcastle University in Durham and Newcastle, England.

LAC2018 Webpage :

LAC2018 Program:

August 29th  – September 2nd  2018

Jan Magne Gjerde co-chaired two sessions at the 20th International Rock Art Congress (IFRAO 2018) in ValCamonica, Darfo Boario Terme (BS), Italy. The sessions were : Rock art and World Heritage with Sally K. May and Paul S.C. Taçon and  A northerners view on rock art. Aspects, mobility and materiality on the Scandinavian Rock Art with Heidrun Stebergløkken. At the conference Gjerde presented 3 papers: A northerner’s view on rock art - revisiting a century of “Scandinavian rock art traditions”, Crossing borders and boundaries - an overview of the study of the “monumental rock art of northern Europe from the Stone Age” and More than 30 years of Rock art and World Heritage in Alta, Northern Norway.

IFRAO 2018:

Program IFRAO 2018:

August 5th-17th 2018

Excavation at Taborshamn, Hasfjord near Hasvik on Sørøya. Skandfer, Vollan, Jørgensen, Gordaoff, Damm and Jordan and Røe from Groningen excavated in order to obtain better documentation for possible reuse of dwellings and dwelling pits.

Team we-fie.... Foto: xxx


July 16th-20th 2018

Roberta Gordaoff and Charlotte Damm returned to several of the sites visited in June to expand on the previous recording. These included Kårvik on Seiland and Slettnes. In addition they recorded new sites (discovered by Kenneth Web Vollan through Lidar images) near Kårhamn on Seiland.

 Northern half of Slettnes, and view towards Hammerfest Foto: Charlotte Damm


June 15th - September 5th 2018

Dr. Carol Lentfer has for 3 months been performing experiments with slate knife edges, assisted by Warwick Andersson. She is now comparing the patterns to a number of Stonr Age knives. This study is a follow-up on her initial visit in April 2017, aiming to produce a pioneer study of use-wear and residues on the northern prehistoric slate knives. Inital results are highly promising!


June 19th-21st 2019

As part of the fieldwork in the Alta Fjord region in 2018, Gjerde and Hood visited previously known lithic raw material sources and quarries. The Alta Fjord region contains several raw material sources/quarries, many of which were discovered by Hood in the 1980s. Adding to the previous discoveries are the slate quarry newly found by Karin Tansem at Djupvik and the chert quarry excavated by the Tromsø Museum at Melsvik. Gjerde and Hood surveyed promising areas for new raw material sources. As part of the fieldwork in 2018 a new slate quarry was found and a few minor chert sources were identified. All these discoveries show that Alta was a rich place when it comes to lithic raw material. These surveys are planned to continue as part of the fieldwork in 2019.

Inspecting one of the sources at Kvenvikvatnet. Foto: xxx
Bryan Hood and Karin Tansem at the slate quarry in Djupvik discovered by Tansem. Foto: J.M. Gjerde

June 4th-9th 2018

Marianne Skandfer, Kenneth Web Vollan and Charlotte Damm surveyed in northern parts of the Sørøysund basin. Bad weather hindered a visit to Sandbukt, but they visited Slettnes and re-recorded all dwellings there. They also visited sites on the northern part of Seiland, In addition to recording previously known sites, Marianne Skandfer found a large Mesolithic sites in the area.

Marianne Skandfer discovered a large new Early Stone Age site at Eidsvågeidet on Seiland. Foto: C.Damm

June 4th to July 8th 2018

Jan Magne Gjerde has conducted extensive surveys on the SE and SW part of Seiland and in adjacent areas of the basin in the central part of the Alta fjord. While several new sites were discovered, the general picture of clusters with settlements and areas with few sites has been confirmed. He was accompanied for one week by Bjørn Ramberg and for 3 days by Bryan Hood. Hood and Gjerde visited a number of potential quarry sites (chert and slate). 


May 28th-30th 2018

Jan Magne Gjerde sailed north from Alta and around the island of Seiland, in order to evaluate the topograpical potential for new settlement sites. As the sea was rather rough, he was unfortunately not able to a ashore as much as we had hoped for. Still, he was able to determine that large section would have been inaccessible also in the Stone Age, thus limiting the areas that need to be surveyed.


April 16th-17th 2018

Dr. Lotte Eigeland organised and lead a two-day workshop on lithic technology, classification and analysis.

Marianne Skandfer (left) and Lotte Eigeland (right) discussing the finer points of the analysis. Foto: J.M.Gjerde
Kenneth Webb Vollan and Charlotte Damm attempting to discern unskilled knappers. Foto: J.M.Gjerde

April 10th 2018
Many of the Stone Age Demographics participants joined in a safety in small boats-course:


February 15th 2018

Prof. Knut Andreas Bergsvik joined us for a full day seminar on field work practices, and strategies, in preparation for this summers activities.