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Conference archive

16th Archaeological Conference of Central Germany: The social value of prehistoric axes: new archaeological and archaeometric approaches

International conference in Halle (Saale) from 5 to 7 October 2023.

The Archaeological Conference of Central Germany is hosted annually by the State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt. Based on finds or findings from Central Germany, the international conference addresses selected archaeological topics in order to contribute new insights into the interdisciplinary discussion.

The focus of this year’s congress is the rersearch question of the social value of prehistoric axes. Starting from basic presentations on raw materials (What are they? Where did they come from? Where were they distributed?) and material analyses, the aim of the conference will be to discuss and compare the economic (Where and how were they produced?) and above all the social significance of axes (How were they used?) from the Neolithic to the end of the Early Bronze Age.

The conference programme can also be found in the flyer [PDF, 0.2 MB, not barrier-free].


Thursday, 5 October 2023

Registration opens from 9.00.


9.45 to 10.00
Prof. Dr. Harald Meller (Halle [Saale]/DE), Prof. Dr. Roberto Risch (Barcelona/ES und Halle [Saale]/DE), Prof. Dr. Ernst Pernicka (Mannheim/DE): Opening and introduction.

10.00 to 10.35
Prof. Dr. Danny Rosenberg (Haifa/IL): The (Pre-)history of ground stone bifacials in the prehistoric southern Levant: production, characteristics and circulation.

10.35 to 11.10
PD Dr. Laura Dietrich (Vienna/AT), Dr. Michael Brandl (Vienna/AT), Prof. Dr. Barbara Horejs (Vienna/AT): ›Green‹ stone axes between Anatolia and the Balkans in the Neolithic.


11.10 to 11.40 – Coffee break.


11.40 to 12.15
PD Dr. Florian Klimscha (Hannover/DE): Beile machen Leute. Der soziale Wert neolithischer Steinbeilklingen.

12.15 to 12.50
Dr. Danai Chondrou (Thessaloniki/GR): The many facets of an axe: technical and socio-cultural dimensions of the edge-tool technology in prehistoric north-west Greece and beyond.


12.50 to 14.20 – Lunch break.


14.20 to 14.55
Dr. Lasse Sørensen (Copenhagen/DK): Gifts from the earth – Neolithic quarrying of the jadeitite sources in the Kampos valley on the Cycladic island of Syros.

14.55 to 15.30
Dr. Petr Šída (Hradec Králové/CZ): Neolithic quarrying in the Jizera Mountains and its consequences for the Central European Neolithic.

15.30 to 16.05
Prof. Dr. Roberto Risch (Barcelona/ES und Halle [Saale]/DE), Simone Meinecke M. A. (Halle [Saale]/DE), Dr. Laura Culi Verdaguer (Barcelona/ES), Dr. Francisco Jose Martinez Fernandez (Barcelona/ES): Mesolithic and Neolithic axe production and circulation in Central Europe.


16.05 to 16.30 – Coffee break.


16.30 to 17.05
Dr. Michał Borowski (Wrocław/PL), Dr. Bernadeta Kufel-Diakowska (Wrocław/PL), Marcin Chłoń M. A. (Wrocław/PL): Procurement and circulation of lithic raw materials used for production of polished stone tools in Lower Silesia (SW Poland): some remarks on the state-of-the-art and new research perspectives.

17.05 to 17.40
Dr. Michael Müller (Berlin/DE): Axt- und Beilklingen aus neolithischen Deponierungen als Repräsentationen investierter Zeit.

17.40 to 18.15
Prof. Dr. François Giligny (Paris/FR): Axes along the Seine valley: from the mine to the grave.

18.15 to 18.40
Dr. Veronique Brunet (Croissy-Beaubourg/FR): Polished axes: a factor of social integration on an individual-local/collective-supra-local scale.

18.40 to 19.00 – Short break.


19.00 to 19.15
Greeting by Prof. Dr. Claudia Becker, rector, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg.

19.15 – keynote lecture
Prof. Dr. Kristian Kristiansen: Axes: tools, trade objects, and prestige weapons during the Bronze Age.

Afterwards standing reception.


Friday, 6 October 2023

9.00 to 9.35
Dr. Alison Sheridan (Edinburgh/GB): The social value of stone axeheads in Neolithic Britain and Ireland.

9.35 to 10.10
Dr. Lasse Sørensen (Copenhagen/DK): Fashion, desirability and imitations of Neolithic polished stone tools in South Scandinavia.

10.10 to 10.45
Dr. Carlos Rodríguez Rellán (Granada/ES): Iberia during the green-axe Neolithic craze: Not such a backwater?


10.45 to 11.15 – Coffee break.


11.15 to 10.50
Prof. Dr. Johannes Müller (Kiel/DE), Dr. Jan Piet Brozio (Kiel/DE): The meaning of travelling metal objects: Chalcolithic networks and social formations between the Baltic and the Black Sea.

11.50 to 12.25
Prof. Dr. Svend Hansen (Berlin/DE): Bronze and Copper Axes of the 4th Millennium between Caucasus and Carpathian Basin.

12.25 to 13.00
Prof. Dr. Andrea Dolfini (Newcastle/UK): Early metal axes from Italy: production, consumption, and social value.


13.00 to 14.30 – Lunch break.


14.30 to 15.05
Dr. Marcello Peres (Barcelona/ES), Prof. Dr. Roberto Risch (Barcelona/ES und Halle [Saale]/DE), Dr. Eni Soriano (Barcelona/ES): Axe production and circulation in the Iberian Bronze Age: a taxonomical and spatial approach.

15.05 to 15.40
Prof. Dr. Ernst Pernicka (Mannheim/DE): The flow of copper in the form of axes: Trading commodity, prestige items, tools, or weapons?

15.40 to 16.15
Dr. Daniel Berger (Mannheim/DE): Die Bronzebeile der Aunjetitzer Kultur und ihre Rohstoffe: bewährte Analytik und neue Ansätze.


16.15 to 16.45 – Coffee break.


16.45 to 17.10
Prof. Dr. Harald Meller (Halle [Saale]/DE), Dr. Jan-Heinrich Bunnefeld (Halle [Saale]/DE), Prof. Dr. Roberto Risch (Barcelona/ES und Halle (Saale)/DE), Dr. Christian-Heinrich Wunderlich (Halle [Saale]/DE): Werkzeuge, Waffen, Würdezeichen. Beile und Äxte der Aunjetitzer Kultur in Mitteldeutschland.

17.20 to 17.55
Oliver Michael M. Sc. (Magdeburg/DE), Dr. Sebastian Dieck (Magdeburg/DE), Dr. Markus Wilke (Magdeburg/DE), Dr. Christian-Heinrich Wunderlich (Halle [Saale]/DE), Dr. Jan-Heinrich Bunnefeld (Halle [Saale]/DE), Prof. Dr. Harald Meller (Halle [Saale]/DE), Prof. Dr. Thorsten Halle (Magdeburg/DE): Archäometallurgische Untersuchungen zur Herstellung von früh- und mittelbronzezeitlichen Randleistenbeilen in Mitteldeutschland.

17.55 to 18.30
Dr. Bárbara Bonora Soriano (Barcelona/ES): The funerary value of metal axes in El Argar: a microspatial approach.

18.40 to 19.30
Poster presentations.


20.15 – Reception in the State Museum of Prehistory and visit to the permanent exhibition.


Saturday, 7 October 2023

9.00 to 9.45
Poster presentations.

9.45 to 10.20
Dr. Miroslav Dobeš (Prague/CZ): Metall unter Steinen – kupferne Äxte und Beile des böhmisch-mährischen Äneolithikums (circa 4400 bis 2200 BC).

10.20 to 10.55
Mgr. Eva Schimerova (Hradec Králové/CZ), Mgr. Markéta Havlíková (Brno/CZ), Dr. Ing. Šárka Msallamová (Prague/CZ): Beyond the surface: investigating the internal and external properties of silver-coated axes.

10.55 to 11.30
Dr. Heide W. Nørgaard (Højbjerg/DK): The use of axe and ring metal as a raw material source in the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age in southern Scandinavia.


11.30 to 12.00 – Coffee break with lunch snack.


12.00 to 12.35
Prof. Dr. Lene Melheim (Oslo/NO): Massive shaft hole axes as tools and tokens of value in Bronze Age Scandinavia: production, circulation, and use.

12.35 to 13.10
Dr. Cécile Le Carlier de Veslud (Rennes/FR): Chemical and isotopic composition of Bronze Age axes from north-west France.

13.10 to 13.45
Dr. Oliver Dietrich (Halle [Saale]/DE): Lappen und Tülle. Soziale Dimensionen spätbronzezeitlicher Innovationen der Beiltechnologie.

Afterwards final discussion.

Poster contributions

We hereby cordially invite you to submit a poster (format DIN A1 maximum). Please send us a short summary (one page) of the poster for the abstract volume, which will be distributed at the conference, by 31 July 2023 at the latest. Please send your poster as TIFF, JPG or PDF to cgaertner@lda.stk.sachsen-anhalt.deby 17 September 2023 at the latest and bring a printout to the conference.

A poster presentation is planned at the conference. Each poster author has a maximum of 5 minutes to present the research based on the poster. The time and order of presentation will be communicated to the poster authors by 4 October 2023 at the latest. A separate decision will be made later on whether the topic will be included in the conference proceedings.

Scientific board

Prof. Dr. Harald Meller (Halle [Saale]/DE)
Prof. Dr. Ernst Pernicka (Mannheim/DE)
Prof. Dr. Roberto Risch (Barcelona/ES)

Registration and coordination

Registrations are possible until 23 September 2023 at mda-halle@lda.stk.sachsen-anhalt.de.

The conference fees are 45.00 € per person, reduced 20.00 €.

Claudia Gärtner M. A.
Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt
Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte
Richard-Wagner-Straße 9
06114 Halle (Saale)
+49 345 5247-372

During the event, photo and video recordings will be made for purposes of documentation and public relations.


Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Steintor-Campus, Hörsaal I
Adam-Kuckhoff-Straße 35
06108 Halle (Salle)

Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte
Richard-Wagner-Straße 9
06114 Halle (Saale)

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