An integrated analysis of Maglemose bone points reframes the Early Mesolithic of Southern Scandinavia.
The extensive peat bogs of Southern Scandinavia have yielded rich Mesolithic archaeological assemblages, with one of the most iconic artefacts being the bone point. Although great in number they remain understudied. Here we present a combined investigation of the typology, protein-based species composition, and absolute chronology of Maglemosian bone points. The majority of the bone points are made from cervids and bovines. However, changes both in species composition and barb morphology can be directly linked to a paucity of finds lasting nearly 600 years in Southern Scandinavia around 10,300 cal BP. We hypothesize that this hiatus was climate-driven and forced hunter-gatherers to abandon the lakes. Furthermore, the marked change in bone points coincides with a change in lithic technology. We, therefore, propose that the Maglemose culture in Southern Scandinavia is fundamentally divided into an Early Complex and a Late Complex.