Rings, sectors and Barmose I: a reply to Stapert


  • H.P. Blankholm


This paper comments critically on Stapert's (1992 and this volume) treatment of the Danish early Maglemosian site Barmose I. Basically, he displays an unfortunate mixture of the uninformed use of Maglemosian material on the one hand and methodological inconsistencies on the other.

He fails to consult the excavator's publications and also largely fails to refer to other primary site publications or sources on the Maglemosian, thus ignoring much relevant information. Consequently, his treatment of the site, classification, and hut floors suffers from the lack of knowledge on the nature and specifics of the data.

His ring and sector method has severe theoretical, statistical and operational constraints and has neither been tested on independent ethno-archaeological material for which the behavioural parameters are known, nor matched consistently with other methodologies. It is not proven that the ring and sector method is capable of delivering information of relevance for behavioural interpretation. Thoroughly, his discussions lack balance and consistency.

His conclusion, that Barmose I was an open air hunting camp with a central hearth and only used by two men, remains unfounded and contradicted by the primary data.