Thursday, April 01, 2021

UIS Associate Professor Lynn Fisher receives fellowship to conduct archaeological research in Germany this fall

University of Illinois Springfield Associate Professor of Anthropology Lynn Fisher has been awarded a Mercator Fellowship for archaeological research at the University of Kiel in Germany this fall.

The fellowship is part of a grant-funded project on Social Dimensions of Technological Change, a collaboration between the University of Kiel, the Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology and the Archaeological State Museum Schloss Gottorf (Schleswig). The project is funded by the German Science Foundation.

The fellowship supports two months in residence in Kiel during Fisher’s sabbatical in fall 2021, plus a return trip the following year to participate in an international workshop the collaborators will plan together. The workshop’s findings will be published as a book.   

“I will work with Berit Eriksen, scientific director of the Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology, to organize an international workshop on regional and chronological variation in flint mining practices during the Neolithic and Bronze Age in Europe,” Fisher said. “Eriksen and I both specialize in the study of ancient technologies and what they tell us about past social dynamics and social change.”

Flint mines are an important, but often ignored aspect of prehistoric life during these time periods. The stone dug out of mines and quarries was used to make tools used in everyday life, and also connects to social identities, gender, transmission of knowledge and socioeconomic changes such as craft specialization. 

Eriksen and her colleagues, who direct the Social Dimensions of Technological Change project, invited Fisher to work with them when they heard she was planning to compare and contrast flint mines and quarries to put her own excavations of a quarry in southern Germany in context. 

“My hope is to learn a lot more about how quarries and mines vary, including some where skilled toolmakers made highly standardized products and others that were much less standardized, and to understand what those differences are telling us about ancient societies and social change,” Fisher said. 

No comments: