Department of Archaeology and Ancient History

Kjel S.Å. Knutsson

Professor of Archaeology, Uppsala University, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History

Current research
My general research is concentrated on material culture and history in cultural reproduction. A special field of archaeological concern is the Stone Age of Northern Scandinavia and Lithic analysis.

Main occupation
Responsible for and teaching on the undergraduate level at the institute of Archaeology and Ancient History at Uppsala University. Supervisor on the postgraduate level.

Current Projects
Working to finalize the five year Coast to Coast project, dealing mainly with the Neolithzation in Scandinavia. I am functioning as supervisor for PhD theses (a total of 6 where 2 are still to be finished ) and my own contribution: a book on the Historical Construction of Norrland. Project financed through the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation and have so far published 13 volumes in the report series: Coast to Coast Books.

At the end of a research project called “ Family space and communal areas: cultural reproduction among hunter-gatherers ” together with the PhD student Pierre Vogel. The project is financed through the Swedish Research Council.

Together with Paul Sinclair I have just become involved in a project on Cave sites on the East African Coast dealing with a cultural sequence from the late Pleistocene to the Present. My main contribution to the project is the analysis of the lithic assemblages. The project has just started and new field work in some of the caves is expected.

Together with Nordic colleagues I am currently also working on a series of lithic assemblages from a middle Mesolithic sequence from Northern Fennoscandia. In 2009 we got a grant from The Nordic Council for Research in the Humanities (NOS- HS) to arrange a series of workshops in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway. These workshops also form the beginning of a joint scientific project concerning the pioneer settlement of northern Europe in the late Pleistocene/Early Holocene. The Uppsala part of this project involves a group of researchers (PhD Helena Knutsson; PhD Lars Sundström, and PhD candidates at the university). The project will continue for five years 2010 – 2015.

The joint Scandinavian project will be presented at a special session at the Eighth International Conference on the Mesolithic in Europe in Santander Spain 13-17 September 2010.

From 2010 the joint Scandinavian project has started a researcher Network and in addition to scientists from the Nordic countries, the network includes researchers from Germany, Poland, Estonia and Russia. The network has its own homepage where our members and upcoming events are presented.

Some of my recent publications
Forsberg, L. & Knutsson K., 1998. Converging conclusions from different archaeological perspectives. The early settlement of northern Sweden. Proceedings of the fifth Mesolithic conference i Grenoble 1995.

Knutsson, K., 1998. Convention and lithic analysis. In: Holm, J. & Knutsson, K. (eds.). Third flint alternatives conference at Uppsala. OPIA 16, Department of archaeology and ancient history, Uppsala: 71-93

Knutsson, K., Lindgren, C., Hallgren, F. & Björck, N. 1999. The Mesolithic in Eastern central Sweden. In: Boas, J. (ed.) The Mesolithic in central Scandinavia. Universitetets Oldsakssamlings Årbok 22 . Oslo: 87-125

Knutsson, K., 2001 (tillsammans med Jan Apel, Deborah Olausson, ) The Spread of Flint Axes and Daggers in Neolithic Scandinavia. Archaeologichke Rozhledy. Prag
Knutsson, K., Lindberg, K-F. & Falkenström P., 2003 Hunter/gatherers north of the TRB-culture in Central Scandinavia-The Neolithization from a north Scandinavian perspective. In: Kindgren, H., Knutsson, K., Larsson, L., Loeffler, D. & Åkerlund, A. (Eds) Mesolithic on the Move. Proceedings from MESO 2000, the 6:th international conference on the Mesolithic in Europe. Oxbow books. Oxford.

Knutsson, K. & Helena Knutsson 2003. Stone Age Transitions. Neolithization in central Scandinavia. In: Budja, M. (ed) . Neolithic Studies. Documenta Praehistorica XXX. Ljubljana.: 49-78.

Knutsson, K., 2003. Introduction to Stone vestiges. Lithic Technology and Human Landscape in the early Prehistory of Southeast Asia. In: Karlström, A. & A. Källén (eds.) Fishbones and Glittering Emblems. Southeast Asian Archaeology 2002:

Knutsson, K., 2005. The Historical Construction of Norrland. In: Knutsson, H. (ed.). Arrival. Coast to Coast Books 12. Uppsala: 45-71

Knutsson, K. & Knutsson, H., 2005. Introduction. In: Knutsson, H. (ed.) Arrival. Coast to Coast Books 12. Uppsala: 4-25

Knutsson, K., 2005. Bridging the abyss of time. Material culture, cultural reproduction and the sacred time of origin. In: Knutsson, H. (ed.). Pioneer settlements and colonization processes in the Barents region. Vuollerim Papers in hunter.gatherer archaeology 1. Vuollerim: 117-141

Knutsson, K., 2006. A genealogy of reflexivity. The skilled craftsman as scientist In: Apel J. & Knutsson. K. (eds.) Skilled production and Social reproduction. SAU Stone Studies 2. Uppsala: 153-187.

Knutsson, K., 2005. Rastklippan och historiens mening. Ekologi, socialt minne och materiella diskurser. I: Festskrift till Evert Baudou. Archaeology and Environment 20. Umeå.

Knutsson, K., 2008. Introduction. Flint alternatives session. In: Woodman. P., (ed.) Proceedings of the 7th international conference on The Mesolithic in Europe. (MESO 2005) in Belfast 28/8-2/9 2005.

Knutsson, K., 2008. Comment on Ingela Bergman: Indigenous time, colonial history: Sami conceptions of time and ancestry and the role of relics in cultural reproduction. Norwegian Archaeological Review Vol. 39/2; 151-161.

Knutsson K., 2007 Kumbi Cave Lithics. In: Chami, F. (ed.) Proceedings of the African Archaeology Network Conference, 2nd- 8th Oct, 2006. Kampala – Uganda.

Knutsson, H. & Knutsson, K., 2009. Neolithization as if history mattered in Central Scandinavia. In: Håkon Glörstad (ed.) Neolithization as if history mattered. Proceedings of the EAA Annual Meeting in Krakow 19-24 September 2006.


Knutsson, K., Knutsson, H., (manuskript). Cognitive tool categories in prehistoric quartz assemblages – The analysis of fracture patterns and use wear in a case study of Stone Age sites from Eastern Central Sweden. Ve službách archeologie 2009:1. Brno. Eds. Vladimír Hašek, Rostislav Nekuda, Matej Ruttkay.

Knutsson, K. (with Felix Chami, Paul Sinclair & Hans Åke Nordström. The archaeology of Mafia Island and its implications to ancient Indian Ocean trade networks. (manuscript completed in 2004).