Research on Late Neolithic–Early Bronze Age society in southernmost Scandinavia has to a large extent focused on the creation of social hierarchy and on elite networks upheld by individuals. This has meant that the importance of collective strategies has been underplayed. In the south-west corner of Sweden, about eighty house remains from the Late Neolithic and the earliest Bronze Age have been excavated within a small area. It is the largest concentration of houses from the period so far excavated in southern Scandinavia. The settlement pattern reveals both single farms and one site, Almhov, with a concentration of several contemporary farms with large houses. The aim of this article is to highlight collective aspects, recognizing that both collective and individual strategies are important in the formation of hierarchical societies. House remains as well as graves and their placement in relation to each other within the local landscape are the archaeological material in focus, regarded as materializations of economic and social relations. It is argued that collective strategies were an important part of creating and maintaining economic and social position.
European Journal of Archaeology