View Full Version : Bronze Age Europe – the first Industrial revolution

Jean M
10-15-2013, 06:32 PM

As part of a larger pan-European study investigating the Bronze Age of Europe, an archaeologist from the University of Gothenburg has provided the first evidence of long distance travel by an individual – probably from southern Sweden – into the territory of the Únětice culture of Silesia. The doctoral thesis confirms evidence based on bioarchaeological data.

A traveller from Sweden

‘Over 3800 years ago, a young male, possibly born in Skåne, made a journey of over 900 kilometres south, to Wroclaw in Poland”. concludes Dalia Pokutta, author of the thesis. He met his end violently in Wroclaw, killed in the territory of the Úněticean farmers. His remains were discovered in association with two local females, who had been killed at the same time.

Was this a ‘Bronze Age love story’, with no happy ending?

What is clear from the evidence is the first case of Swedish-Polish long distance connections that have so far been uncovered.

The Early Bronze Age has undergone a range of transformations in our perception over the past few decades, as further archaeological excavation and research is carried out. The Únětice culture is perhaps the most widely known of these central European groups, famously associated with the Nebra Sky Disk. The culture is considered to be part of a wider pan-European phenomenon, arising gradually between III-II millennium BCE.

The new study of the culture comes as a result of international cooperation of several leading European universities within the EU Forging Identities: The Mobility of Culture in Bronze Age Europe programme. Dalia Pokutta’s part of the study is a ‘bioarchaeological portrait’ of the Únětice culture in Poland, focusing particularly on the territories of Lower Silesia.

Dalia Anna Pokutta 2013 Population Dynamics, Diet and Migrations of the Únětice Culture in Poland GOTARC Series B. No.60. Gothenburg Archaeological Theses
http://www.academia.edu/3515972/Population_Dynamics_Diet_and_Migrations_of_the_Une tice_Culture_in_Poland

10-16-2013, 11:20 PM
When coupled with the Bronze Age samples from the Isle of Thanet and Stonehenge's Amesbury Archer, it suggests to me that there must have been a fair amount of long distance travel in Europe during the Bronze Age.

Jean M
10-16-2013, 11:36 PM
Long-distance trade in the Bronze Age has long been deduced from the spread of objects. For example

Bronze Age objects found in the English Channel off Salcombe, southern Britain, include an implement which has its normal home in Sicilian agriculture – perhaps as a plough shoe. The authors assemble and classify the objects and consider the web of exchange networks that brought the artefact from Sicily to Devon via France around the thirteenth century BC.

Now we are starting to see the human side of that story from isotopes.

10-17-2013, 12:26 AM
Quite so, but objects can be transferred through a number of intermediate steps, while the above instances show the movement of people over considerable distances.