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Thread: How far has Central European Bronze and Iron Ages pushed to the North?

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    How far has Central European Bronze and Iron Ages pushed to the North?

    How far has Central European Bronze and Iron Ages pushed to the North?

    Many assume an influence from Central European Bronze Age and Iron Age cultures, often referred as Unetice (2300-1600 BC), Tumulus (1600-1200), Urnfield (1200-800), Hallstatt (800-400 BC) and La Tene (400- 100 BC) to the Northwest European room incl. Southern Scandinavia.
    But how did this look like? What is your impression?

    More specific how did it look like in terms of "pots" (cultural artifacts incl. language) and "people" (genetics)?
    Feel free to comment!

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    The eye opener for my perspective on this matter was the work of Sophie Bergerbrant and Helle Vandkilde.
    In the creation of the North European Bronze Age she considered two different "poles".
    I. The Sögel-Wohlde Culture, core area about the river Ems, NE Dutch/NW Lower Saxony that radiates to the whole area around the Southern North Sea, to Schleswig and Jutland.
    II. The Valsømagle Culture, core are above the Elbe, the Danish Isles and Southern Sweden.

    Bergerbrant (2012)


    These two different cultures are constructive in my "paradigma" for this quest of the push of the Central European Bronze Age an Iron Age culture to the North.

    I'm convinced that both cultures are standing for long term cultures that lasted during the EBA up unto the Iron Ages.

    I zoom in on the Sögel-Wohlde Culture. IMO this has started with Elp culture (EBA) and ended with the Harpstedt Nienburg Group (Iron age). This gathers the following "archeological labels":
    Elp culture: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elp_culture
    Sögel-Wohlde culture: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%B6gel-Wohlde-Kreis
    Harpstedt-Nienburg culture https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harpst...nburger_Gruppe

    The Sögel-Wohlde culture started (about 1800 BC) with an influx from a hithertho unknown culture with especially distinct man graves. Theses graves and the way they were buried with golden earring and certain kind of sword, were 100% modelled by the Unetice example. Where the Sögel-Wohlde warriors indigenous that played copy cat? Or, and I guess that is most likely, was this a new influx?

    At the end stands in the iron age the Harpstedt-Nienburg phase in this phase there was something remarkable in these phase in the most southern area bordering with the La Tene culture some kind of walls were created.
    https://journals.ub.uni-heidelberg.d...cle/view/18639

    IMO the essence of this period that begins with the influx of Sögel-Wohlde warriors and that ends with the walls is that during this period the Sögel-Wohlde culture was a kind of intermediate (or in some sense bridge) between the Central European Bronze Age and Iron Age and the Nordic Bronze Age and Iron Age.
    Last edited by Finn; 05-05-2021 at 02:03 PM.

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    Ad hoc I can't come up with all the quotations, of which I have posted many already, in different threads, but to sum it up, one of the biggest movements was related to the Unetice collapse. We see how completely dependent and underdeveloped the North, especially Scandinavia was, for a prolonged period of time and practically at the same time Unetice came under pressure from the South West, internal turmoils, but especially from the East, from people using war chariots (!), a whole, proto-state system begins to crumble until almost nothing of it being left, we see a sudden and rather abrupt increase of productivity, quality and niveau on every cultural level in Northern Europe. The ties were there before and there are archaeological analyses which clearly point to Unetice sphere as one of the main source regions for Bronze imports and works in the North.
    There was no continuous evolution, but a rather sudden change associated with the influx of specialists. The only question which remains is whether these influx had, just like later in the Iron Age, with the big Hallstatt influence on the emerging Jastorf culture, but even more so in the Bronze Age, a lasting genetic, probably also ethnolinguistic impact. The ethnolinguistical aspect is hard to evaluate, but the genetic can be estimated, if we have more data points from ancient DNA. Same goes for the Iron Age transition, which too was clearly caused by massive external influences.
    Since the people involved were not fundamentally different autosomally, the main route for the investigation will be to follow the patrilineages from my point of view. They really decide what was more important, acculturation, or a demic shift. Most likely something in between, but where things will settle down, we can't know without the data. Because small, even rather subtle cultural changes can sometimes point to big genetic shifts, while big cultural turns can be the result of little gene flow. The general rule is otherwise, but we can't tell for the individual case without the data.

    Especially the history and spread of I1 will be of particular interest in the context of the Proto-Germanic development and R1b-U106 for the Iron Age transition. But also other subclades, even including those which are rare in the North might play their role, if it might be proven they being introduced at a specific time, with a specific cultural formation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverman View Post
    Ad hoc I can't come up with all the quotations, of which I have posted many already, in different threads, but to sum it up, one of the biggest movements was related to the Unetice collapse. We see how completely dependent and underdeveloped the North, especially Scandinavia was, for a prolonged period of time and practically at the same time Unetice came under pressure from the South West, internal turmoils, but especially from the East, from people using war chariots (!), a whole, proto-state system begins to crumble until almost nothing of it being left, we see a sudden and rather abrupt increase of productivity, quality and niveau on every cultural level in Northern Europe. The ties were there before and there are archaeological analyses which clearly point to Unetice sphere as one of the main source regions for Bronze imports and works in the North.
    There was no continuous evolution, but a rather sudden change associated with the influx of specialists. The only question which remains is whether these influx had, just like later in the Iron Age, with the big Hallstatt influence on the emerging Jastorf culture, but even more so in the Bronze Age, a lasting genetic, probably also ethnolinguistic impact. The ethnolinguistical aspect is hard to evaluate, but the genetic can be estimated, if we have more data points from ancient DNA. Same goes for the Iron Age transition, which too was clearly caused by massive external influences.
    Since the people involved were not fundamentally different autosomally, the main route for the investigation will be to follow the patrilineages from my point of view. They really decide what was more important, acculturation, or a demic shift. Most likely something in between, but where things will settle down, we can't know without the data. Because small, even rather subtle cultural changes can sometimes point to big genetic shifts, while big cultural turns can be the result of little gene flow. The general rule is otherwise, but we can't tell for the individual case without the data.

    Especially the history and spread of I1 will be of particular interest in the context of the Proto-Germanic development and R1b-U106 for the Iron Age transition. But also other subclades, even including those which are rare in the North might play their role, if it might be proven they being introduced at a specific time, with a specific cultural formation.
    Absolutely. I guess that it's even a possibility that the Sögel Warriors of EBA (1800 BC) were from Unetice and spread R1b U106. With the available samples we now have Jimonice/Prague (2000 BC) and Oostwoud North Holland (1800 BC) this is a real scenario. But needs absolutely more samples/proof. The Sögel-Wohlde area is (nowadays) still the hotspot of R1b U106.

    Even more shaky is this G25 model with some North Dutch. My mother has mostly ancestry from core Sögel-Wohlde area, may be this has an effect. But not sure. And I brought her too much on the scene as 'evidence' so boring. And as you said in Central and Northern Europe the LNBA was already quite like today so tricky business.

    Nevertheless I found especially in her result pointing at Unetice (SVK-EBA) and Hallstatt. Totally coincidence????



    Last but not least the language. The Northwest Block is nowadays pretty debunked. Although this theory fitted ideal with the intermediate position of Sögel-Wohlde. Nevertheless no one has up to know a fully answer which language was spoken during Bronze Age and Iron Age in the Sögel Wohlde area. Udolph stated that “der Raum zwischen Harz, Thüringer Wald und Erzgebirge” was the area in which Germanic was developed. That's pretty much the Unetice area. So if the Sögel-Wohlde warriors were rooted in that area did they brought an "embryonal kind of proto Germanic" with them? More questions than answers in this respect.
    Last edited by Finn; 05-05-2021 at 01:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finn
    More specific how did it look like in terms of "pots" (cultural artifacts incl. language) and "people" (genetics)?
    Here I must add, that a language is no more connected to the pots than the genes are. Neither from the culture nor DNA can we see the language.

    Quote Originally Posted by Finn
    Last but not least the language. The Northwest Block is nowadays pretty debunked. Although this theory fitted ideal with the intermediate position of Sögel-Wohlde. Nevertheless no one has up to know a fully answer which language was spoken during Bronze Age and Iron Age in the Sögel Wohlde area. Udolph stated that “der Raum zwischen Harz, Thüringer Wald und Erzgebirge” was the area in which Germanic was developed. That's pretty much the Unetice area. So if the Sögel-Wohlde warriors were rooted in that area did they brought an "embryonal kind of proto Germanic" with them? More questions than answers in this respect.
    Udolph totally ignores the fact, that the Germanic lineage has had long-lasting contacts with Finnic and Saami: NwIE > Pre-Germanic > Paleo-Germanic > Proto-Germanic > Nw-Germanic > Proto-Nordic.

    Here are two articles by Petri Kallio about these loanwords; in the first one he criticizes Udolph:
    https://www.academia.edu/13615139/Th...ords_in_Finnic
    https://www.sgr.fi/sust/sust266/sust266_kallio.pdf

    "In particular, the German onomastician Jürgen Udolph (1994) places the Proto-Germanic homeland in Thuringia and the adjacent areas in Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, thus right next to Celtic but very far from both Finnic and Saami. The location he proposes is based exclusively on toponyms, which are, however, notoriously ambiguous and very much open to subjective interpretation. For instance, it is easy to find other scholars who have no problem with the idea of Pre-/Palaeo-/Proto-Germanic toponyms in Scandinavia (Andersson 1995, 2002;Strandberg 2002a, 2002b) or even in Finland (Koivulehto 1987; Heikkilä 2014).

    Moreover, Udolph (1994: 916-917) discusses the early Germanic loanwords in Finnic only briefly, and he does not even mention those in Saami. His only reference is to his own teacher Wolfgang P. Schmid (1986: 166-167) who also fails to cite a single primary study on the topic. Thus, it is hardly a wonder that Udolph ends updating the earliest Germanic-Finnic contacts to the beginning of our era. This would have been acceptable half a century ago, but now it sounds as old-fashioned as the rest of his historical linguistic views (for which see especially Bichlmeier 2012, 2013).

    True, Udolph is not the only contemporary scholar to support such late datings, but what all these scholars have in common is that they have never themselves conducted research on Germanic-Finnic loanwords, meaning that we are here speaking of non-expert rather than expert opinions. The last apparent exception was the late Ralf-Peter Ritter (2002), although even he admitted that the earliest Germanic loanwords in Finnic may date earlier than the beginning of our era, thus agreeing with the standard contemporary view within Germanic-Finnic loanword studies (as represented, in particular, by Hofstra 1995; Hahmo & Hofstra 1998;Koivulehto 2002; Hahmo 2004; Kallio 2012b).

    To sum up, the assumption of a Germanic homeland in Central Germany is not at all convincing (cf. also Schrijver 2014), not to mention the notion that Germanic would have expanded more than one thousand kilometres to the north during the Pre-Roman Iron Age when global climate conditions became cooler and wetter. As the Germanic maritime vocabulary is a further argument for a coastal rather than an inland origin, I still prefer to locate the Germanic homeland in Denmark and adjacent areas."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaska View Post
    Here I must add, that a language is no more connected to the pots than the genes are. Neither from the culture nor DNA can we see the language.


    Udolph totally ignores the fact, that the Germanic lineage has had long-lasting contacts with Finnic and Saami: NwIE > Pre-Germanic > Paleo-Germanic > Proto-Germanic > Nw-Germanic > Proto-Nordic.

    Here are two articles by Petri Kallio about these loanwords; in the first one he criticizes Udolph:
    https://www.academia.edu/13615139/Th...ords_in_Finnic
    https://www.sgr.fi/sust/sust266/sust266_kallio.pdf
    OK clear and thanks!

    Udolph looked strictly at name giving (topology).Nevertheless if you don't mind, I don't want to go in the direction of the possible Finnish/ Saami influences. Primair topic is the influence from Central Europe Bronze Age/ Iron Age on Northern Europe.....

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    There are both archaeological influence and gene flow to Scandinavia from many directions. South is not the only option here: since the Stone Age, the contacts to and from the east have been continuous. We cannot just decide, that the Germanic language was connected to some genetic lineage but not to others. In Scandinavia, all the lineages I1, N3, R1a, R1b - no matter where they originated - became "Germanic".

    Still, the connection between the language and the genetic lineages is always momentary. We cannot claim, that because at some time in some area a lineage was associated with one language, it would also at another time in another area be associated with the same language. Language is totally independent from DNA, because it is learned from the surrounding people and not inherited in parents' chromosomes.


    Nevertheless if you don't mind, I don't want to go in the direction of the possible Finnish/ Saami influences. Primair topic is the influence from Central Europe Bronze Age/ Iron Age on Northern Europe.....
    That's OK.
    Then the birth and dispersal of the Germanic language lineage is left outside the scope.
    Last edited by Jaska; 05-05-2021 at 12:42 PM.

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    Language is totally independent from DNA, because it is learned from the surrounding people and not inherited in parents' chromosomes.
    Yes basically I agree with you. Nevertheless it are people that migrate and bring languages with them.... So the birth of 'English' can not be seen separate from an Anglo-Saxon influx, of people of flesh and blood (and genes of course


    Then the birth and dispersal of the Germanic language lineage is left outside the scope.
    Nope it's not one way street. I simply don't want a debate about the Sami-Finnish influence here, that's interesting but outside the scope of the topic. Unless they came from Central Europe but I doubt that....
    Last edited by Finn; 05-05-2021 at 01:18 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finn View Post
    I simply don't want a debate about the Sami-Finnish influence here, that's interesting but outside the scope of the topic.
    Too bad for me, I was on the point to question Jaska about Schrijvers' theory of the Germanic shift (in "Language Contact and the Origins of the Germanic Languages"). I'm really curious to get the thoughts of a professional linguist about it. If necessary I'll open a thread in the linguistic sub-forum.
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