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

  1. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by anglesqueville View Post
    I don't need reading Euler to repeat here what all people who have a minimal education in comparative linguistics know: between proto-Italic and proto-Germanic there is a gap. It's my turn to put a
    But this al leads not to a good discussion, only some sidekick remarks imo.

    Orthodoxy and dogma's you know.....
    Last edited by Finn; 05-13-2021 at 05:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strider99 View Post
    Do you know if there are any maps showing the geographical distribution of judge's seats/domarringar in Norway?

    I'm curious if the trend of raising these circles was established by the increasing prestige of a rising new regional elite or generally dominant group. The custom of raising judge's seats seems to have kicked off at around 200 AD. Their diameter normally ranged between 6 and 10 metres, further differentiating them from earlier stone circles. The main purpose of the circles could have been to serve as important burial sites, but there's a lot of other theories about them as well. A common one is that the reason for why the people who built them favoured odd numbers of stones such as 7 and 9 was that they were used as assembly (thing) sites and that each juryman would stand by his stone. The vote would be cast and the odd number of stones would prevent the vote from being a draw, instead always reaching a conclusion. Presumably the juryman or elder's clan or retinue of warriors would be positioned behind the stone in close vicinity to their lord. Needless to say there is no real evidence that speaks in favour of this theory that attempts to explain the odd numbers of stones often found in the circles. I guess it's fully possible that they didn't become assembly places until later in time.
    "Historian Verner Lindblom brought forth the idea that each dynasty or family would have had their own stone circle, larger or smaller depending on the status of the clan. He suggests that they, aside from being used to judge in legal matters, may also have served as a gathering place for the family during festivities".
    http://wadbring.com/historia/sidor/domarringar.htm

    "Archaeological examinations indicate that the stone circles were burials. The judge's seats often contain a cremation grave from the older Iron Age. Such graves constitutes of a pit below the ground where the bones of the cremated were placed".
    https://www.hembygd.se/narunga/page/33941

    The increasing importance of these judge's circles seems to be just one of many details when it comes to the signficant upheaval mentioned by Riverman and other members earlier in this thread and the overall cultural discontinuity that occurred after the Bronze Age here, but it's interesting nonetheless. Regarding the circles in Skjærvika and the ones in Blomsholm. Does Nordgren give his own opinion about this Kattegat-sphere of sorts that was suggested by Sahlström, Oxenstierna and Svennung? I also kind of skimmed through it but I'll have to check it out more thoroughly some day soon. The number of stones in the circles at Hunnfeltene are 13, 15 and 11. Wonder if that constantly reccuring odd pattern had a real purpose or not.
    Unfortunately the phenomena is seriously understudied in Norway, which is a shame because it's very fascinating. I haven't been able to find any serious, systematic study or dissertation on the topic except one from the 50's:
    https://www.duo.uio.no/handle/10852/23066

    Also, I found this article in a publication from an archaeological magazine, it's from 1951, mostly about the Hunn-excavation, but also goes slightly into national trends (page 115 and onwards)
    https://www.duo.uio.no/handle/10852/37577

    Another link where someone (I don't know who the website-owner is here) has gathered some more information: https://www.hanshan.org/steinsirkler/

    Skjelsvik, the author of the dissertation, mostly refers to the Swedish scholars on the subject, such as Sahlström, which is kind of symptomatic of the lack of attention this topic has received in the Norwegian archaeological community, although clearly Sweden has a greater number of finds. I have some found older books and dissertations in the digitalized national library, but they're from a slightly provincial point of view.
    On page 11 in the dissertation Skjelsvik mentions that there have been found 389 stone circles ("runde steinsetninger") in Norway. I am unsure how many of these would qualify to the classification as "domarringar", although most of them are indeed from the Iron Age, and contain vertically upright stones arranged generally in the same way as the ones in Sweden. Some of them also have a standing stone in the middle. Usually there are burials connected to them, like you mentioned. Unsurprisingly, the greatest number of them have been found in Østfold (116), with the second largest number in Vestfold (42). Using Østfold as an example, most of them are in odd numbers too, a great amount contain 9 (21) or 13 stones (16). Vestfold has a very famous one, also containing a ship setting:


    Excepting Østfold and Vestfold, the rest are distributed in somewhat scattered numbers along the coastline down to Agder, becoming increasingly less common as you reach SW Norway, although there is a rather dense concentration in a small area of Rogaland, with a few examples worth mentioning:


    There is a map, but it is not really of the highest quality, since it's from a scanned copy of that particular dissertation. Nevertheless, you do clearly see what the pattern is:
     



    There are a few somewhat preserved ones in the inland areas as well:

    You may be able to find more of these by searching for "steinsetning" on https://kulturminnesok.no/, but note that they aren't well-categorized and it's a little painstaking to navigate.
    Regarding the explanation of being connected to law-assemblies, while reading about Hunn it was pointed out that the congregation of several circles right next to each other made the "thing"-explanation less likely (at least in that particular instance), but like you stated, it may very well be that it was adopted as such later on.

    As for the Kattegat cultural area mentioned by Nordgren, I'm still going over the book trying to learn more, but he does notably connect the area with his general thesis on the spread of "the cult of Gaut". Regarding the publications he refers to from Sahlström & co, he just makes the reference as far as I can tell. I wasn't able to find the referenced texts anywhere online, maybe you'll have more luck knowing the Swedish publication-sites. It's certainly tempting to make that connection though. May be kinda "out there" in a sense, but what I also found interesting from Nordgren's book, is the part where looks at toponymy and speculates that there may be a connection to placenames starting with "Ring". A well-known seat of power in VA-Norway was known as "Hringaríki", with a fairly dense concentration not only of cultic placenames, but also of places starting with the word "Ring". The same can be said for many of the other places where you find these stone circles, although with regards to toponymy, some of these names may have been adopted in more recent times, I'm not entirely sure.

    Thanks for the links by the way, I'm trying to educate myself more on the subject and these will come in very useful.

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    So the rings could be a thing thing.
    R1b>M269>L23>L51>L11>P312>DF19>DF88>FGC11833 >S4281>S4268>Z17112>BY44243

    Ancestors: Francis Cooke (M223/I2a2a) b1583; Hester Mahieu (Cooke) (J1c2 mtDNA) b.1584; Richard Warren (E-M35) b1578; Elizabeth Walker (Warren) (H1j mtDNA) b1583;
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    Euler also has some historiographic notions about "the Scandic Urheimat" theory.

    Euler:
    Initial this wasn't the Scandic Urheimat thesis was until 1890 a very marginal theory. Racialist Ludwig Wilser (1850-1923) was the first who made it, despite lacking evidence, popular. In the nationalistic Wilhemenian Kaiserreich it spread further. Kossinna, initial sceptic about this these, made a turn. And in (pre)war time Germany this theory reached its zenith. (paraphrasing pages 45-47)

    'Das Herrenvolk' came from Scandinavia end of discussion.

    I agree with Euler when he states 'that it's kind of absurd that after ww2 the liaison between archeology, anthropology and linguistic studies, due to misuse before and during ww2, came unjust in decline, but the the theory with a lack of foundation namely the Germanic Urheimat was in Scandinavia prevailed.'(page 46).

    German wiki:
    Unverändert vertreten wird jedoch die auf Wilser zurückgehende Theorie, Skandinavien sei die Urheimat der Germanen gewesen, obwohl archäologische Hinweise auf eine Expansionsbewegung aus Skandinavien nach Mitteleuropa in der Bronze- und Eisenzeit bis heute fehlen.[24]
    The theory, which goes back to Wilser, that Scandinavia was the original home of the Teutons, remains unchanged, although there is still no archaeological evidence of an expansion movement from Scandinavia to Central Europe in the Bronze and Iron Ages. [24]
    Last edited by Finn; 05-13-2021 at 06:17 PM.

  7. #175
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    @Finn: It was just for different reasons, namely immoblism, which is just as dogmatic or even more so than the other explanation, because it lacks the factors of dynamics, competition and change. The prevailing idea was people don't move or replace each other regularly, but change and assimilate primarily based on economic interactions, which is, biologically and historically speaking, just wrong.
    Its a good example of how people can prefer the same idea for completely different reasons. However, in both camps the exclusively Scandinavian origin was never firmly established, it was always just a certain portion of the academics and non-academics favouring it, associated with different ideas and principles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverman View Post
    @Finn: It was just for different reasons, namely immoblism, which is just as dogmatic or even more so than the other explanation, because it lacks the factors of dynamics, competition and change. The prevailing idea was people don't move or replace each other regularly, but change and assimilate primarily based on economic interactions, which is, biologically and historically speaking, just wrong.
    Its a good example of how people can prefer the same idea for completely different reasons. However, in both camps the exclusively Scandinavian origin was never firmly established, it was always just a certain portion of the academics and non-academics favouring it, associated with different ideas and principles.
    thanks!

    It's fascinating how such a 'frame' became popular (and even today used in academic circles) without a clear foundation......
    Last edited by Finn; 05-13-2021 at 09:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anglesqueville View Post
    ^^
    I didn't read Euler's book, therefore I cannot say anything about it. According to what I've seen, he doesn't contain any evocation of the "Finnish problem", pretty well summarized by Campbell in the quotation I published earlier in the week. It's embarrassing, to say the least. Because whatever be the theory you propose for the birth location of proto-Germanic, you'll have to
    1) explain how it is possible that pre- proto- and early Germanic were spoken in SW-Finland
    OR
    2) demonstrate that 1) is false, despite all the pieces of evidence we have of it.

    Nothing can change anything to this simple logical necessity. Furthermore, if you think of point 2), don't hope to do this thanks to vague fuzzy typological chit-chats. If someday a linguist specialized in Germanistics and Uralistics proves that all the etymologies established since Koivulehto are false, then I'll begin perhaps to change my views about proto-Germanic. Waiting for this highly unlikely event I will continue to enjoy the sweet comfort of quiet orthodoxy.

    Attachment 44678

    Indeed there is nothing above plain logic.

    So an attempt to postulate both hypotheses and 'derived problems'.

    Urheimat Unetice
    1. Euler (2009) states that this area had the first proto-Germanic speakers (Meller 2017):

    2. The pedigree of proto-Germanic according to Euler (2009), from about 1800 BC it 'breaks' away from it's supposed affiliates proto Baltic, Italic and Celtic. Speakers of these other languages were in the neighborhood.

    3. During EBA (about 1800-1600 BC) these proto-Germanic speakers went from their Unetice heartland (North-Central Europe) NW wards incl. Southern Scandinavia. Which is attested by current genetic and archeologic research.

    'Problems'
    1. The Saami/Finnic speakers have especially in the supposed period 1000-500 BC derived loanwords and affinities with proto- Germanic. Solution: proto-Germanic speakers have their Urheimat in Southern Scandinavia.
    That's indeed a solution, but it's not a necessity. Because the influx of the proto Germanic speakers was during EBA (1800-1600 BC), so in LBA (1000-500 BC) it was already incorporated in Southern Scandinavia and interacted with Finnish/Saami.
    2. Wow the proto Germanics must have traveled more than 1000 kilometers! (from the Finnic papers). Answer: yes they did, Bronze Age migration was often long range.

    Urheimat Scandinavia
    1. The postulate is that proto Germanic (until the first law of Grimm) was 'born' in Southern Scandinavia, the Danish Isles and or Scania. With Ludwig Wilser as the 'modern' founding father of this thesis.
    2. During or at the end of the Nordic Bronze Age/ bridge Iron Age (?) proto-Germanic speakers went from their heartland in Southern Scandinavia to North Central Europe.

    Problems:
    1.This theory leaves a language gap in North-Central Europe, more specific the Unetice area as shown above, what kind of language did they speak before the proto Germanic speakers came from Scandinavia?
    2.Modern geneticist and archeologist have not attested a LBA/IA movement of proto Germanic speakers that fuzed with- or expelled the- hitherto people in North-Central Europe. There are only hints, but nothing we can pinpoint.
    3. Proto-Germanic is not only affiliated with Saami/Finnic but to some extent also with (proto) Baltic, Italic, Celtic. How is this to be coped with a Scandic heartland?

    I don't know the answers to this questions/problems. Imo they cross the Scandic Urheimat theory of proto Germanic speakers.

    But may be I'm too premature and you or another member can answer these questions or can give a solution to these problems. Be my guest!
    Last edited by Finn; 05-14-2021 at 01:18 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finn View Post
    thanks!

    It's fascinating how such a 'frame' became popular (and even today used in academic circles) without a clear foundation......
    I wouldn't exactly say it's in vogue to speak of any sort of long-term continuity within the Scandinavian sphere now though, genetic or otherwise, at least to the wider public. It's generally more of a "hush hush"-thing, even with many of the academics working closely with ancient DNA supporting some variation of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bygdedweller View Post
    There is a map, but it is not really of the highest quality, since it's from a scanned copy of that particular dissertation. Nevertheless, you do clearly see what the pattern is:
    That map is great, definitely does the job for gaining an understanding of their distribution and as you say, the distribution comes as no shock and really "makes sense". Figure 91 and 92 in the dissertation by Skjelsvik are also helpful. 92 especially so, because it shows the distribution of these circles in northern Germany and I haven't managed to find a map of that.
    About the standing stones that are sometimes found in the middle of the circles, I stumbled upon something similar when having a look at some judge's seats from Satakunta in Finland dated to the Migration Period. I'm sure there is a lot more information to be found about the Finnish ones, I just haven't been that lucky so far: https://www.nationalparks.fi/karajamaki/history

    "On the hilltop, a "Court circle", or "judges' stones" mark two graves. Twelve stones now form the circle, but according to folklore, a large flat stone used to stand in the middle. It was later moved to the foundation of the Iso-Vahee house nearby. Two pit graves have been found inside the stone circle."
    That makes me ponder over the purpose (if there was any) of the middle stones. If we assume that the circles actually function as thing sites, maybe a moderator of sorts was standing by the middle stone passing the word to the other jurymen? Somebody would have had to stop them from interrupting each other

    On page 184 of Skjelsvik's thesis she touches on the circles in Satakunta and writes that some circles there had supposedly been destroyed. She uses the word "opplysninger" so it's a little unclear (to me) if there were in fact more circles that had been destroyed or if those were rumors.
    Honestly, fornminnesok.no isn't that bad at all when it comes to navigation. Wait until you've seen riksantikvarieämbetets fornsök tool: https://app.raa.se/open/fornsok/

    I'm gonna look around for some Danish publications about the circles. They were used for so long when ruling on legal matters there, so there should be. Speaking of Danes, I wonder what Kristiansen's opinion on their purpose and the groups they were associated with is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverman View Post
    The Nordic Bronze Age came up almost out of nothing, so at the minimum, the Northerns got taught by incoming elites and specialists. That's the bare minimum. People don't make such leaps forward out of nothing usually, in this case even less so, with the material being so clearly related to Southern and South Eastern, especially Unetice related precursors. Its absolutely impossible to explain the Nordic Bronze Age without a large scale influence. But genetically, this could have been very big or fairly small. From comparisons with other such cases, a demic diffusion or partial fusion with newly incoming people is the most likely scenario. That's actually much more evident for the North than the Iron Age transition, for which its very likely too, but more debatable and probably not as huge.
    I just read (scanned) this:




    It's from Hans Kuhn (1962). He became famous because of his Northwestblock theory. In which he states that in the Lowlands (Benelux and Northern France) in the Bronze Age they spoke a in between Celtic and Germanic language (wiki):




    Euler considers that this theory has too less evidence and sees it as outdated. Nevertheless can Kuhn (1962) be linked to Euler (2009), because this quote of Kuhn could have been from Euler too (google translate):

    'Among the names and vocabulary that have left our area as pre-residents, however, there is so much Indo-European that the language for at least a large part of the pre-Geman settlers, but probably everything, belonged to this large family of languages, including Germanic and Celtic must have been closely related, particularly closely, however, it seems, to the Italian branch.' (page 127)
    Original:
    Unter den Nahmen und Vokabeln, die als Vorbewohner unser Gebiete hinterlassen haben, ist jedoch so vieles indogermanisch, dass die Sprache zum mindesten eines grossen Teils der vorgemanischen Siedler, vermutlich aber alles, zu dieser grossen Sprachfamilie gehört haben un damit sowohl dem Germanisch wie Keltischen nah verwandt gewesen sein muss, besonders nah jedoch, wie es scheint, den Italischen Zweig.
    This more towards Italic statement was heavily supported by the Belgian linguist Maurits Gysseling.

    I guess what we see in the case of, large parts, the Northwestblock is proto-Germanic derived from the Unetice culture. In the case of the Sögel-Wohlde culture this makes perfectly sense. It's presumable this language didn't make the shifts (Grimm Law etc.) that were taken place in the Jastorf culture (LBA/iron age).

    So at least until the Roman Period and most of all the migration time the (Elp part of) Northwestblock was most probably a proto-Germanic relict area!
    Last edited by Finn; 05-15-2021 at 08:58 AM.

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