Bronze Age (bronze + age)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Kinds of Bronze Age

  • early bronze age
  • late bronze age


  • Selected Abstracts


    THE MINOAN FALLACY: CULTURAL DIVERSITY AND MORTUARY BEHAVIOUR ON CRETE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE BRONZE AGE

    OXFORD JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY, Issue 1 2009
    BORJA LEGARRA HERRERO
    Summary We are becoming increasingly aware of regional data patterning in the archaeological record of Prepalatial Crete, yet a theoretically informed and methodologically systematic study assessing the significance of such differences is still lacking. This article investigates variation through the rich mortuary record of the period and explores the significance of such diversity for our understanding of Prepalatial Crete. A detailed analysis using mortuary data reveals a complex spatial and temporal variation in the record which raises questions about social, political and ideological differences between communities on the island during the early periods of the Early Bronze Age. Prepalatial Crete emerges from this analysis as a complex context resulting from an intricate combination of local and regional histories and trajectories and far from the unified culture that the term ,Minoan' implies. [source]


    USING AND ABANDONING ROUNDHOUSES: A REINTERPRETATION OF THE EVIDENCE FROM LATE BRONZE AGE,EARLY IRON AGE SOUTHERN ENGLAND

    OXFORD JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY, Issue 2 2007
    LEO WEBLEY
    Summary. It has recently been demonstrated that a number of roundhouses of the early first millennium BC in southern England show a concentration of finds in the southern half of the building. It has thus been argued that this area was used for domestic activities such as food preparation, an idea which has formed the basis for discussion of later prehistoric ,cosmologies'. However, reconsideration of the evidence suggests that this finds patterning does not relate to the everyday use of the buildings, being more likely to derive from a particular set of house abandonment practices. Furthermore, evidence can be identified for the location of domestic activities within contemporary roundhouses that appears to contradict the established model. [source]


    WEALTH AND POWER IN THE BRONZE AGE OF THE SOUTH-EAST OF THE IBERIAN PENINSULA: THE FUNERARY RECORD OF CERRO DE LA ENCINA

    OXFORD JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY, Issue 1 2006
    GONZALO ARANDA
    Summary. As a result of recent fieldwork undertaken at the archaeological site of Cerro de la Encina, our knowledge of the funerary ritual has increased considerably. The funerary record shows a significant concentration of wealth in burials corresponding to the family groups of the highest social status. Dramatic social differences can also be found in the internal organization of the settlement. The locations of burials within the settlement area, under the floors of dwellings, allow us to establish that the settlement space was closely related to the social identity of the families. The high number of burials with double and triple inhumations, in contrast to other Argaric necropolis, also stands out as an important feature of Cerro de la Encina, suggesting that familial relationships seem to be more marked here than at other Argaric sites. All these data are discussed in relation to the funerary ritual of the Argaric Culture. [source]


    Bronze Age paleohydrography of the southern Venetian Plain

    GEOARCHAEOLOGY: AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL, Issue 1 2010
    Silvia Piovan
    The Bronze Age paleohydrography of the distal Adige and Po alluvial plain (northeastern Italy) is notable for its relations with protohistoric human activities in this area. This paper regards the stratigraphy and petrography of the Saline,Cona alluvial ridge, upon which the Saline, Sarzano, and Cantarana Bronze Age sites lie, and the petrography of Fratta alluvial ridge, upon which the Frattesina complex (Bronze,Iron Age) lies. Sand analyses indicate the Po River as the source for sediments underlying the alluvial ridge that runs through Fratta Polesine, Rovigo, Sarzano, and Cona. Radiometric ages indicate that the branch of the Saline,Cona ridge was formed by the Po River between the second half of the 3rd millennium B.C. and the end of 2nd millennium B.C. This ridge represents the maximum northward expansion of the Po alluvial system, through the same area of coastal plain crossed by the Adige and Brenta paleochannels. This paleohydrographic setting implies that fluvial connections between the Central Po Plain settlements, the Venetian Plain and Alps were relatively less complex in the Early and Middle Bronze Age than in the Late Bronze Age, when the terminal reach of the Po River was separated by the Adige River by hundreds of km2 of swampy terrain. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]


    Late Bronze Age paleogeography along the ancient Ways of Horus in Northwest Sinai, Egypt

    GEOARCHAEOLOGY: AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL, Issue 4 2008
    Stephen O. Moshier
    The northwest Sinai contained the eastern frontier of New Kingdom Egypt during the Late Bronze Age. The ancient Pelusaic branch of the Nile Delta influenced the environmental setting of this region at that time. Fortresses were built along the coastal byway through the study area known as the Ways of Horus to protect Egyptian-held territory from immigrants and intruders from Canaan and the Mediterranean Sea. Building on previous geomorphic studies in the region, this paper presents the results of field investigations of Holocene sedimentary deposits, aided by satellite photography, used to create a paleogeographic map that places archaeological sites in their proper environmental context. CORONA satellite photographs from the late 1960s reveal surface features that have been obscured by more recent agricultural development in the region. Canals dug for an agricultural project provided easy access to the shallow subsurface for mapping the extent of Holocene sediments representing barrier coast, lagoon, estuarine, fluvial, and marsh depositional environments. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]


    Source selectivity: An assessment of volcanic glass sources in the southern primorye region, far East Russia

    GEOARCHAEOLOGY: AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL, Issue 2 2008
    Trudy Doelman
    Artifacts made from volcanic glass have been found in archaeological contexts dating from the Late Palaeolithic (ca. 20,000 yr B.P.) through to the end of the Bronze Age (ca. 2700 yr B.P.) in the southern Primorye region of Far East Russia. A geoarchaeological survey of volcanic glass outcrops assessed the various potential sources to determine their potential for sustained exploitation. A characterization study of source samples and artifacts from 27 spatially and temporally dispersed sites using a combination of PIXE-PIGME and relative density identified which sources had actually been exploited and a technological analysis of the assemblages described patterns of use. The combination of these three approaches shows the impact of a relatively stable geological environment on patterns of procurement and exchange. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]


    Soil chemical surveying: A path to a deeper understanding of prehistoric sites and societies in Sweden

    GEOARCHAEOLOGY: AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL, Issue 4 2007
    Johan Linderholm
    A large number of contract archaeological investigations have been conducted in Sweden over the last 10,15 years. In this article, the applicability of soil chemical surveying in connection with contract archaeology is discussed, focusing on soil sampling, soil magnetic susceptibility, and phosphate analysis. Results from case studies from an area of the west coast of southern Sweden are presented. The investigated sites cover periods ranging from the Bronze Age to the Late Iron Age/Medieval time (3500,1000 B.P.). Results show that the chemical loading of prehistoric settlements varies considerably both quantitatively and spatially depending on different socioeconomic strategies and behavior. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]


    Soilscape and land-use evolution related to drift sand movements since the bronze age in Eastern Jutland, Denmark

    GEOARCHAEOLOGY: AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL, Issue 2 2007
    Jari Hinsch Mikkelsen
    Quarry faces several kilometers long in the Glesborg area in Denmark show that Bronze Age farmers used a sustainable land-use system. Despite nutrient-poor soils, the Glesborg area was under a rotation system in which cropland alternated with grassland. Soil fertility was improved by the addition of household waste and probably also by locally obtained inorganic fertilizer. The soil surface was very stable, and local drift sand movement was limited. Toward the end of the Bronze Age, the landscape changed dramatically with the arrival of overwhelming amounts of drift sand, and farmsteads were abandoned. Subsequent land use on these poor fine sandy soils was no longer capable of maintaining a stable soil surface, and frequent erosion/sedimentation events of more local importance took place. The post-Bronze Age landscape may have been mainly a shifting mosaic of heathland with some temporary arable fields and deflation/accumulation areas. This landscape persisted up to about 200 years ago, when afforestation programs started. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]


    The management of arable land from prehistory to the present: Case studies from the Northern Isles of Scotland

    GEOARCHAEOLOGY: AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL, Issue 1 2006
    Erika B. Guttmann
    The arable soils from two multiperiod settlements were analyzed to identify changes in agricultural methods over time. The settlement middens were also analyzed to determine whether potential fertilizers were discarded unused. Results suggest that in the Neolithic period (,4000,2000 B.C. in the UK) the arable soils at Tofts Ness, Orkney, and Old Scatness, Shetland, were created by flattening and cultivating the settlements' midden heaps in situ. The arable area at Tofts Ness was expanded in the Bronze Age (,2000,700 B.C. in the UK), and the new land was improved by the addition of ash, nightsoil, and domestic waste. Cultivation continued briefly after the fields were buried in windblown sand in the Late Bronze Age or Early Iron Age, but by the Early Iron Age cultivation ceased and organic-rich material was allowed to accumulate within the settlement. By contrast, at Old Scatness, arable production was increased in the Iron Age (,700 B.C.,A.D. 550 in Scotland) by the intensive use of animal manures. The results indicate that during the lifespan of the two settlements the arable soils were fertilized to increase production, which was intensified over time. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]


    New perspectives on Holocene landscape development in the southern English chalklands: The upper Allen valley, Cranborne Chase, Dorset

    GEOARCHAEOLOGY: AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL, Issue 2 2005
    C. French
    A combination of on- and off-site paleoenvironmental and archaeological investigations of the upper Allen valley of Dorset, conducted from 1998,2002, has begun to indicate a different model of prehistoric landscape development to those previously put forward for this part of the southern English chalk downlands. Woodland growth in the earlier Holocene appears to have been slower and patchier than the presumed model of full climax deciduous woodland rapidly attained in a warming environment. With open areas still strongly present in the Mesolithic, the area witnessed its first exploitation, thus slowing and altering soil development. Consequently, many areas perhaps never developed thick, well-structured, brown forest earths, but more probably thin brown earths. By the later Neolithic period, these soils had become thin rendzinas, largely as a consequence of human exploitation and the predominance of pastoral land use. The early presence of thinner and less well-developed soils over large areas of downland removes the necessity for envisaging extensive soil erosion and the accumulation of thick colluvial and alluvial deposits in the dry valleys and valley floor as often postulated. If there were major changes in the vegetation and soil complexes in this area of chalk downland, these had already occurred by the Neolithic rather than the Bronze Age as often suggested, and the area has remained relatively stable ever since. This has major implications for models of prehistoric land use in the southern chalkland region, such as a much greater degree of stability in prehistoric and historic times, variability within sub-regions, and differences between different parts of the chalk downlands than had previously been envisaged. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]


    Origin of post-Minoan caves and volcaniclastic cave fill, Thera (Santorini), Greece

    GEOARCHAEOLOGY: AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL, Issue 5 2003
    Joan M. Ramage
    The Aegean island of Thera (Santorini) was covered by tephra from its cataclysmic Late Bronze Age (ca. 3600 yr B.P.) eruption. Vertical exposures of the eruptive sequence show secondary, nonvolcanic, circular (in cross section) features composed of stratified sediment. Many are inaccessible from the floors of modern quarries and appear to be caves filled with younger sediment, but show no connection to the land surface. A filled cave was found in the wall of a modern gully outside the modern quarries, and a filled cave was found in a terrace scarp, well above the modern gully. Natural (and probably rapid) incision by gullies into the thick tephra deposit left many locations with lateral access to tephra. Inhabitants from post-Minoan to recent times excavated tephra for materials and buildings, and caves were subsequently filled by sporadic (possibly seasonal) flood events that deposited sediment. These gullies may have provided access for modern tephra removal that isolated the filled caves high on the modern quarry walls. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]


    Territorial Behaviour and Communication in a Ritual Landscape

    GEOGRAFISKA ANNALER SERIES B: HUMAN GEOGRAPHY, Issue 2 2001
    Leif Sahlqvist
    Landscape research in the last decade, in human geography as well as in anthropology and archaeology, has often been polarized, either according to traditional geographical methods or following the principles of a new, symbolically orientated discipline. This cross,disciplinary study in prehistoric Östergötland, Sweden, demonstrates the importance of using methods and approaches from both orientations in order to gain reasonable comprehension of landscape history and territorial structure. Funeral monuments as cognitive nodes in a prehistoric cultural landscape are demonstrated as to contain significant elements of astronomy, not unlike what has been discussed for native and prehistoric American cultures, e.g. Ancestral Pueblo. A locational analysis with measurements of distances and directions was essential in approaching this structure. A nearest neighbour method was used as a starting,point for a territorial discussion, indicating that the North European hundreds division could have its roots in Bronze Age (1700,500 BC) tribal territories, linked to barrows geographically interrelated in cardinal alignments. In the European Bronze Age faith and science, the religious and the profane, were integrated within the framework of a solar cult, probably closely connected with astronomy in a ritual landscape, organized according to cosmological ideas, associated with power and territoriality. Cosmographic expression of a similar kind was apparently used even earlier, as gallery,graves (stone cists) from the Late Neolithic (2300,1700 BC) in Östergötland are also geographically interrelated in cardinal alignments. [source]


    A beetle's eye view of London from the Mesolithic to Late Bronze Age

    GEOLOGICAL JOURNAL, Issue 5 2009
    Scott A. Elias
    The aim of this paper is to reconstruct the environmental history of the London region, based on changes in beetle faunal assemblages from the Mesolithic to Late Bronze Age. Eight sites were studied, all but one of which are within 2,km of the modern course of the Thames. The sites produced 128 faunal assemblages that yielded 218 identified species in 41 families of Coleoptera (beetles). Beetle faunas of Mesolithic age indicate extensive wetlands near the Thames, bordered by rich deciduous woodlands. The proportion of woodland species declined in the Neolithic, apparently because of the expansion of wetlands, rather than because of human activities. The Early Bronze Age faunas contained a greater proportion of coniferous woodland and aquatic (standing water) species. An increase in the dung beetle fauna indicates the presence of sheep, cattle and horses, and various beetles associated with crop lands demonstrate the local rise of agriculture, albeit several centuries after the beginnings of farming in other regions of Britain. Late Bronze Age faunas show the continued development of agriculture and animal husbandry along the lower Thames. About 33% of the total identified beetle fauna from the London area sites have limited modern distributions or are extinct in the U.K. Some of these species are associated with the dead wood found in primeval forests; others are wetland species whose habitat has been severely reduced in recent centuries. The third group is stream-dwelling beetles that require clean, clear waters and river bottoms. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


    Some types of vertebral pathologies in the Argar Culture (Bronze Age, SE Spain)

    INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OSTEOARCHAEOLOGY, Issue 1 2010
    S. A. Jiménez-Brobeil
    Abstract A collection of 1825 vertebrae belonging to 105 individuals from several Argaric Culture sites (Bronze Age, SE of Spain) were studied. Several pathologies that could provide information about activity patterns were analysed, including spondylolysis, compression fractures and Schmorl's nodes. Spondylolysis appears exclusively in men. Compression fractures seem to be more related to age (osteoporosis) and are more frequent in women, but without statistical significance. Schmorl's nodes affect a large number of the individuals studied, with a slight predominance in men; there are no differences by age. The results obtained were compared with the available archaeological and anthropological information, which shows a clear division of activities by sex in the Argaric population. The validity of studying these pathologies as activity patterns is discussed. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


    Skeletal evidence for morbidity and mortality in Copper Age samples from northeastern Hungary

    INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OSTEOARCHAEOLOGY, Issue 1 2009
    D. H. Ubelaker
    Abstract Analysis of 183 human skeletons representing the Copper Age in northeastern Hungary indicates slightly less morbidity and mortality than found in previous studies of later Bronze Age and Iron Age samples from the same area. Mean adult age at death was 33.4 years for males and 32.9 years for females. Life table reconstruction revealed a life expectancy at birth of about 28 years, and at age 15 of about 17 years. Frequencies of dental hypoplasia (<1%) and carious lesions (2.3%) were relatively low. Comparisons of the Copper Age data reported here with previously published studies of later Bronze Age and Iron Age samples from the same area revealed little or no change in life expectancy at age 15, long bone diaphyseal circumference, estimated living stature, frequencies of dental hypoplasia, alveolar abscesses, tooth loss, adult porotic hyperostosis or trauma. Temporal increases were detected in life expectancy at birth, dental caries frequency, cribra orbitalia, subadult periosteal lesions and vertebral osteoarthritis. The study is part of a larger effort to examine long-term temporal changes in skeletal samples from that region. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


    Anthropological and physicochemical investigation of the burnt remains of Tomb IX in the ,Sa Figu' hypogeal necropolis (Sassari, Italy) , Early Bronze Age

    INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OSTEOARCHAEOLOGY, Issue 2 2008
    G. Piga
    Abstract Excavations carried out in Tomb IX of the hypogeic necropolis of ,Sa Figu', near the village of Ittiri (Sassari, Italy), supplied burnt human bone remains and pottery unambiguously referred to the Early Bronze Age (characterised by the local culture of ,Bonnannaro'). Besides the anthropological study, we have investigated and evaluated the possibility of a funerary cremation practice in Sardinian pre-history, a subject that has previously not been considered from a scientific point of view. Making use of a calibration procedure based on X-ray diffraction (XRD) line-broadening analysis, related to the microstructural properties, it was possible to estimate the combustion temperature to which the fragmented bones were subjected. It was found that the studied bones reached temperatures varying from 400°C up to a maximum of 850°C. This spread of values suggested inhomogeneous combustion of the bones, which seems compatible with funerary cremation practices. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


    An interesting case of prehistoric trepanation from Poland: re-evaluation of the skull from the Franki Suchodolskie site

    INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OSTEOARCHAEOLOGY, Issue 2 2005
    W. Lorkiewicz
    Abstract The skull described here was excavated in Central Poland (archaeological site Franki Suchodolskie) in 1951, and was known as one of the oldest cases of healed trepanation. This skull, with later excavations from the Ukraine (cemeteries of Vasilyevka II and Vasilyevka III), was the basis for dating the beginning of the practice of trepanation in the Mesolithic period. The skull was never comprehensively described and dated, although it was scientifically extremely important. The skull has been reassessed by the authors of this paper has brought thorough verification of the knowledge concerning this excavation. According to radiocarbon analysis it is much younger than previously thought and has now been dated to the Late Neolithic or the Bronze Age. Earlier opinions about the healing and survival after the operation have not been confirmed: the hole in the squama of the frontal bone made by scraping and then by grooving has no evidence of healing. Radiological studies as well as computer tomography indicate lack of any healing processes in the bone tissue around the trepanation opening. The results of the analysis significantly modify ideas regarding the earliest skull operations in Central Europe, and change the time of the first trepanation to the Late Neolithic, as for most of the continent. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


    A dystocic childbirth in the Spanish Bronze Age

    INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OSTEOARCHAEOLOGY, Issue 2 2004
    A. Malgosa
    Abstract Prehistoric cases of maternal and fetal death during labour are difficult to document. However, this must have been a frequent cause of death among young women who lived in hard circumstances and precarious health conditions. In this paper, a case of a Bronze Age woman who probably died during childbirth due to unavoidable reasons is presented: her baby was lying transversely with the right fetal arm protracted. Death of both mother and child was inevitable. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


    A case of Madelung's deformity in a skeleton from Nuragic Sardinia

    INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OSTEOARCHAEOLOGY, Issue 3 2002
    Alessandro Canci
    Abstract The case reported here refers to the skeletal remains of a mature adult male found in a collective grave known as ,Giant's tomb' located near Donori (Sardinia) and dating to the end of the Bronze Age. The skeleton showed bilateral shortening of the forearm associated to radial bowing, marked deformations at the radio-ulnar distal joints and subsequent posterior dislocation of both ulnae. The whole alterations fit well with a diagnosis of Madelung's deformity, a rare form of mesomelic dysplasia. At present, this case is the most ancient evidence of Madelung's deformity. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


    Holocene vegetation and land-use changes in response to climatic changes in the forelands of the southwestern Alps, Italy,

    JOURNAL OF QUATERNARY SCIENCE, Issue 3 2006
    Walter Finsinger
    Abstract The Holocene sediment of Lago Piccolo di Avigliana (Piedmont, Italy, 356,m,a.s.l.) was dated by 14C and analysed for pollen to reconstruct the vegetation history of the area. The early- and mid-Holocene pollen record shows environmental responses to centennial-scale climatic changes as evidenced by independent palaeoclimatic proxies. When human impact was low or negligible, continental mixed-oak forests decreased at ca. 9300 BC in response to the early-Holocene Preboreal climatic oscillation. Abies alba expanded in two phases, probably in response to higher moisture availability at ca. 6000 and ca. 4000 BC, while Fagus expanded later, possibly in response to a climatic change at 3300 BC. During and after the Bronze Age five distinct phases of intensified land use were detected. The near synchroneity with the land-use phases detected in wetter regions in northern and southern Switzerland points to a common forcing factor in spite of cultural differences. Increasing minerogenic input to the lake since 1000 BC coincided with Late Bronze,Iron Age technical innovations and probably indicate soil erosion as a consequence of deforestation in the lake catchment. The highest values for cultural indicators occurred at 700,450 and at 300,50 BC, coinciding with periods of high solar activity (inferred from ,14C). This suggests that Iron Age land use was enhanced by high solar activity, while re-occupation of partly abandoned areas after crises in earlier periods match better with the GRIP stable isotope record. On the basis of our data and comparison with independent palaeoclimatic proxies we suggest that precipitation variation was much more important than temperature oscillations in driving vegetation and societal changes throughout the Holocene. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


    Bronze Age painted plaster in Mycenaean Greece: a pilot study on the testing and application of micro-Raman spectroscopy

    JOURNAL OF RAMAN SPECTROSCOPY, Issue 8-9 2004
    Ann Brysbaert
    Abstract Since the first discoveries of Minoan and Mycenaean painted plaster around the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries, iconographic and, to a lesser extent, technological studies have gone hand in hand in order to understand how these prehistoric societies were able to produce some of the earliest and most significant works of art in Bronze Age Europe and the eastern Mediterranean. These paintings claim to be among the first to be executed in the buon fresco technique. Past technological studies employed wet chemical methods, x-ray diffraction (XRD), optical emission spectroscopy and a range of microscopic techniques based on cross-sections of samples in order to investigate these fragmentary paintings. Most of these methods required destructive sampling and this is now, rightly so, very much restricted. Consequently, other non-micro-destructive approaches are being tested at present. Micro-Raman spectroscopy (MRS) has proven more than once its potential for non-destructive analysis of works of art and in archaeology in the recent past. Its application to this early fragmentary material is presented here for the first time. Interesting results were the identification of both organic (indigo) and non-crystalline materials (limonite), which complements the knowledge obtained from traditionally used techniques. Although not without problems (high fluorescence prevented identification of Egyptian Blue), non-destructive MRS yielded results comparable to XRD and provided the first identification of indigo blue on this medium, and can hence be considered very useful in future sample-reducing strategies considering these scarce materials. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


    Ancient DNA reveals traces of Iberian Neolithic and Bronze Age lineages in modern Iberian horses

    MOLECULAR ECOLOGY, Issue 1 2010
    JAIME LIRA
    Abstract Multiple geographical regions have been proposed for the domestication of Equus caballus. It has been suggested, based on zooarchaeological and genetic analyses that wild horses from the Iberian Peninsula were involved in the process, and the overrepresentation of mitochondrial D1 cluster in modern Iberian horses supports this suggestion. To test this hypothesis, we analysed mitochondrial DNA from 22 ancient Iberian horse remains belonging to the Neolithic, the Bronze Age and the Middle Ages, against previously published sequences. Only the medieval Iberian sequence appeared in the D1 group. Neolithic and Bronze Age sequences grouped in other clusters, one of which (Lusitano group C) is exclusively represented by modern horses of Iberian origin. Moreover, Bronze Age Iberian sequences displayed the lowest nucleotide diversity values when compared with modern horses, ancient wild horses and other ancient domesticates using nonparametric bootstrapping analyses. We conclude that the excessive clustering of Bronze Age horses in the Lusitano group C, the observed nucleotide diversity and the local continuity from wild Neolithic Iberian to modern Iberian horses, could be explained by the use of local wild mares during an early Iberian domestication or restocking event, whereas the D1 group probably was introduced into Iberia in later historical times. [source]


    BRONZE AGE BARROWS ON THE HEATHLANDS OF SOUTHERN ENGLAND: CONSTRUCTION, FORMS AND INTERPRETATIONS

    OXFORD JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY, Issue 1 2010
    RICHARD BRADLEY
    Summary The Bronze Age barrows on the downs of southern England have been investigated and discussed for nearly 200 years, but much less attention has been paid to similar structures in the areas of heathland beyond the chalk and river gravels. They were built in a phase of expansion towards the end of the Early Bronze Age, and more were constructed during the Middle Bronze Age. They have a number of distinctive characteristics. This paper considers the interpretation of these monuments and their wider significance in relation to the pattern of settlement. It also discusses the origins of field systems in lowland England. [source]


    THE DOUBLE-AXE: A CONTEXTUAL APPROACH TO THE UNDERSTANDING OF A CRETAN SYMBOL IN THE NEOPALATIAL PERIOD

    OXFORD JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY, Issue 1 2010
    MATTHEW HAYSOM
    Summary The Double-Axe has always been considered as one of the most important religious symbols in Minoan Crete. This paper reassesses the significance of the Double-Axe and puts forward a new interpretation for it. It recognizes the great potential for change in symbolic meanings during the Bronze Age and seeks to understand the Double-Axe in as narrow a period as is realistically possible by filtering out evidence from other periods. Central to the argument is the principle that the meaning of symbols is contextually dependent. It builds, therefore, a new interpretation of the Double-Axe on the basis of as wide a range of contextual associations as possible, both within iconographic sources and in the wider material record. From these contextual associations, it suggests that in the Neopalatial period the Double-Axe was a symbol primarily associated with a social group which exercised power in the economic, military and religious realms and that it became a solely religious symbol only later. [source]


    CONTRASTING SUBSISTENCE STRATEGIES IN THE EARLY IRON AGE?

    OXFORD JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY, Issue 2 2009
    AND THE THRACIAN PLAIN, BULGARIA, HUNGARY, NEW RESULTS FROM THE ALFÖLD PLAIN
    Summary. What can students of the past do to establish the predominant land-use and settlement practices of populations who leave little or no artefactual discard as a testament to their lifeways? The traditional answer, especially in Eastern Europe, is to invoke often exogenous nomadic pastoralists whose dwelling in perpetuo mobile was based on yurts, minimal local ceramic production and high curation levels of wooden and metal containers. Such a lacuna of understanding settlement structure and environmental impacts typifies Early Iron Age (henceforth ,EIA') settlements in both Bulgaria and eastern Hungary , a period when the inception of the use of iron in Central and South-East Europe has a profound effect on the flourishing regional bronze industries of the Late Bronze Age (henceforth ,LBA'). The methodological proposal in this paper is the high value of palynological research for subsistence strategies and human impacts in any area with a poor settlement record. This proposal is illustrated by two new lowland pollen diagrams , Ezero, south-east Bulgaria, and Sarló-hát, north-east Hungary , which provide new insights into this research question. In the Thracian valley, there is a disjunction between an area of high arable potential, the small size and short-lived nature of most LBA and EIA settlements and the strong human impact from the LBA and EIA periods in the Ezero diagram. In the Hungarian Plain, the pollen record suggests that, during the LBA,EIA, extensive grazing meadows were established in the alluvial plain, with the inception of woodland clearance on a massive scale from c.800 cal BC, that contradicts the apparent decline in human population in this area. An attempted explanation of these results comprises the exploration of three general positions , the indigenist thesis, the exogenous thesis and the interactionist thesis. Neither of these results fits well with the traditional view of EIA populations as incoming steppe nomadic pastoralists. Instead, this study seeks to explore the tensions between local productivity and the wider exchange networks in which they are entangled. [source]


    THE MINOAN FALLACY: CULTURAL DIVERSITY AND MORTUARY BEHAVIOUR ON CRETE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE BRONZE AGE

    OXFORD JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY, Issue 1 2009
    BORJA LEGARRA HERRERO
    Summary We are becoming increasingly aware of regional data patterning in the archaeological record of Prepalatial Crete, yet a theoretically informed and methodologically systematic study assessing the significance of such differences is still lacking. This article investigates variation through the rich mortuary record of the period and explores the significance of such diversity for our understanding of Prepalatial Crete. A detailed analysis using mortuary data reveals a complex spatial and temporal variation in the record which raises questions about social, political and ideological differences between communities on the island during the early periods of the Early Bronze Age. Prepalatial Crete emerges from this analysis as a complex context resulting from an intricate combination of local and regional histories and trajectories and far from the unified culture that the term ,Minoan' implies. [source]


    BETWEEN WARRIORS AND CHAMPIONS: WARFARE AND SOCIAL CHANGE IN THE LATER PREHISTORY OF THE NORTH-WESTERN IBERIAN PENINSULA1

    OXFORD JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY, Issue 1 2009
    FRANCISCO JAVIER GONZÁLEZ GARCÍA
    Summary This article explores changes in the ,art of warfare' among societies in the north-western Iberian Peninsula in the Late Bronze and Iron Ages. These changes are interpreted as a manifestation of the transformation experienced by societies living in the region first from ,warrior societies' to ,societies with warriors' at the end of the Bronze Age and then back to ,warrior societies' in the Late Iron Age. Evidence of individual combat as a manifestation of ,societies with warriors' is analysed in the broader context of Indo-European and ethnographical examples. It reflects societies in which there were groups specialized in warfare and represents the establishment, in the region, of an Indo-European warrior ideology. [source]


    Gabbroic clay sources in Cornwall: a petrographic study of prehistoric pottery and clay samples

    OXFORD JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY, Issue 3 2004
    Lucy Harrad
    Summary., This analysis of prehistoric pottery and clay samples from Cornwall demonstrates that the clay used to make Cornish gabbroic pottery in prehistory originated around the gabbro rock outcrop in a small area of the Lizard peninsula. The research uses petrographic and chemical analysis to subdivide the prehistoric pottery into six groups. Owing to the unusual geology of the Lizard these groups can be attributed to specific locations. The most abundant pottery fabric, Typical Gabbroic, was made using coarse clay which is mainly found in a 1 km2 area near Zoar. A finer version of this clay, found higher in the soil profile or slightly transported and redeposited, was used to make Fine Gabbroic pottery and an even finer variant called FNS (Fine Non-Sandy) Gabbroic. We identify for the first time here a Loessic/Gabbroic pottery fabric which can be matched exactly to clay found at Lowland Point. Serpentinitic/Gabbroic pottery was made using clay from the gabbro/serpentinite border zone. Pottery made from the Granitic/Gabbroic fabric did not match any clay from the Lizard, showing that gabbroic clay was sometimes removed and made into pottery elsewhere in Cornwall. The main clay source near Zoar was used for clay extraction throughout the Bronze Age and Iron Age for pottery which was traded all over Cornwall. Other gabbroic clay sources produced pottery only during certain periods and exclusively supplied particular settlements, such as the Loessic/Gabbroic fabric which was found only at Gear and Caer Vallack. The results suggest that pottery was produced by several small-scale cottage industries, which may have operated on a seasonal, part-time basis and probably formed only part of a wide range of activities located around the Lizard area. [source]


    THE HIGH-WATER MARK: THE SITING OF MEGALITHIC TOMBS ON THE SWEDISH ISLAND OF TJÖRN

    OXFORD JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY, Issue 2 2004
    RICHARD BRADLEY
    Summary. In 1977 Grahame Clark suggested that the siting of megalithic tombs along the west coast of Scandinavia reflected the distribution of productive fishing grounds. Unlike the situation in other parts of Europe, these monuments were not associated with agriculture. Opinions have varied over the last quarter century, but enough is now known about changes of sea-level for his interpretation to be investigated on the ground. There seems to have been considerable diversity. On the large island of Örust some of the tombs located near to the sea appear to be associated with small natural enclosures defined by rock outcrops and may have been associated with grazing land. On the neighbouring island of Tjörn, however, the tombs were associated with small islands and important sea channels. During the Bronze Age the same areas included carvings of ships. Recent fieldwork in western Norway suggests that such locations were especially important in a maritime economy. [source]


    Evidence of Iberian Bronze Age ,Boquique' Pottery in the Balearic Islands: Trade, Marriage or Culture?

    OXFORD JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY, Issue 4 2003
    W. Waldren
    Summary. This paper deals with the recent discovery of Iberian ,Boquique' Bronze Age pottery on the Balearic Island of Mallorca. It marks the ,maritime' spread of this distinctive pottery into a geographic area not previously recorded. It should therefore be of particular interest to mainland investigators and others concerned with its geographical distribution as well as those dealing with long-distance trade and possible kinship links during the period. The find is further supported by the ,micaceous' and ,quartz' composition of the pottery clay fabric, since mica is not known on the island as a component of local clays. The presence of Boquique pottery with ,micaceous' clay properties is demonstrated by microphotographic slab and thin sections as well as chemical clay analysis. This suggests that the pottery was imported, either as a trade item or as personal possessions. Along with recent evidence of earlier trade in exotic ,elephant' ivory and other items during Bell Beaker times, where the Boquique pottery appears to be a late intrusive element into local Beaker contexts (Waldren 1998), this new evidence represents the first material sign of cultural maritime interaction (Boquique in the present case), either as demographic extension or commercial exchange of these cultural items into the area. Furthermore, contextual radiocarbon dating surveys strongly indicate a date of 1700,1400 BC for the pottery, in accord both with recent Iberian mainland dates as well as the local archaeological sequence in which it was found. [source]