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Helle Vandkilde

Provenance Studies on Metal Artefacts of the Early Danish Bronze Age: Comparing lead isotope data with the archaeological evidence

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch

  • Heide Wrobel Nørgaard
  • ,
  • Helle Vandkilde
  • Ernst Pernicka, Curt-Engelhorn-Zentrum Archäometrie, Germany
As early as 2100 BCE, societies in the hotspot zone of Denmark and Scania began to use metal. However, this region has not exploited metal ores of their own; therefore the origin of the metal used is of key significance to understanding and modelling the cross-European interconnectivities that were established through the necessity of trading.
The Nordic region was for the very first time fully dependent on one crucial exogenous resource. The related change within the political economy surely resulted in the establishment of the Nordic Bronze Age. However, little is known about the significance, the extent and the direction of this metal trade. For the Bronze Age in northern Europe (NBA) two possible transport routes stand opposite each other; on the one hand a continental route that connected the Alps, Central Europe and the NBA; and on the other hand, a maritime route linking Mediterranean civilisations with Atlantic communities in Northwest Europe. In regard to the late Neolithic, only the archaeological evidence was used to identify contact networks pointing towards northwest and southeast Europe.
However, the data available to define the bigger picture of this cross-European networks and the obvious shift within it, is, from an archaeometallurgical as well as archaeological perspective, neither covering the hole time span nor providing the needed amount of analyses to make concrete statements. As such, an extensive study of south Scandinavian metal artefacts between 2100-1600 BC aims via lead and tin-isotope analyses to uncover metal transport routes and trading networks and their significance for the earliest NBA societies in the North. Furthermore, these 600 new scientific analyses, covering the timespan of 500years, will directly be correlated with the archaeological evidence in order to
support both trace-element and LIA as well as to circumvent the problems with the isotope allocation to ore deposits.
Original languageEnglish
Publication yearSep 2017
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017

    Research areas

  • Early Nordic Bronze Age, Isotope studies, provenance, Late Neolithic

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