Bronze Age Scandinavia’s trading networks for copper settled

Cortez Deacetis

New study offers above 300 new analyses of bronze objects, increasing the full quantity to 550 in ‘the archaeological fingerprint project’. This is roughly two thirds of the overall metallic inventory of the early Bronze Age in southern Scandinavia. For the very first time, it was probable to map the trade networks for metals and to identify alterations in the source routes, coinciding with other socio-economic improvements detectable in the prosperous steel-dependent societies of Bronze Age southern Scandinavia.

The superb Bronze Age in southern Scandinavia rose from copper traded from the British Isles and Slovakia 4000 years ago. 500 several years afterwards these proven trade networks collapsed and new copper was then traded from the southern Alps, the so-known as Italian Alps. This massive-scale examine could clearly show that during the initially 700 a long time of the Nordic Bronze Age the metal giving networks and trade routes changed various moments. These 700 decades of establishment and adjust led to a extremely specialised metalwork tradition boasting beautiful artwork this sort of as the Trundholm Sun wagon and spiral decorated belt plates branding high-ranking ladies even depicted on present day Danish banknotes.

The study by H. Nørgaard, Moesgaard Museum and her colleagues H. Vandkilde from Aarhus College and E. Pernicka from the Curt-Engelhorn Centre in Mannheim developed on the so significantly biggest dataset of chemical and isotope knowledge of historical bronze artefacts. In whole 550 objects were being used to product the adjustments that took area: These changes correlate with significant shifts in social organisation, settlements, housing, burial rites and prolonged length mobility.

“Now, this multi-disciplinary tactic – dependent jointly on typical archaeological strategies and novel scientific methodologies processing substantial info portions – makes it possible for us to detect these correlating alterations and determine contemporaneity with societal alterations recognised by colleague scientists”, suggests Heide Nørgaard the project´s PI.

“It is really probable that equally men and women and systems arrived to Scandinavia and that Scandinavians travelled abroad to receive copper by usually means of the Nordic amber, very valued by European investing associates”.


Quotation: Nørgaard HW, Pernicka E, Vandkilde H (2021) Shifting networks and mixing metals: switching steel trade routes to Scandinavia correlate with Neolithic and Bronze Age transformations. PLOS A single:

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