Bronze Age Discoveries

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Bronze Age Hipsters.

Danish Bronze Age elite buried in fancy woolly hats and shawls, 3,500-year-old graves reveal
As wealthy classes emerged in Europe, they distinguished themselves with expensive imported clothing.

By Martha Henriques Updated May 30, 2017 13:38 BST


A wealthy Bronze Age man was buried in his finest woolly hat in western Denmark.Karin Margarita Frei, National Museum of Denmark / Antiquity
High-status Bronze Age Danes wore intricate wool clothes that were made hundreds if not thousands of miles away, to show how well-travelled and wealthy they were. The first wide-scale study of wool clothes from the period has revealed how this elite class began to emerge in the 2nd millennium BCE.

The most famous of the elite western Danes is one known as Egtved Girl. She was between 16 and 18 years old when she died in 1370 BCE. She was buried wearing a tunic and skirt, a large bronze belt plate decorated with spirals, a delicate earring, a comb and a dagger.

This finely made outfit was preserved, like many others in the region, thanks to the unique conditions created in her burial mound. A layer of iron that was deposited around the oak coffin she was buried in helped to create an oxygen-free and acidic environment around the body. This killed off any microbes that would otherwise have started to break down the materials.

"You get this type of environment where you can preserve these animal fibres, such as wool, for all this time – over 3,000 years, which is amazing," Karin Frei of the National Museum of Denmark, who has researched the burial of Egtved Girl, told IBTimes UK. Frei's previous research on Egtved Girl revealed that she was born and raised outside of Denmark.

This remarkable preservation has allowed archaeologists to trace the origins of the Bronze Age wools found in burials from this time in Denmark. A new study by Frei has looked at where sheep were grazing when they grew the wool that made up the clothing, comparing burials across western Denmark, including that of Egtved Girl.

There was no method to find the origin of the wool, so she began developing one several years ago based on strontium isotopes. ...

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/danish-bro..._source=socialflowtwitter&utm_medium=articles
 

Ermintruder

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Utterly fascinating. Her Wiki entry say they believe she was born in the Black Forest area of Germany.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egtved_Girl#

This is a reconstruction of her costume:



I wonder if perhaps she died in childbirth? Hence the cremated remains of the co-interred baby...? 17 years old would've been middle-aged, perhaps. And maybe the father of her child died at the ripe-old age of 40....

We have no idea how easy our lives now are, compared with that era, a hundred generations before us. Not really. Illness, cold, pain, senseless death. But also some true joys....

We all just take a universe of entitlement & comfortable leisure, now, in our casual consumer stride.
 

Ermintruder

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That spiked tummy-plate may be a pretty effective form of birth-control!
Might that indeed have been it's intention, in the afterlife? A pointy procreation preventer?

We assume it was used, pre-mortem. Perhaps instead, it was for The Journey.

Contrariwise, it reminds me of Asterix the Gaul (might the grave goods have influenced the gravure of Uderzo, as in Goscinny &??)

If it were not a fashion item (the tummy-plate) but instead were a semi-metaphorical scutum targé , might it (again, in the afterlife), with it's blade-stopping central spike, have been intended to protect her from being caesarean sectioned?

I puzzle over why the baby was cremated, yet she was buried with careful observance. She still had far to go (indeed, she came to us, not to where she might've anticipated). Did the baby not deserve to be preserved? Perhaps it was the agent of her mortal doom, an heir for a queen that ended-up unwittingly killing it's carrier. And was accordingly consigned to the bin (as opposed to ever being part of our collective lineage).

EDIT: the burned/buried bairn was 5 or 6, not a baby. So scratch that death-in-childbirth theory
 
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rynner2

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Bronze Age roundhouses found at Higher Nansloe Farm near Bulwark Road, Helston, where Coastline Housing wants to build 75 affordable homes

What is thought could be Helston's earliest settlement dating back more than 3,000 years looks likely to be built over by a major new housing development.
Two Bronze Age roundhouses dating back to around 1,000 BC or earlier have been uncovered on farmland adjoining Bulwark Road, along with an Iron Age burial site and ditches, plus a small industrial area.

The discovery at Higher Nansloe Farm has raised questions locally over the future of the project by Coastline Housing to build 75 affordable homes, but the authority indicated this week that there was no change to the plans.
A spokesperson said: "As is usual on sites like this, all of the findings will be fully recorded and certain artefacts will be taken off site for safe keeping before further development work takes place."

Archaeologists from the Exeter branch of Cotswolds Archaeology have been working on the site for the last week, but are due to wrap up their involvement today.
Investigative trenches dug last November, following an initial radar survey, suggested that there could be some areas of historical interest, which has led to the excavation work over the last week.
The extent of the discovery though has been described as "completely unexpected," particularly in relation to the houses and graves, which are just over the hedge from Nansloe Academy, the primary school immediately neighbouring the site.

etc...

http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/new...using_site_raises_questions_over_its_future/#


 
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Rite of passage, eating your dog. Still observed in Cromer

Remains of at least two Late Bronze Age initiation ceremonies, in which teenage boys became warriors by eating dogs and wolves, have turned up in southwestern Russia, two archaeologists say. The controversial finds, which date to between roughly 3,900 and 3,700 years ago, may provide the first archaeological evidence of adolescent male war bands described in ancient texts.

Select boys of the Srubnaya, or Timber Grave, culture joined youth war bands in winter rites, where they symbolically became dogs and wolves by consuming canine flesh, contend David Anthony and Dorcas Brown, both of Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y. This type of initiation ceremony coincides with myths recorded in texts from as early as roughly 2,000 years ago by speakers of Indo-European languages across Eurasia, the researchers report in the December Journal of Anthropological Archaeology.

Those myths link dogs and wolves to youthful male war bands, warfare and death. In the ancient accounts, young warriors assumed names containing words for dogs or wolves, wore dog or wolf skins and, in some cases, ate dogs during initiation ceremonies. ...

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/sacrificed-dog-remains-feed-tales-bronze-age-wolf-men-warriors
 

Xanatic*

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Regarding the pointy procreation preventer, some think the Egtved Girl was a dancer/performer. Perhaps she was part of a travelling troupe.
 
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Bronze Age traders brought new animal species to Denmark
September 25, 2017 - 06:25

People have unwittingly influenced the spread of foreign animals for more than 2,000 years.

Ships like this reconstruction of a Bronze Age vessel, have always been important to the sea-faring Danes. But they may also have been crucial for the introduction of new species to the country. (Photo: bronzealdercenter.dk)
People have been influencing the distribution of animals on land ever since they began trading over large distances by water.

On the Danish islands of Lolland and Falster lives a tiny mouse – the Danish striped field mice – which turns out to be one of the earliest examples of how people unintentionally introduced foreign species into the Danish countryside.

The little mouse had long been considered exclusive to Lolland-Falster, so when biologist Thomas Secher Jensen from the Natural History Museum of Denmark discovered one in West Denmark, he was naturally astonished.

“I thought ‘where on earth did this come from?’ Was it a stowaway on a German caravan or what?” ...

http://sciencenordic.com/bronze-age-traders-brought-new-animal-species-denmark
 

EnolaGaia

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Early Bronze Age battle site found on German river bank

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13469861
Here's a follow-up on what's been found at the Tollense site ...

Europe's Oldest Battlefield Yields Clues to Fighters' Identities

At Europe's oldest battlefield, archaeologists found new clues about who fought on the skeleton-strewn grounds some 3,250 years ago.

Starting in the 1980s, people began finding ancient daggers, knives and other weapons in the river sediment around Tollense Valley in northeastern Germany. Several skulls were found, too. In 1996, an amateur archaeologist even discovered an arm bone, pierced with an arrow, sticking out of the ground. ...

But it wasn't until 2007 that a systematic exploration of the site began. Over the last decade, archaeologists have unearthed a veritable battlefield, dating back to 1250 B.C., spread along the banks of the Tollense River, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) north of Berlin. To date, the researchers have found the skeletons of 140 people, mostly men between the ages of 20 and 40, among the remains of military equipment and horse bones.

Archaeologists had lacked evidence of large battlefields from the Bronze Age in Europe, despite all the metal swords, hill forts, depictions of violence and scarred human skeletons from this period. (Around the Mediterranean, this was the era of the legendary Trojan Warand Egyptian warrior kings like Ramesses II, whose tombs document his battle with the Hittites.)

Thomas Terberger, one of the German archaeologists who launched the excavation at Tollense Valley, said his team is now sure they're looking at a true battlefield.

"We are very confident that the human remains are more or less lying in the position where they died," Terberger, of the Lower Saxony State Office for Cultural Heritage, told Live Science. ...

Terberger estimated that more than 2,000 people might have been involved in the fight.

FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/60739-europe-oldest-battlefield-yields-secrets.html
 
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'Torbrex Tam' Skeleton Found In Scotland Was 4000 Year Old Bronze Age Farmer
11/03/2017 07:00:00 PM

Human bones uncovered in Stirling in the late 19th century have been identified as being more than 4000 years old, making ‘Torbrex Tam’ the city’s oldest resident to date.

The remains of the man in his 20s were found within a chambered cairn, on land occupied by a market garden, in 1872. The cairn, the oldest structure in Stirling, is now surrounded by houses in Coney Park.

Radiocarbon dating results, released last week, have established that Tam’s bones date from the Bronze Age when Torbrex was a small settlement surrounded by water.

During the 1870s, workmen digging for gravel hit a stone-lined box or cist. Inside were the remains of a man who would have been in his 20s when he died.

Nicknamed ‘Torbrex Tam’ they were given to the Smith Museum for safekeeping. As well as Tam’s bones being dated, his facial reconstruction has also been carried out.

Stirling archaeologist Murray Cook explained: “Torbrex Tam died around 2152 to 2021 BC. He is more than 4000 years old.

“He’s the oldest individual from Stirling and his facial reconstruction is Stirling’s first recorded face. For anyone from Stirling, Tam is their oldest ancestor. I’m sure I’ve seen his face in people around the tow
Read more at https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blog...on-found-in-scotland.html#uTIDY7cFMbyZJyLJ.99
 

Swifty

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'Torbrex Tam' Skeleton Found In Scotland Was 4000 Year Old Bronze Age Farmer
11/03/2017 07:00:00 PM

Human bones uncovered in Stirling in the late 19th century have been identified as being more than 4000 years old, making ‘Torbrex Tam’ the city’s oldest resident to date.

The remains of the man in his 20s were found within a chambered cairn, on land occupied by a market garden, in 1872. The cairn, the oldest structure in Stirling, is now surrounded by houses in Coney Park.

Radiocarbon dating results, released last week, have established that Tam’s bones date from the Bronze Age when Torbrex was a small settlement surrounded by water.

During the 1870s, workmen digging for gravel hit a stone-lined box or cist. Inside were the remains of a man who would have been in his 20s when he died.

Nicknamed ‘Torbrex Tam’ they were given to the Smith Museum for safekeeping. As well as Tam’s bones being dated, his facial reconstruction has also been carried out.

Stirling archaeologist Murray Cook explained: “Torbrex Tam died around 2152 to 2021 BC. He is more than 4000 years old.

“He’s the oldest individual from Stirling and his facial reconstruction is Stirling’s first recorded face. For anyone from Stirling, Tam is their oldest ancestor. I’m sure I’ve seen his face in people around the tow
Read more at https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blog...on-found-in-scotland.html#uTIDY7cFMbyZJyLJ.99
Amazing, if you walked past him in the street today you wouldn't give him a second look .. a very contemporary face.
 
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Just a slight tangent - I always thought these facial reconstructions were supposed to be a hit-and-miss affair with the artist using quite a bit of imagination.

Question is, how accurate are they?
 

EnolaGaia

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Just a slight tangent - I always thought these facial reconstructions were supposed to be a hit-and-miss affair with the artist using quite a bit of imagination.

Question is, how accurate are they?
The general structure (facial configuration; contours) should be reasonably accurate as a sort of visual estimation. The reconstruction (if precisely performed) relies on averaged / median depths of muscle and flesh atop the underlying bone (skull).

It gets more speculative as you move from basic physical structure to more variable features such as skin tone and eye / hair color (absent other evidence).

Another issue is that (absent evidence in the bone or elsewhere) one can only speculate about the state of the flesh. Tam could have been scarred, tattooed, sported a nose made crooked from injury, or disfigured by lesions or tumors.
 

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WORLD'S OLDEST SUIT OF ARMOR?

A suit of bone armor dating back to the chalcolithic age was found in Siberia, and at the moment stands as the oldest known use of armor.

http://siberiantimes.com/science/ca...ar-old-suit-of-bone-armour-unearthed-in-omsk/

I wonder how practical it would be against stone and bronze weapons? I'm thinking that bone is pretty strong but depends on which direction force is applied? I'm guessing it might be effect against piercing weapons but I can't imagine it being that effective against an arrow having shot a fair few bows. Even boned-tipped can punch through stuff.

Leather armor just seems more practical, easier to make, flexible, very cut resistant, (think blacksmiths, metal worker aprons), was used up till the first world war.

Perhaps the bone armor was ceremonial?

We need some English boffins to remake a set of the armor and Mike Loades to try it out.
 
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maximus otter

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I wonder how practical it would be against stone and bronze weapons?
l imagine that anything’s better than nothing. l was impressed by how effective Chinese paper armour proved to be when the Mythbusters team tested it a few years ago.

My reservations would concern bone’s brittleness. Wood would seem to be a better idea, but l suppose bone’s selling point is that it’s pre-shaped for the very purpose of protecting innards.

maximus otter
 

EnolaGaia

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EnolaGaia

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It seems bone armor was not unusual in the central Asian regions, nor was it limited to non-military or ceremonial usage.

Such armor was assembled using thick bone slats (lamellae). According to:

Contact and Exchange in the Ancient World

Victor Mair, 2006
https://books.google.com/books?id=8...v=onepage&q=bone armor OR armour omsk&f=false

... such separate (from any grave ... ) burials of bone slats from armor were well known in the region's archaeological record prior to this 2014 find.

As to the bone armor's usefulness:

Bone and horn armor is not necessarily inferior to, nor always earlier than, metal armor.
Bone armor seems to have been strongly associated with Central Asian cultures that relied on horses. I can see where bone armor would have been lighter than equivalent metal armor.

The slats / lamellae appear to have been carved / cut from thick flat bones of some large animal. They were probably quite tough for their weight. It also occurs to me that even if the bone cracked or shattered under impacts / blows, this could well have absorbed or dissipated some of the impact force in a manner unlike (e.g.) metal.

There wasn't a linear evolutionary path along which bone armor was completely supplanted by metal armor. There are historical cases in which bone armor appears in the historical / archaeological record after the given culture has already employed metal armor.

SOURCE: The World of the Huns: Studies in Their History and Culture
Otto Maenchen-Helfen, 1973
https://books.google.com/books?id=C...v=onepage&q=bone armor OR armour omsk&f=false
 

AlchoPwn

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I once met a fellow who insisted that warriors in the Hellenic bronze age didn't actually wear boar tusk helmets, but used them as decorations. I had to point out to him that a boar tusk helmet had the same resistance as 1.5mm of bronze on the Moh's scale, weighed about the same, and could be completely repaired with a replacement tusk and an awl and thread, unlike the bronze which would need to be recast. I suspect the same can be said of bone splint maille.
 

AlchoPwn

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l imagine that anything’s better than nothing. l was impressed by how effective Chinese paper armour proved to be when the Mythbusters team tested it a few years ago.
My reservations would concern bone’s brittleness. Wood would seem to be a better idea, but l suppose bone’s selling point is that it’s pre-shaped for the very purpose of protecting innards.
maximus otter
For all its brittleness, bone is also very springy and is much stronger by weight than most wood. Wood has a tendency to split along the grain when struck. On the other hand, there are records of people using wicker as armor in China. The use of wood as armor is generally "rod armor" which is on record as having been used by many cultures. Bamboo makes quite good armor, being light, springy, and cheap, and the pieces are all but pre-shaped. Remember this during the zombie apocalypse. Zombies can't bite through timber.
 
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l imagine that anything’s better than nothing. l was impressed by how effective Chinese paper armour proved to be when the Mythbusters team tested it a few years ago.

My reservations would concern bone’s brittleness. Wood would seem to be a better idea, but l suppose bone’s selling point is that it’s pre-shaped for the very purpose of protecting innards.

maximus otter
You also have to consdier the type of fighting that went on - long fights between armies (if all factors were equal) were often won by those who were strongest and fittest. Even moderate 'not fatal in itself' blood loss weakens a soldier to the point where he loses effectiveness and thereafter life.
 

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From a Bronze Age shoe to a 1,300-year-old ski: Melting mountain ice reveals thousands of stunningly-preserved artefacts lost by ancient Norwegian hunters

More than 2,000 remarkably well-preserved hunting artefacts have emerged from melting ice in Norway's highest mountains, dating as far back as 4000 BC.

The incredible finds were made by 'glacial archaeologists' in Jotunheimen and the surrounding areas of Oppland, which include Norway’s highest mountains.

They looked at the edge of the contracting ice and recovered artefacts of wood, textile, hide and other organic materials.

Included in the archaeologists' haul is a ski with preserved binding from 700 AD - only the second one to be preserved globally - as well as a Bronze Age shoe from 1300 BC.



http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...0-artefacts-Norway-insight-mountain-life.html
 
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