Bronze Age Discoveries

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Denmark was always a popular spot.

Migration patterns in present-day Denmark shifted at the beginning of the Nordic Bronze Age, according to a study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Karin Frei of the National Museum of Denmark and colleagues.

Migrants appear to have come from varied and potentially distant locations during a period of unprecedented economic growth in southern Scandinavia in the 2nd millennium BC. The 2nd and 3rd millennia BC are known to have been a period of significant migrations in western Europe, including the movement of steppe populations into more temperate regions. Starting around 1600 BC, southern Scandinavia became closely linked to long-distance metal trade elsewhere in Europe, which gave rise to a Nordic Bronze Age and a period of significant wealth in the region of present-day Denmark.

Read more at https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blog...e-age-attracted-wide.html#aMCBRIpsjkCUtre0.99
 

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Interesting anthropological study.

Four thousand years ago, the Early Bronze Age farmers of southern Germany had no Homer to chronicle their marriages, travails, and family fortunes.

But a detailed picture of their social structure has now emerged from a remarkable new study. By combining evidence from DNA, artifacts, and chemical clues in teeth, an interdisciplinary team unraveled relationships and inheritance patterns in several generations of high-ranking families buried in cemeteries on their farmsteads.

Among the most striking of the findings, reported online this week in Science, was an absence: "We were totally missing adult daughters," says team member Alissa Mittnik, a postdoc at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Sons, in contrast, put down roots on their parents' land and kept wealth in the family.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/10/why-are-adult-daughters-missing-ancient-german-cemeteries
 

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Among the most striking of the findings, reported online this week in Science, was an absence: "We were totally missing adult daughters," says team member Alissa Mittnik, a postdoc at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Sons, in contrast, put down roots on their parents' land and kept wealth in the family.
According to Borat's "Touristic Guidance to Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan", women weren't domesticated at that point in history.
 

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I have no connection with his channel, but there's a You Tuber called "Lindybeige" who does fascinating and charismatically presented short talks on a range of subjects including bronze age and mediaeval military history. Here's a link to his piece on the Tollense battle. He has done other videos of a similar nature about ancient battles. Recommended,

More findings from the Tollense battle site.

Bronze Age Europe was a violent place. But only recently have scientists uncovered the scope of the violence, at a 3000-year-old site in northern Germany where thousands of well-armed young men fought with sophisticated weapons in what appears to be an epic battle. Now, a bagful of bronze artifacts and tools found at the bottom of the river in the middle of the battlefield suggests some of these warriors traveled from hundreds of kilometers away to fight. That suggests that northern European societies were organized on such a large scale that leaders could call warriors to distant battlefields, long before modern communication systems and roads.

“It’s extremely rare to find a box or pouch [like this],” on an ancient battlefield, says Thomas Terberger, an archaeologist with the Lower Saxony State Office for Cultural Heritage in Hanover, Germany, who describes the find with colleagues in a paper published today in Antiquity. “Somebody lost it there.”

The battle raged in a narrow, swampy valley that runs along the Tollense River, in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, 160 kilometers north of Berlin. Many of the artifacts sank below the water and were preserved in pristine condition. Since the site was discovered in 1996, archaeologists have uncovered metal and wooden weaponry and more than 12,000 pieces of human bone.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/10/3000-year-old-toolkit-suggests-skilled-warriors-crossed-europe-fight-epic-battle
 

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More findings from the Tollense battle site.

Bronze Age Europe was a violent place. But only recently have scientists uncovered the scope of the violence, at a 3000-year-old site in northern Germany where thousands of well-armed young men fought with sophisticated weapons in what appears to be an epic battle. Now, a bagful of bronze artifacts and tools found at the bottom of the river in the middle of the battlefield suggests some of these warriors traveled from hundreds of kilometers away to fight. That suggests that northern European societies were organized on such a large scale that leaders could call warriors to distant battlefields, long before modern communication systems and roads.

“It’s extremely rare to find a box or pouch [like this],” on an ancient battlefield, says Thomas Terberger, an archaeologist with the Lower Saxony State Office for Cultural Heritage in Hanover, Germany, who describes the find with colleagues in a paper published today in Antiquity. “Somebody lost it there.”

The battle raged in a narrow, swampy valley that runs along the Tollense River, in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, 160 kilometers north of Berlin. Many of the artifacts sank below the water and were preserved in pristine condition. Since the site was discovered in 1996, archaeologists have uncovered metal and wooden weaponry and more than 12,000 pieces of human bone.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/10/3000-year-old-toolkit-suggests-skilled-warriors-crossed-europe-fight-epic-battle
German militarism goes back a bit further than I thought.
 

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Great Orme copper mine 'traded widely in Bronze Age'


North Wales was Britain's main source of copper for about 200 years during the Bronze Age, new research has found.
Scientists analysed metal from the Great Orme, Conwy, and found it was made into tools and weapons, and traded across what is today's Europe.
Historians once thought the Orme's copper mine - now a museum - had been a small-scale operation.
Experts now believe there was a bonanza from 1600-1400 BC, with artefacts found in Sweden, France and Germany.
The research, by scientists from the University of Liverpool, involved sampling copper ore from the old mine and a nearby smelting site.
It allowed experts like Dr Alan Williams, the geoarchaeologist who co-wrote the study published in the journal Antiquity, to create a "fingerprint" of the metal based on chemical impurities and isotopic properties.
(c) BBC. '19
 

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Bronze Age monument discovered in Forest of Dean
A previously unknown Bronze Age monument has been discovered hidden in woodland in the Forest of Dean following an airborne laser scan.
The ritual monument, known as a ring cairn, dates back to about 2,000 BC.
It consists of a circular bank with several small limestone standing stones on top.
Archaeologist Jon Hoyle, who found it, said it was the only site of its kind known about in Gloucestershire, and was a "very significant" discovery
(C)BBC. '19
 
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Lost 3,400-Year-Old Kingdom Found by Archaeologists in Stumping Discovery

Source: curiosmos.com
Date: 22 February, 2020

A discovery by Chance: a stone stele discovered in Turkey and covered in strange symbols revealed the presence of a long-lost kingdom that existed more than 3,000 years ago.

Archeologists have reported discovering a long-lost ancient city that they say was most likely conquered in ancient times the Kingdom of Midas.

Researchers from the Oriental Institute have reported discovering a long-lost ancient kingdom which they believe dates back as far as 1,400 BC. The Kingdom is thought to have conquered Phrygia, the Kingdom once ruled by King Midas.

Archaeologists from the University of Chicago were studying a site with colleagues from the UK and Turkey at Türkmen-Karahöyük, an archeological site in southern Turkey.

Part of the Türkmen-Karahöyük Intensive Survey Project, the researchers were surveying an area covered with other famous cities. Such are the regions treasure that just by walking and exploring the surface, they were able to collect broken pottery fragments dating back thousands of years.

A local farmer had told experts that while dredging a nearby irrigation canal, he had come across a massive stone surfaced with strange inscriptions. Intrigued by the report, the researchers decided to take a closer look.

“We rushed straight there, and we could see it still sticking out of the water, so we jumped right down into the canal—up to our waists wading around,” explained Asst. Prof. James Osborne of the OI, one of the foremost centers of research on the ancient world.

“Right away it was clear it was ancient, and we recognized the script it was written in: Luwian, the language used in the Bronze and Iron Ages in the area.”

https://curiosmos.com/lost-3400-year-old-kingdom-found-by-archaeologists-in-stumping-discovery/
 
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Bronze Age burials beside Loch Ness

Source: archaeology.co.uk
Date: 11 February, 2020

Recent excavations at Lewiston by AOC Archaeology revealed over 35 Neolithic pits arranged in six broad clusters. These contained broken Carinated Bowls, flint and quartz flakes, coarse stone tools, and finer flint tools, mixed in with burnt cereals and hazelnut shells. Bayesian modelling of radiocarbon dates obtained from hazelnuts and wood charcoal demonstrates that activity associated with the pits was short-lived, spanning less than 40 years between 3661 cal BC and 3532 cal BC – a period within the transition between the early and middle Neolithic.

No direct evidence for structures was found, although the spatial patterning of the pits suggests they may have been arranged around ephemeral circular or more rectangular structures – the traces of which no longer survive – or natural features such as trees.

The site – which lies close to the western shore of Loch Ness – has also yielded evidence for six Bronze Age burials (five cists and one pit-grave), located in a rough linear arrangement measuring c.300m long across a slight rise. While only two of the cists were completely intact and human remains survived in only one, phosphate analysis of acid soils in the second intact cist and the pit-grave confirmed that human remains had once been present. Two Beaker pots, an all-over-decorated bowl, a stone wristguard, and a plano-convex flint knife were recovered from the burials.

https://www.archaeology.co.uk/articles/bronze-age-burials-beside-loch-ness.htm
 

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DROUGHT REVEALS “SPANISH STONEHENGE” OLDER THAN THE PYRAMIDS

Source: archaeology-world.com
Date: 1 March, 2020

After 50 years of immersion on the bottom of a basin, in Spain, a 5,000-year-old monument emerged.

There are 144 granite blocks on the megalithic site, which are over 6 feet high, known as ‘ Spanish Stonehenge. ‘ Its similarity to the UNESCO World Heritage site in Wiltshire is striking, but the Iberian version is made of smaller rocks.

The Spanish General ordered the construction of a hydroelectric dam at Peraleda de la Mata, near Cáceres in Extremadura, which was supposed to be condemned to the history books of the 1960s.

However, a severe and prolonged drought has seen the structure emerge as the last drops of water vanished from the barren basin. Western Spain is being ravaged by a year-long drought and the Bronze Age structure, thought to be an ancient temple, can now be seen.

https://www.archaeology-world.com/drought-reveals-spanish-stonehenge-older-than-the-pyramids/
 

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In really good condition too!
Not a metallurgist, but I guess bronze doesn't corrode quite as fast as iron in water.

Checking auction sites - original palstave axe heads like that go for a few hundred quid, it seems (although I bet there's a lot of fakes out there). Not precious metal so treasure trove laws don't complicate things, plus it was found on a public beach, which should help her case for keeping it.
 

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Ancient Beehive Tombs of Oman – So, Where are the Bodies?

Source: ancient-origins.net
Date: 4 March, 2020

Lined up dramatically atop a rocky ridge, the beehive ‘tombs’ of Bat and Al Ayn are two of Oman’s most celebrated prehistoric sites. Little is known about the stone structures, or the culture that constructed them. However, despite this lack of knowledge, UNESCO feels it knows enough to conclude that “the necropolis of Bat bears characteristic and unique witness to the evolution of funeral practices during the first Bronze Age in the Oman peninsula” – a rather strange statement considering that not a single human or animal bone has been recovered from the hundreds of beehive-shaped monuments scattered across the rugged landscape.

No Burial Remains in the Beehive Tombs?

Visit any website about the beehive monuments of Oman, and you will read endless descriptions about these impressive ‘tombs,’ which form one of the largest proto-historic necropolises in the world. You will even read detailed descriptions of the ‘funeral chambers’ within the monuments and how many bodies would have been held within each room. However, what most of these sites fail to mention is that no burial remains have ever been retrieved from these so-called ‘tombs.’

https://www.ancient-origins.net/une...beehive-tombs-oman-so-where-are-bodies-002009
 

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This may be an example of cursorily projecting one region's practices onto another's.

The use of "beehive" style structures (circular dome-like structures built up from layers of stone) is known across a broad area from Oman through the Near East to the Balkans and all the way out to Iberia.

The strong association of such beehive structures with funerary practices was originally attributed with regard to the Balkans (especially Greece and Bulgaria) westward.

Similar Near Eastern structures (Turkey, Syria, Iraq) are believed to represent residential or storage structures.

Oman is closer to the Near Eastern areas where the beehive "tombs" weren't used as tombs. My guess is that the Oman structures were casually labeled "tombs" based on their resemblance to the better known Balkans-westward examples.
 

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Ancient Mongolian empires sustained themselves with millet

Source: Cosmos Magazine
Date: 4 March, 2020

Ancient Mongolian kingdoms may have been more sophisticated than history has credited them for, according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The paper presents evidence that their diets relied heavily on millet, indicative of complex economies that helped sustain their colossal expansion.

“Mongolia’s past empires have long been portrayed as groups of violent, horseback riders thought to be exceptions to the established ideals of what makes an ‘empire’,” says lead author Shevan Wilkin from the Max Planck Institute in Germany.

But their economies are poorly understood as extreme winds in the historic Mongolian landscape have blown away sedimentary evidence of human activity, thwarting archaeological explorations.

[...]

However, the researchers found clear evidence of increasingly diverse diets including high consumption of millet or millet-based foods, showing “previously unseen shifts in diet” during the rise of the formidable Xiongnu and Mongol empires.

[...]

“Namely, instead of roving hordes, these empires were supported by pastoralists and farmers practising different subsistence strategies that provided strength in diversity.”

https://cosmosmagazine.com/archaeology/ancient-mongolian-empires-sustained-themselves-with-millet
 

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Interesting find. Includes a (rare) seated burial.

The once monumental final resting place of a probable prehistoric chieftain and, potentially, his shaman has been discovered in southwest England.

It’s one of the most fascinating archaeological discoveries in southern Britain in recent years. Significantly, the duo formed part of a remarkable social and political process which changed human history – and still shapes our world today.


The probable chieftain or other prestigious leader – a man in his 30s or 40s – had been interred underneath the centre of a large funerary mound which had been constructed specifically for him inside his own personal 20m diameter ditched enclosure. The key evidence for his high status is the unusually fine material buried with him for his journey to the next life. He had been buried in around 2200BC with a 20cm long copper dagger (with a pommel made out of whalebone), an amber bead, a flint knife, an iron pyrites and flint fire-lighting kit, four special cowhide ‘rugs’ and an extremely fine archer’s wrist-guard made of a particularly valued stone quarried or gathered near the top of a mountain in the Lake District.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/archaeology/archaeology-anicent-british-chieftain-shaman-burial-ritual-a9480321.html
 

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Bronze Age Bronco Bias.

Myths about horses and gender abound. Many equestrians, for example, say they prefer “predictable” geldings over “moody” mares, despite no real difference in their behavior while ridden.

Now, a new study suggests our biased views of horses may have ancient origins. Based on ancient DNA from hundreds of horse skeletons, researchers suggest Bronze Age Eurasians overwhelmingly preferred male horses—preferences that may shed light on the earliest days of horse husbandry.

It’s a “glorious example of the potential” for DNA to uncover the origins of horse domestication, says William Taylor, an archaeologist at the University of Colorado, Boulder, who wasn’t involved in the study.

Humans likely domesticated horses about 5500 years ago on the grasslands of the Eurasian steppe, and before that, they hunted the beasts for food. Researchers have long suspected that male horses might outnumber females in early Eurasia, especially given the large number of stallions found buried alongside humans in sites dating back thousands of years. But it’s difficult to detect a horse’s sex from the look of their bones alone.

Researchers led by Antoine Fages, a paleogenomicist at Paul Sabatier University, sought answers by analyzing DNA from the bones of 268 ancient horses. The bones dated from about 40,000 B.C.E. to 700 C.E. and were found at dozens of sites across Eurasia, from modern-day Iberia to Siberia. Some horses were purposefully buried, whereas others had been discarded in trash heaps.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/07/ancient-dna-reveals-bronze-age-bias-male-horses
 

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It is interesting that an idea by people who have had an average of 8 years of riding, and working, with Horses is being discounted, so here is my opinion.

I've ridden, and cared for horses of all persuasions, and I admit to preferring to ride a gelding over a Filly, a Filly Mare, or an Entire, and the reasons are plain.

If you are travelling at 35 mph, you don't want to be riding a stallion if he passes a mare in Oestrus, plus, entires can take quite a bit of handling. Young horses of both persuasions are flighty, and are prone to startling easily. Mares are generally reliable but can be stubborn, while filly mares can be quite habitually bitchy.

The above opinion concerns horses that are finely bred, and are corned up, so that would come into the equation I reckon. As for the Eurasian preference for Stallions?

I think that they have it wrong. A mare would be the preference for any farmer, or herdsman because they breed, with more than one stallion being a bloody nuisance in the herd, so I reckon that stallions weren't the preference - it was the fact that stallions were expendable.

YMMV.
 

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Came across this article/find a while ago, and found this article to be a wee-bit confusing, as it states that a Bronze Age 'Circle' (i.e. the 'monument') has been found in the Forest of Dean. Yet when observing the circle in the Lidar view as below... you will notice that the 'circle' it is not a circle at all, it is six-sided, (a hex) with a centre point - needs some clarification I'm thinking! :pop:

Lidar image - forest of dean.png
 
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Mythopoeika

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Came across this article/find a while ago, and found this article to be a wee-bit confusing, as it states that a Bronze Age 'Circle' (i.e. the 'monument') has been found in the Forest of Dean. Yet when observing the circle in the Lidar view as below... you will notice that the 'circle' it is not a circle at all, it is six-sided, (a hex) with a centre point - needs some clarification I'm thinking! :pop:

View attachment 27923
The appearance of flat sides may be due to a limitation of the lidar's scanning resolution.
A higher resolution scan may yield better curves. I see this kind of thing on radar scans all the time - I'm guessing that lidar may produce similar effects.
Impossible to tell unless they excavate it.
 

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This site is apparently now known as the East Wood Ring Cairn. It is in fact circular.

The BBC article omits some important context. The feature was detected on LIDAR and then visited in 2008, recorded in an ongoing archaeological survey in 2010, and lightly excavated circa 2011 / 2012.

More details, the site's location, and photos can be found on the East Wood Ring Cairn webpage at The Megalithic Portal:

https://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=52559
 
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