Bronze Age Metalwork: Techniques and traditions in the Nordic Bronze Age 1500-1100 BC [Paperback]

Heide W. Nørgaard(Author)

ISBN: 9781789690194 | Published by: Archaeopress Archaeology | Year of Publication: 2019 | 520p, H11.5 x W8, 290 figures (244 plates in color)
Status: In Stock - Available

Bronze Age Metalwork: Techniques and traditions in the Nordic Bronze Age 1500-1100 BC


Bronze ornaments of the Nordic Bronze Age (neck collars, belt plates, pins and tutuli) were elaborate objects that served as status symbols to communicate social hierarchy. The magnificent metalwork studied here dates from 1500-1100 BC. An interdisciplinary investigation of the artefacts was adopted to elucidate their manufacture and origin, resulting in new insights into metal craft in northern Europe during the Bronze Age. Based on the habitus concept, which situates the craftsmen within their social and technological framework, individual artefact characteristics and metalworking techniques can be used to identify different craft practices, even to identify individual craftsmen. The conclusions drawn from this offer new insights into the complex organisation of metalcraft in the production of prestige goods across different workshops. Several kinship-based workshops on Jutland, in the Lüneburg Heath and Mecklenburg, allow us to conclude that the bronze objects were a display of social status and hierarchy controlled by, and produced for, the elite – as is also seen in the workshops on Zealand. Within the two main metalworking regions, Zealand and central Lower Saxony, workshops can be defined as communities of practice that existed with an extended market and relations with the local elite. Attached craft, in the sense that the craftspeople fully depended on a governing institution and produced artefacts as a manifestation of political expression, was only detected on Zealand between 1500-1300 BC. The investigation presented here showed that overall results could not be achieved when concentrating only on one aspect of metalwork. Highly skilled craft is to be found in every kind of workshop, as well as an intensive labour input. Only when considering skill in relation to labour input and also taking into account signs of apprenticeship and cross-craft techniques, as well as the different categories of mistakes in crafting, can a stable image of craft organisation be created.

Table of Contents



Part 1 Material culture: Chapter 1: The examined material culture

Chapter 2: Presentation and Interpretation of the Examined Material Culture

Chapter 3: Archaeological residues of metalcraft within the Nordic Bronze Age

Part 2 Archaeological and Scientific Investigation: Chapter 1: Bronze Age Metalwork of NBA II/III in Northern Europe

Chapter 2: Bronze Age craftsmanship: a research history

Chapter 3: Experimental and ethnological research

Chapter 4: The Difference within metalworking techniques

Chapter 5: Casting techniques and casting moulds

Chapter 6: Crafting traces and crafting sequences

Chapter 7: Archaeometallurgical investigations

Chapter 8: It starts with the model – results of the craft-technical investigation

Part 3 Metalcraft in a theoretical light: Chapter 1: Theoretical approaches to craft in prehistoric times: a research History

Chapter 2: The craftsperson’s habitus

Chapter 3: Technological choices

Chapter 4: Apprenticeship and Bronze Age craft

Chapter 5: A new approach to the study of craft in prehistoric times

Part 4 Metalwork within the Nordic Bronze Age: Conclusion and Discussion: Chapter 1: Pattern of regional behaviour

Chapter 2: Traces of individual behaviour

Chapter 3: Traces of interaction groups of craftspeople – Traces of the analytical workshop

Chapter 4: The organisation of craft in the Nordic Bronze Age



Table 1: Morphological data

Table 2: Skill and production units

Table 3: Metal analysis

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