The Bronze Age is a time of increasing interaction with large-scale connections that cover vast parts of Europe. Some parts and regions of the Bronze Age are very well explored and for some very strong narratives of hierarchisation and differentiation, dependence on external raw material supplies and specialisation have been proposed.
In other regions, however, only some of these aspects appear, even though networks of contact would at least have been possible. This is the case in the Baltic area, where western and eastern regions show dramatic differences in subsistence, the amounts of metal produced and deposited (and therefore presumably the social role of metal), the settlement pattern and scale of social groups. A particularly interesting question is the intensity of culture contact that the eastern Baltic regions entertained across the sea with Scandinavia and also with directly neighbouring continental regions.
This volume brings together scholars from all regions around the Baltic Sea to discuss different aspects of Bronze Age interactions. It offers a perspective on regional and interregional connectivity and exchange beyond the usual large-scale models discussed in Bronze Age archaeology and includes both case studies of individual regions or finds categories and broader overview papers focusing on the diversity of interconnections − and their sometimes striking absence.
Introduction: The Baltic in the Bronze Age world
Daniela Hofmann, Frank Nikulka, Robert Schumann
Shared symbols and values. On Nordic disc pins and deposition practices in the eastern Baltic
Uwe Sperling and Daniel Sahlén
Local perspectives on innovation and dispersal of new technologies in northern foraging societies: lithics, ceramics and early metallurgy in northern Sweden
Swords and sword-bearers across the Baltic Sea in the Early Bronze Age
The arrowheads of the Tollense Valley. From use-wear analysis to the sequence of violence
Hella Harten-Buga; Birte Meller; Thomas Terberger; Frank Nikulka; Detlef Jantzen; Jörg Orschiedt
Craftspeople in the Late Bronze Age: bone and antler working at fortified settlements in the eastern Baltic region
Hoards, metallurgy and points. Proposal of an analytical tool for describing hoards with components related to metalworking
Marcin Maciejewski and Kamil Nowak
“Kannelurensteine” — balance weights of the Bronze Age?
Nicola Ialongo and Lorenz Rahmstorf
From the seaside to the inland. Comparing Late Bronze Age pottery production and styles in the eastern Baltic
Vanda Visocka, Vytenis Podėnas, Uwe Sperling
SITES, REGIONS AND LANDSCAPES
Settlement patterns in the Bronze Age western Baltic – comparisons at different regional scales
Jutta Kneisel, Stefanie Schaefer-Di Maida, Ingo Feeser
The emergence of fortified settlements in Bronze Age Lithuania: a new model
Interpreting Bronze and Iron Age enclosed spaces, fortifications and boundaries in the western Baltic
Jutta Kneisel, Inge Beilke-Voigt, Oliver Nakoinz
Stone Age–Early Metal Period transition in the southern Finnish lake district: incipient forest grazing and temporary burning practices
Kerkko Nordqvist, Teija Alenius and Chiara Molinari
The Bronze Age culture in Finland from the perspective of the 2020s
The Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age transition in the lower Oder and the Oder lagoon region from settlement and environmental perspectives
Peripheral or non-peripheral? The “world view” of the Bronze Age people in the eastern Baltic
Bronze Age globalisation in numbers: volumes of trade and its organisation
Bloody warriors? The Tollense valley conflict and its relation to the Baltic Sea region
Detlef Jantzen and Gundula Lidke
Bronze Age cultural changes, population movements, and the formation of the Proto-Finnic ethnos
Baltic stone ships. Monuments of a “maritory” in Late Bronze Age northern Europe
Daniela Hofmann is Associate Professor at the University of Bergen, but has previously worked in Germany and the UK. She teaches and researches chiefly on the Neolithic of central Europe. Her main areas of interest are the application of scientific methods to narratives of prehistoric life, notably concerning migration and mobility, as well as the role of material culture and social practices (burial, structured deposition, figurines, architecture) in bringing about or resisting change.
Robert Schumann is currently substitute professor at Heidelberg University. Prior to that, the worked and researched in Hamburg, Berlin and Munich after receiving his PhD from Munich in 2014. His research interests include Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age, social archaeology and social organisation, contemporary archaeology and the history of archaeology.
Frank Nikulka is currently Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology at the University of Hamburg. His main research interests include the Bronze and Iron Ages of Europe, as well as the Slavic period, the economic and social implications of metallurgy, variability in burial rituals and cultural contacts throughout Iron Age Europe.