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Encyclopedia > Elp culture

The Elp culture (ca. 1800 to 800 BC)[1] is a Bronze Age archaeological culture of the Netherlands having earthenware pottery of low quality known as "Kümmerkeramik" (also "Grobkeramik") as a marker. The initial phase is characterized by tumuli (1800-1200 BC), strongly tied to contemporary tumuli in Northern Germany and Scandinavia, and apparently related to the Tumulus culture (1600 BC - 1200 BC) in Central Europe. This phase was followed by a subsequent change featuring Urnfield (cremation) burial customs (1200-800 BC). The Bronze Age is a period in a civilizations development when the most advanced metalworking has developed the techniques of smelting copper from natural outcroppings and alloys it to cast bronze. ... Earthenware is a common ceramic material, which is used extensively for pottery tableware and decorative objects. ... A tumulus (plural tumuli or tumuluses, from the Latin word for mound or small hill) is a mound of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves. ... The Tumulus culture which followed the Únêtice, and from which they descended, dominated central Europe during much of the second part of the second millenium B.C.E.. As the name implies, the Tumulus culture is distinguished by the practice of burying the dead beneath burial mounds. ... The Urnfield culture of central European culture is dated roughly between 1300 BC and 750 BC. The name describes the custom of cremating the dead and placing them in cemeteries. ... The crematorium at Haycombe Cemetery, Bath, England. ...

Part of the "Nordwestblock", it is situated to the north and east of the Rhine and the IJssel (named after the village of Elp at 52°53′N, 6°39′E), bordering the Hilversum culture to the south and the Hoogkarspel culture in West Friesland that, together with Elp, all derive from the Barbed Wire Beakers culture (2100 BC - 1800 BC) and, forming a culture complex at the boundary between the Atlantic and the Nordic horizons. The name Nordwestblock is applied by historians to a group of Europeans whose homeland was in the western part of present-day Germany during the 1st century, but who were not originally Germanic tribes. ... The Rhine (Dutch: ; French: ; German: ; Italian: ; Romansh: ) is one of the longest and most important rivers in Europe at 1,320 kilometres (820 miles), with an average discharge of more than 2,000 cubic meters per second. ... Satellite image of the IJssel basin River IJssel, sometimes called Gelderse IJssel (Gelderland IJssel) to avoid confusion with its Holland counterpart, is a 120 km long branch of the Rhine in the Dutch provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel. ... West Friesland (also West Frisia; Dutch: West-Friesland; West Frisian: West-Fryslân) is a contemporary region in the northwestern Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. ... The so called Atlantic Bronze Age is a cultural complex of the approx. ... Map of the Nordic Bronze Age culture, ca 1200 BC The Nordic Bronze Age (also Northern Bronze Age) is the name given by Oscar Montelius (1843-1921) to a period and a Bronze Age culture in Scandinavian pre-history, ca 1800 BC - 600 BC, with sites that reached as far...

First the dead were buried in shallow pits and covered by a low barrow. At the end of the bronze age they were cremated and the urns were gathered in low barrows. Family burials occurred only in the later stages.

The culture is known for featuring the longhouse, housing people and animals in one and the same building. This construction shows an exceptional local continuity until the twentieth century, still being the normal type of farm in the lowlands of north-western Europe and the Netherlands. The local tradition of concentrating on raising cattle was persisted by the Saxons and the Frisians, whose houses were perched on the natural hillocks in the moist planes, while all other Germanic people practiced sedentary agriculture.[2] Going back to the roots of this tradition, it is generally assumed that its origins lay somewhere in the Bronze Age, between 1800 and 1500 BC. Probably this change was contemporary to a transition from the two-aisled to the three-aisled farm as early as 1800 BC. This development bears comparison with what we know from Scandinavia, where the three-aisled house also develops at the same time.[3] In archaeology and anthropology, a long house or longhouse is a type of long, narrow single room building built by peoples in various parts of the world including Asia, Europe and North America. ...

Within the Northern Bronze Age context, many important reasons are mentioned to the custom of storing cattle inside a building and, moreover, inside the proper house. This could point to a new emphasis on milkproduction, especially since using milk also for drinking next to making cheese was made possible by a new gene against lactose intolerance, first to emerge amongst neolithic Northern European populations[4]. Cattle stalling was necessary to avoid cows giving less milk in cold conditions (Sherratt, 1983; Zimermann, 1999, 314; Olausson 1999, 321). Social exchange and a role in the supernatural would have been important as well (Fokkens 1999), supported by, for instance, stacks of cowhides in graves and the offerings of animals attested in both Sweden and Denmark (Rasmussen 1999: 287). Protection against cattle raids would fit the circumstances – proven by grave goods, rock engravings and hoards - of a strong martial ideology in this era (Fokkens 1999).

The culture came to an end with the advent of the Hallstatt culture. The Hallstatt culture was the predominant Central European culture during the local Bronze Age, and introduced the Iron Age. ...


  1. ^ According to the Dutch "Het Archeologisch Basisregister (ABR), versie 1.0 november 1992" [1], Elp Kümmerkeramik is dated BRONSMA (early MBA) to BRONSL (LBA), standardized by "De Rijksdienst voor Archeologie, Cultuurlandschap en Monumenten (RACM)" to a period starting at 1800 BC and ending at 800 BC.
  2. ^ The Germanic Invasions - Lucien Musset,1965, Presses Universitaires de France, translated 1975, ISBN 1-56619-326-5, p14
  3. ^ The longhouse as a central element in Bronze Age daily life - H. Fokkens, Faculty of Archaeology Leiden University, 2002 [2]
  4. ^ University College London (UCL) - Early European unable to stomach milk [3]

See also

The so called Atlantic Bronze Age is a cultural complex of the approx. ... The Urnfield culture of central European culture is dated roughly between 1300 BC and 750 BC. The name describes the custom of cremating the dead and placing them in cemeteries. ... The Jastorf culture is an Iron Age material culture in northern Europe, dated from about 600 BC to 1. ...

External links

  • http://www.landenweb.net/nederland/geschiedenis/



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