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Encyclopedia > Nordic Bronze Age
Map of the Nordic Bronze Age culture, ca 1200 BC
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 east as Estonia [1]. Download high resolution version (657x683, 31 KB)The Nordic Bronze Age culture, ca 1200 BC. The map based on Image:Europe plain rivers. ... Download high resolution version (657x683, 31 KB)The Nordic Bronze Age culture, ca 1200 BC. The map based on Image:Europe plain rivers. ... (Redirected from 1200 BC) Centuries: 14th century BC - 13th century BC - 12th century BC Decades: 1250s BC 1240s BC 1230s BC 1220s BC 1210s BC - 1200s BC - 1190s BC 1180s BC 1170s BC 1160s BC 1150s BC Events and Trends 1204 BC - Theseus, legendary King of Athens is deposed after... Oscar Montelius (9 September 1843–4 November 1921) was a Swedish archaeologist who refined the concept of seriation, a relative chronological dating method. ... 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. ... In archaeology, culture refers to either of two separate but allied concepts: An archaeological culture is a pattern of similar artefacts and features found within a specific area over a limited period of time. ... Scandinavia, Fennoscandia, and the Kola Peninsula. ... (Redirected from 1800 BC) (19th century BC - 18th century BC - 17th century BC - other centuries) (3rd millennium BC - 2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC) Events 1787 - 1784 BC -- Amorite conquests of Uruk and Isin 1786 BC -- Egypt: End of Twelfth Dynasty, start of Thirteenth Dynasty, start of Fourteenth Dynasty 1766... Centuries: 8th century BC - 7th century BC - 6th century BC Decades: 650s BC 640s BC 630s BC 620s BC 610s BC - 600s BC - 590s BC 580s BC 570s BC 560s BC 550s BC Events and Trends Fall of the Assyrian Empire and Rise of Babylon 609 BC _ King Josiah...


It is generally considered to be the direct predecessor and origin of Germanic culture. It succeeded the probably Proto-Indo-European Corded Ware culture and evolved into the Proto-Germanic culture of the Pre-Roman Iron Age. The language that the bearers of this culture probably spoke is referred to as Pre-Proto-Germanic. The Proto-Indo-Europeans are the hypothetical speakers of the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European language, a prehistoric people of the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age. ... Approximate extent of the Corded Ware horizon with adjacent 3rd millennium cultures (after EIEC). ... Map of the Pre-Roman Iron Age culture(s) associated with Proto-Germanic, ca 500 BC-50 BC. The area south of Scandinavia is the Jastorf culture Proto-Germanic, the proto-language believed by scholars to be the common ancestor of the Germanic languages, includes among its descendants Dutch, Yiddish... A map of the area covered by the Pre-Roman Iron Age, ca 500 BC-1 AD The Pre-Roman Iron Age (also called the Celtic Iron Age) (ca 600 BC or 500 BC - ca 1 AD) designates the earliest part (i. ...

Contents


General characteristics

Petroglyphs from Scandinavia (Häljesta, Västmanland in Sweden). Composite image. Nordic Bronze Age. The glyphs are painted to make them more visible. It is unknown whether they were painted originally.
Petroglyphs from Scandinavia (Häljesta, Västmanland in Sweden). Composite image. Nordic Bronze Age. The glyphs are painted to make them more visible. It is unknown whether they were painted originally.

Even though Scandinavians joined the European Bronze Age cultures fairly late through trade, Scandinavian sites present rich and well-preserved objects made of wool, wood and imported Central European bronze and gold. During this period Scandinavia gave rise to the first known advanced civilization in this area, following the Nordic Stone Age. The Scandinavians adopted many central European and Mediterranean symbols at the same time that they created new styles and objects. Mycenaean Greece, the Villanovan culture, Phoenicia and Ancient Egypt have all been identified as possible sources of influence in Scandinavian artworks from this period. The reason to the foreign influence is believed to have been amber trade, and amber found in Mycenaean graves from this period has been found to originate from the Baltic Sea, so it is reasonable to assume that the culture that arose in the Nordic Bronze Age constituted one supply end of the so-called Amber Road. Several petroglyphs depict ships, and the large stone formations known as stone ships give at hand that shipping played an important role in contemporary life. Several petroglyphs depict ships that have been identified as plausibly Mediterranean. Rock carvings (petroglyphs) from Scandinavia. ... Rock carvings (petroglyphs) from Scandinavia. ...  Västmanland? is a historical Province or landskap in middle Sweden. ... 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. ... Historical lands and provinces in Central Europe Central Europe is the region lying between the variously and vaguely defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe. ... Assorted ancient bronze castings found as part of a cache, probably intended for recycling. ... General Name, Symbol, Number gold, Au, 79 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 11, 6, d Appearance metallic yellow Atomic mass 196. ... Scandinavia, Fennoscandia, and the Kola Peninsula. ... The Nordic Stone Age refers to the Stone Age of Scandinavia. ... Satellite image The Mediterranean Sea is a part of the Atlantic Ocean almost completely enclosed by land, on the north by Europe, on the south by Africa, and on the east by Asia. ... Mycenaean Greece, the last phase of Bronze Age Greece, is the Late Helladic Bronze Age civilization of ancient Greece. ... The Villanovan culture and proto-Villanovan culture existed from 1100 BC to 700 BC where the proto-Villanovan culture runs from 1100 BC to 900 BC and Villanovan culture proper from 900 BC to 700 BC. The name Villanovan comes from the fact that the first archaeological finds relating to... Phoenicia was an ancient civilization in the north of ancient Canaan, with its heartland along the coastal plain of what is now Lebanon and Syria, between the Lebanon Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. ... ... Amber pendants. ... The Baltic Sea is located in Northern Europe, from 53 deg. ... The Amber Road (in Lithuanian: Gintaro kelias; Polish: Szlak Bursztynowy, Jantarowy Szlak; in German: Bernsteinstraße; in Russian: Янтарный путь) was an ancient trade route for the transfer of amber. ... The stone ship at Anunds barrow The Stone ship was a Gemanic burial custom, typical for Scandinavia with scattered examples in Northern Germany and along the coast of the Baltic States (where they are called devil ships). ...

Map of major petroglyph regions
Enlarge
Map of major petroglyph regions

From this period x there are many mounds and fields of petroglyphs, but their signification is long since lost. There are also numerous artifacts of bronze and gold. The rather crude appearance of the petroglyphs compared to the bronze works have given rise to the theory that they were produced by different cultures or different social groups. No written language existed in the nordic countries during the Bronze Age. The petroglyphs have been dated as belonging to the Nordic Bronze Age by comparing depicted artifacts with archaeological finds, for example bronze axes are often portrayed in petroglyphs. The first archaeologist to do this connection was Oscar Montelius. (There are also numerous Nordic Stone Age petroglyphs, mostly portraying elk.) Image File history File links Download high resolution version (533x645, 26 KB) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (533x645, 26 KB) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Petroglyphs on Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument, southern Utah, USA Petroglyphs are images incised in rock, usually by prehistoric, especially Neolithic, peoples. ... Oscar Montelius (9 September 1843–4 November 1921) was a Swedish archaeologist who refined the concept of seriation, a relative chronological dating method. ... The Nordic Stone Age refers to the Stone Age of Scandinavia. ...


The Nordic Bronze Age evolved continuously through the Pre-Roman Iron Age and the Roman Iron Age into the Germanic Iron Age and consequently both linguists and archaeologists believe that the culture of the Nordic Bronze Age and the expansion of the following Iron Age cultures corresponded to that of the Proto-Germanic and the Germanic tribes. A map of the area covered by the Pre-Roman Iron Age, ca 500 BC-1 AD The Pre-Roman Iron Age (also called the Celtic Iron Age) (ca 600 BC or 500 BC - ca 1 AD) designates the earliest part (i. ... Roman Bronze figurine, Öland, Sweden The Roman Iron Age (1-400) is the name that Swedish archaeologist Oscar Montelius gave to a part of the Iron Age in Scandinavia, Northern Germany and the Netherlands. ... The Germanic Iron Age is the name given to the period 400 AD–800 AD in Northern Europe, and it is part of the continental Age of Migrations. ... Iron Age Axe found on Gotland This article is about the archaeological period known as the Iron Age, for the mythological Iron Age see Iron Age (mythology). ... Map of the Pre-Roman Iron Age culture(s) associated with Proto-Germanic, ca 500 BC-50 BC. The area south of Scandinavia is the Jastorf culture Proto-Germanic, the proto-language believed by scholars to be the common ancestor of the Germanic languages, includes among its descendants Dutch, Yiddish... The term Germanic tribes (or Teutonic tribes) applies to the ancient Germanic peoples of Europe. ...


Sub-periodization

Bronze lurs such as the lurs of Brudevaelte found in Denmark were probably used in Bronze Age rituals.
Bronze lurs such as the lurs of Brudevaelte found in Denmark were probably used in Bronze Age rituals.

Oscar Montelius who gave the name Nordic Bronze Age to this time period in divided it into six distinct sub-periods in his piece Om tidsbestämning inom bronsåldern med särskilt avseende på Skandinavien published in 1885 which is still in wide use (For central Europe a different system developed by Paul Reinecke is commonly used): Download high resolution version (500x616, 30 KB) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Download high resolution version (500x616, 30 KB) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... See Lurs for other uses Lur is a name given to two distinct types of wind musical instrument. ... Oscar Montelius (9 September 1843–4 November 1921) was a Swedish archaeologist who refined the concept of seriation, a relative chronological dating method. ... 1885 is a common year starting on Thursday. ... Historical lands and provinces in Central Europe Central Europe is the region lying between the variously and vaguely defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe. ...

These six periods are then followed by the Pre-Roman Iron Age. (Redirected from 1800 BC) (19th century BC - 18th century BC - 17th century BC - other centuries) (3rd millennium BC - 2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC) Events 1787 - 1784 BC -- Amorite conquests of Uruk and Isin 1786 BC -- Egypt: End of Twelfth Dynasty, start of Thirteenth Dynasty, start of Fourteenth Dynasty 1766... (Redirected from 1500 BC) Centuries: 17th century BC - 16th century BC - 15th century BC Decades: 1550s BC 1540s BC 1530s BC 1520s BC 1510s BC - 1500s BC - 1490s BC 1480s BC 1470s BC 1460s BC 1450s BC Events and Trends Stonehenge built in Wiltshire, England The element Mercury has been... (Redirected from 1500 BC) Centuries: 17th century BC - 16th century BC - 15th century BC Decades: 1550s BC 1540s BC 1530s BC 1520s BC 1510s BC - 1500s BC - 1490s BC 1480s BC 1470s BC 1460s BC 1450s BC Events and Trends Stonehenge built in Wiltshire, England The element Mercury has been... (Redirected from 1300 BC) Centuries: 15th century BC - 14th century BC - 13th century BC Decades: 1350s BC 1340s BC 1330s BC 1320s BC 1310s BC - 1300s BC - 1290s BC 1280s BC 1270s BC 1260s BC 1250s BC Events and Trends Cecrops II, legendary King of Athens dies after a reign... (Redirected from 1300 BC) Centuries: 15th century BC - 14th century BC - 13th century BC Decades: 1350s BC 1340s BC 1330s BC 1320s BC 1310s BC - 1300s BC - 1290s BC 1280s BC 1270s BC 1260s BC 1250s BC Events and Trends Cecrops II, legendary King of Athens dies after a reign... (Redirected from 1100 BC) Centuries: 13th century BC - 12th century BC - 11th century BC Decades: 1150s BC 1140s BC 1130s BC 1120s BC 1110s BC - 1100s BC - 1090s BC 1080s BC 1070s BC 1060s BC 1050s BC Events and Trends 1100 BC - Tiglath-Pileser I of Assyria conquers the Hittites... (Redirected from 1100 BC) Centuries: 13th century BC - 12th century BC - 11th century BC Decades: 1150s BC 1140s BC 1130s BC 1120s BC 1110s BC - 1100s BC - 1090s BC 1080s BC 1070s BC 1060s BC 1050s BC Events and Trends 1100 BC - Tiglath-Pileser I of Assyria conquers the Hittites... Centuries: 11th century BC - 10th century BC - 9th century BC Decades: 950s BC 940s BC 930s BC 920s BC 910s BC - 900s BC - 890s BC 880s BC 870s BC 860s BC 850s BC Events and Trends 909 BC - Zhou xiao wang becomes King of the Zhou Dynasty of China. ... Centuries: 11th century BC - 10th century BC - 9th century BC Decades: 950s BC 940s BC 930s BC 920s BC 910s BC - 900s BC - 890s BC 880s BC 870s BC 860s BC 850s BC Events and Trends 909 BC - Zhou xiao wang becomes King of the Zhou Dynasty of China. ... Centuries: 8th century BC - 7th century BC - 6th century BC Decades: 650s BC 640s BC 630s BC 620s BC 610s BC - 600s BC - 590s BC 580s BC 570s BC 560s BC 550s BC Events and Trends Fall of the Assyrian Empire and Rise of Babylon 609 BC _ King Josiah... Centuries: 8th century BC - 7th century BC - 6th century BC Decades: 650s BC 640s BC 630s BC 620s BC 610s BC - 600s BC - 590s BC 580s BC 570s BC 560s BC 550s BC Events and Trends Fall of the Assyrian Empire and Rise of Babylon 609 BC _ King Josiah... Centuries: 7th century BC - 6th century BC - 5th century BC Decades: 550s BC - 540s BC - 530s BC - 520s BC - 510s BC - 500s BC - 490s BC - 480s BC - 470s BC - 460s BC - 450s BC Events and Trends 509 BC - Foundation of the Roman Republic 508 BC - Office of pontifex maximus created... A map of the area covered by the Pre-Roman Iron Age, ca 500 BC-1 AD The Pre-Roman Iron Age (also called the Celtic Iron Age) (ca 600 BC or 500 BC - ca 1 AD) designates the earliest part (i. ...


Climate

The Nordic Bronze Age was characterized by a warm climate (which is compared to that of the Mediterranean), which permitted a relatively dense population, but it ended with a climate change consisting of deterioriating, wetter and colder climate (sometimes believed to have given rise to the legend of the Fimbulwinter) and it seems very likely that the climate pushed the Germanic tribes southwards into continental Europe. During this time there was Scandinavian influence in Eastern Europe (and a thousand years later, the numerous East Germanic tribes that claimed Scandinavian origins (e.g. Langobards, Burgundians, Goths and Heruls) rendered Scandinavia (Scandza) the name womb of nations in Jordanes' Getica). Variations in CO2, temperature and dust from the Vostok ice core over the last 400 000 years The term climate change is used to refer to changes in the Earths global climate or regional climates. ... In Norse mythology and Ásatrú (according to the Eddas), Fimbulwinter is the immediate prelude to the end of the world, Ragnarok. ... The tribes referred to as East Germanic constitute a wave of migrants who moved from Scandinavia into the area between the Oder and Vistula rivers between 600 - 300 BC. In historical times these tribes were differentiated as Goths, Burgundians and Vandals among others. ... The Lombards (Latin Langobardi, from which the alternative name Longobards found in older English texts), were a Germanic people originally from Scandinavia that entered the late Roman Empire. ... The Burgundians or Burgundes were an East Germanic tribe which may have emigrated from mainland Scandinavia to the island of Bornholm, whose old form in Old Norse still was Burgundarholmr (the Island of the Burgundians), and from here to mainland Europe. ... Invasion of the Goths: a late 19th century painting by O. Fritsche portrays the Goths as cavalrymen. ... The Heruli (spelled variously in Latin and Greek) were a nomadic Germanic people, who were subjugated by the Ostrogoths and Huns in the 3rd to 5th centuries. ... Scandza was the name given to Scandinavia by Jordanes, in his work Getica. ... The Origin and Deeds of the Goths (Latin: De origine actibusque Getarum), commonly referred to as Getica, was written by Jordanes, probably in Constantinople, and was published in AD 551. ...


In fact, the Scandinavian influence on Pomerania and northern Poland from period III and onwards was so considerable that this region is sometimes included in the Nordic Bronze Age culture (Dabrowski 1989:73). Historic Pomerania (outlined in yellow) Pomerania (Polish: Pomorze, German: Pommern and Pommerellen, Pomeranian (Kashubian): Pòmòrze and Pòmòrskô, Latin: Pomerania, Pomorania) is a geographical and historical region in northern Poland and Germany on the south coasts of the Baltic Sea between and on both sides of the...


Due to the climate change and the loss of population, the nordic countries are generally described as going through a cultural recession at the end of the Bronze Age, lasting for a thousand years until the rise of another advanced civilization in the so-called Viking Age. The Viking Age is the name of the period between 793 and 1066 AD in Scandinavia and Britain, following the Germanic Iron Age (and the Vendel Age in Sweden). ...


Religion

The Trundholm sun chariot pulled by a horse is believed to be a sculpture illustrating an important part of Nordic Bronze Age mythology.
The Trundholm sun chariot pulled by a horse is believed to be a sculpture illustrating an important part of Nordic Bronze Age mythology.

Not much is known about the Nordic Bronze Age religion since written sources are lacking. However numerous archeaological finds draw a vague picture of what the religion might have been, or possibly some sects of it and possibly only certain tribes. Image File history File links en: Solvognen (The Sun Carriage) from the Bronze Age, at display at the National Museum (Nationalmuseet) in Denmark da: Solvognen fra bronzealderen, udstillet på Nationalmuseet Date: 29. ... Image File history File links en: Solvognen (The Sun Carriage) from the Bronze Age, at display at the National Museum (Nationalmuseet) in Denmark da: Solvognen fra bronzealderen, udstillet på Nationalmuseet Date: 29. ... The Sun Chariot pulled by a horse is believed to be a sculpture illustrating an important part of Nordic Bronze Age mythology. ...


In general most scholars agree that the Bronze Age religion was centered around the sun or a sun god. The sun was carried across the sky on a wagon pulled by a horse. A pair of twin gods are believed to have been worshipped, and is reflected in a duality in all things sacred: where sacrificial artifacts have been buried they are often found in pairs. A female or mother goddess is believed to have been widely worshipped (see Nerthus). Sacrifices (animals, weapons, jewelry and men) have been connected to water and small lakes or ponds have often been used as holy places for sacrifice and many artifacts have been found in such locations. Hieros gamos rites may have been common. Ritual instruments such as bronze lurs have been found sacrificed and are believed to have been used in ceremonies. A solar deity is a deity who represents the Sun. ... It has been suggested that Great Mother be merged into this article or section. ... The goddess Nerthus was a Germanic fertility goddess described by Tacitus. ... A Nordic Bronze Age petroglyph where the couple to the right probably depicts a hieros gamos rite Hieros Gamos or Hierogamy means a coupling (sometimes marriage) of a god and a man or a woman, often having a symbolic meaning. ... See Lurs for other uses Lur is a name given to two distinct types of wind musical instrument. ...


Remnants of the Bronze Age religion and mythology are believed to exist in Germanic mythology and Norse mythology, see for example Skinfaxi and Hrímfaxi, Nerthus. Thor, god of thunder, one of the major figures in Germanic mythology. ... Norse or Scandinavian mythology refers to the pre-Christian religion, beliefs and legends of the Scandinavian people, including those who settled on Iceland, where the written sources for Norse mythology were assembled. ... In Norse mythology, Skinfaxi was Dagurs horse. ... In Norse mythology, Hrímfaxi is the horse which Nótt rides. ... The goddess Nerthus was a Germanic fertility goddess described by Tacitus. ...


See also

three Bronze Age swords (not to scale): from Hajdusamson, Hungary (ca. ... The Egtved Girl is the well-preserved remains of a 16-20 year old Nordic Bronze Age girl found in Egtved (55°37′ N 9°18′ E), Denmark in 1921. ... One of the slabs of stone showing a chariot The Kings Grave near Kivik in south-eastern SkÃ¥ne (55°41′ N 14°14′ E) is what remains of an unusually sumptuous Nordic Bronze Age burial ca 1000 BC. In spite of the fact that it has been used... The stone ship at Anunds barrow The Stone ship was a Gemanic burial custom, typical for Scandinavia with scattered examples in Northern Germany and along the coast of the Baltic States (where they are called devil ships). ... Tanumshede is a town, and the seat of Tanum Municipality, in Västra Götaland County, Sweden. ...

External links

  • www.bronzeage.net

References

  • Dabrowski, J. (1989) Nordische Kreis un Kulturen Polnischer Gebiete. Die Bronzezeit im Ostseegebiet. Ein Rapport der Kgl. Schwedischen Akademie der Literatur Geschichte und Alter unt Altertumsforschung über das Julita-Symposium 1986. Ed Ambrosiani, B. Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien. Konferenser 22. Stockholm.
  • Demougeot, E. La formation de l'Europe et les invasions barbares, Paris: Editions Montaigne, 1969-1974.
  • Kaliff, Anders. 2001. Gothic Connections. Contacts between eastern Scandinavia and the southern Baltic coast 1000 BC – 500 AD.
  • Montelius, Oscar, 1885. Om tidsbestämning inom bronsåldern med särskilt avseende på Skandinavien.
  • Musset, L. Les invasions: les vagues germanique, Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1965.
  • Nordgren, I. 2004. Well Spring Of The Goths. About the Gothic Peoples in the Nordic Countries and on the Continent.

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