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Encyclopedia > Unetice culture

Unetice, or more properly Únětice, culture, (German: Aunjetitz) is the name given to an early Bronze Age culture, preceded by the Beaker culture and followed by the Tumulus culture. The eponymous site is located west of Prague. It is focused around the Czech Republic, southern and central Germany, and western Poland. It grew out of beaker roots. It is dated from 2300-1600 BC (Bronze A1 and A2 in the chronological schema of Paul Reinecke).
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. ... The Beaker culture (ca. ... 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. ... This is a list of archaeological sites is sorted by country. ... Prague (Czech: Praha, see also other names) is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. ... The Beaker people (or `Beaker folk) were an archaeological culture present in prehistoric Europe, defined by a pottery style -- a beaker with a distinctive bell-shaped profile -- that many archeologists believe spread across the western part of the Continent during the 3rd millennium BC. The pottery is particularly prevalent in...

A1: 2300-1950 BC: triangular daggers, flat axes, wrist guards, flint arrowheads
A2: 1950-1700 BC: daggers with metal hilt, flanged axes, halberds, pins with perforated spherical heads, solid bracelets
Arrowhead can refer to: the point of an arrow; some plants in the genus Sagittaria; the Arrowhead region of northeastern Minnesota; a place name in southern California, derived from an arrowhead-shaped geologic formation in the San Bernardino Mountains; Arrowhead, a science fiction foundry and meeting place sports venues such... Firefighter with a fire-axe An axe (also spelt as ax) is a tool with a metal blade that is securely fastened at a 90 degree angle to a handle, usually of wood, while a blade fastened horizontally is called an adze. ...

These dates are mainly derived from the Singen-cemetery (radiocarbon dates) and the Leubingen and Helmsdorf burials (dendro-dates). Radiocarbon dating is the use of the naturally occurring isotope of carbon-14 in radiometric dating to determine the age of organic materials, up to ca. ... Pinus taeda Cross section showing annual rings, Cheraw, South Carolina Pine stump showing growth rings Dendrochronology or tree-ring dating is the method of scientific dating based on the analysis of tree ring patterns. ...


History of research

The German Adlerberg and Straubing groups were defined in 1918 by K. Schumacher.

Metal objects

The culture is distinguished by its characteristic metal objects including ingot torcs, (Barren- und Ösenhalsringe), flat axes, flat triangular daggers, bracelets with spiral-ends, disk- and paddle-headed pins and curl rings which are distributed over a wide area of Central Europe and beyond. A lock ring is the name given by archaeologists to a type of jewellery from Bronze Age Europe. ...

The ingots are found in hoards that can contain over six hundred pieces. Axe-hoards are common as well, the hoard of Dieskau (Saxony) contained 293 flanged axes. Thus, axes might have served as ingots as well. After about 2000 BC, this hoarding tradition dies out and is only resumed in the urnfield period. These hoards have formerly been interpreted as a form storage by itinerant bronze-founders or riches hidden because of enemy action. Nowadays, religious acts –gifts to the Gods - are the preferred explanation. Hoards containing mainly jewellery are typical for the Adlerberg-group. For the software, see hoard memory allocator. ... 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. ...

Archaeological evidence suggests that the Únětice metal industry, though active and innovative, was concerned with producing weapons and ornaments mainly as status symbols for leading persons, rather than for widespread domestic use or for equipping large fighting forces - developments which would wait until later periods in European history. But the Adlerberg cemetery of Hofheim/Ts. (Germany) contained the burial of a male who had died from an arrow-shot, the stone arrow-head still being located in his arm. The Famous "sky-disk" of Nebra has been attributed to the Únětice culture because of copper daggers that were supposedly associated with the find. Nebra is a small city in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. ...


Burials are normally inhumations in flat graves with bent legs and arms, lying on the side, oriented South-North or Northeast-southwest. Males are normally buried on the left, women on the right side. Some groups used hollowed out tree-trunks for burial. Stone cairns are also found, mainly in the Western part of the Unetice area (Upper-Rhine-, Singen- and Ries-groups). Males were often buried with copper triangular daggers, flint arrowheads, stone wrist guards and clay cups. Female grave gifts include bone or copper pins, bone arm-rings, bracelets with spiral ends and rings. The biggest cemetery from Germany is the one at Singen, where 96 graves have been found. The Remseck-Aldingen graveyard of the Neckar-group consists of 34 graves. Pebble beach made up of flint nodules eroded out of the nearby chalk cliffs, Cape Arkona, Rügen Flint (or flintstone) is a hard, sedimentary cryptocrystalline silica rock with a glassy appearance. ... An arrow is a pointed projectile that is shot with a bow. ...

Some "princely graves" from this time (Ńęki Małe, Leubingen, Helmsdorf), dated between 2000 and 1800 BC point to an already stratified society. The Leubingen burial was covered by a barrow that was still 8,5 m high. It contained a wooden tent-shaped chamber. The grave contained two burials and golden grave gifts. (Redirected from 2000 BC) (21st century BC - 20th century BC - 19th century BC - other centuries) (3rd millennium BC - 2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC) Events 2064 - 1986 BC -- Twin Dynasty wars in Egypt 2000 BC -- Farmers and herders travel south from Ethiopia and settle in Kenya. ... (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...


The Únětice culture had trade links with the British Wessex culture. Unetice metalsmiths mainly used pure copper; alloys of copper with arsenic, antimony and tin to produce bronze became common only in the succeeding periods. The cemetery of Singen is an exception, it contained some daggers with a high tin-content (up to 9%). They may have been produced in Brittany, where a few rich graves have been found in this period. Irish tin was widely traded as well, a golden lunula of Irish design has been found as far south as Butzbach in Hessen (Germany). Amber was traded as well, but small fossil deposits may have been used as well as Baltic amber. The Wessex culture is a name given to the predominant prehistoric culture of southern Britain during the early Bronze Age. ... Bronze figurine, found at Öland Bronze is the traditional name for a broad range of alloys of copper. ... Traditional coat of arms This article is about the historical duchy and French province, as well as the cultural area of Brittany. ... The word lunula means moon-like and commonly refers to: Lunula (anatomy) (fingernail moons) Two round brackets and the text between them A type of necklace shaped like a crescent moon Categories: Disambiguation ... This is about the material called amber. ... Baltic can refer to: The Baltic Sea Council of the Baltic Sea States - an intergovernmental organization Baltic sea countries - countries with access to the Baltic Sea The term Baltic countries is sometimes used more or less synonymously for Northern Europe (Russia not included) The Baltic region (Balticum) Baltic States - the...


Settlements include so called "pile dwellings", for example the Siedlung Forschner in the Federsee. The wood of the palisade has been dendro-dated to 1767-1759 BC. Houses measured up to 8 by 4 meters. In Southern Germany, two-aisled longhouses of up to 50m length and 5 m width were used (Eching, Poing and Straubing-Öberau in Bavaria).

Únětice tradition

The clay cups found in burials, especially of the Adlerberg-group, are typical for Unetice as well. They indicate beaker connections, as do the bone-buttons with a v-shaped perforation, the stone wrist guards and the arrowheads.

It is thought that many allied cultures in the region were part of a general Unetice tradition. Cultures of the Unetice complex include Adlerberg, Straubing, Singen, the Neckar- Ries and Upper-Rhine-group in Germany, Unterwölbling in Austria, Hatvan and Nagyrév in Hungary, Nitra and Kost'any in Slovakia and Trzciniec in Poland. In adjacent areas of Northern Germany, the Netherlands and Poland, late Neolithic traditions (giant beakers) were still dominant, in Scandinavia, late corded ware was still produced. The distribution of the Unetice-groups in Germany consists of several isolated areas. But the finds indicate that they are interconnected, with a gradual change from the west, with influences of the older part of the French Rhône-culture to the east, where the finds are very similar to the Austrian Unterwölbling-group. A tradition is a story or a custom that is memorized and passed down from generation to generation, originally without the need for a writing system. ... Corded ware is pottery having an ornamental pattern created by a cord impressed in the unfired clay. ...


  • J. M. Coles/A. F. Harding, The Bronze age in Europe (London 1979).
  • G. Weber, Händler, Krieger, Bronzegießer (Kassel 1992).
  • R. Krause, Die endneolithischen und frühbronzezeitlichen Grabfunde auf der Nordterrasse von Singen am Hohentwiel (Stuttgart 1988).
  • B. Cunliffe (ed.), The Oxford illustrated prehistory of Europe (Oxford, Oxford University Press 1994).

External links

  • http://www.uni-leipzig.de/~ufg/reihe/files/lobufa13.pdf (B. Lißner on the German groups, in German)

  Results from FactBites:
Bronze Age (1268 words)
The end of the Bronze Age in the Near East is normally associated with the disturbances created by large population movements in the period 1200 - 1100 BCE and the rise of new technologies and political formations, characterised as the start of the Iron Age.
In central europe, the early Bronze Age Unetice culture (1800-1600 BC) with numerous local groups like Straubingen, Adlerberg and Gaban culture is followed by the middle Bronze age (1600-1200 BC) characterised by inhumation burials in tumuli (barrows).
It includes the Lusatian culture in eastern Germany and Poland ((1300-500 BC) that continues into the Iron Age.\nThe central European Bronze Age is followed by the Iron Age Hallstatt culture (700-450 BC).
  More results at FactBites »



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