Session: #432

Theme & Session Format

1. Widening horizons through human-environment interconnections
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Perspectives on Bronze Age Changes
The goal of this session is to consider changes in the European Bronze Age from different, multi- and interdisciplinary perspectives and to compare them across temporal and spatial constraints.
Our session is interested in contributions, that deal with cultural developments, which unfolded in Europe during the Bronze Age. These are often conceived as similar from region to region. For instance, the shift from inhumation to cremation was a fundamental change in funerary customs, signaling also a transformation in ideology. Moreover, we see signs of significant changes in subsistence economies and land uses: new animals and plants came into use, new storage and cultivation techniques were applied. New forms of material culture – tools and objects, such as new types of weapons - were widely distributed through dynamic and shifting networks, as documented, for example, by the numerous finds of hoards. Changes in world-view are evidenced by the spread of new rites (e.g. use of cooking pits and new burial customs) and new symbolic grammar (e.g. sun-animal symbolism).
However, these and other changes did not happen in all and every region of the continent and not at the same time or at the same pace. Clearly, Bronze Age developments took different pathways in different regions, evolving in both uniform and opposing ways.
In this session, we want to bring together and compare the developments in subsistence, society, ideology, economy, ecology, in order to get a more nuanced understanding and to lay the foundation of a chrono-sequence of changes in Bronze Age Europe. We propose to do this within the frame of human-environment relationships, as both cultural and environmental context may have influenced if and how these changes were played out in space and time. We invite contributions from, but do not limit them to, archaeology (including subdisciplines), anthropology, environmental science and geosciences.
Bronze Age, Change, Human-Environmental Interaction
Session associated with MERC:
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Main organiser:
Stefanie Schaefer-Di Maida (Germany) 1,2
Hendrik Raese (Germany) 1
Dragana Filipovic (Germany) 1,2
Anne Lene Melheim (Norway) 3
1. Institute of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology, CAU Kiel
2. CRC 1266
3. Museum of Cultural History Oslo, Department of Archaeology