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The Late Neolithic

ca. 4500-2500BC. Changes: demographic expansion, agricultural intensification, long distance exchange, greater social differentiation, specialized production of some stone and bone artifacts, shifts in rock art and ritual imagery, changes in pottery production.

Changes in Pottery Production from the Early Neolithic to the Late Neolithic

less labor intensive, similar production techniques within and between sites, village level production and craft specialization

Copper Age/ Chalcolithic

ca. 3000 BC. characterized by heavy use of copper. Copper found in SE Europe. 2-piece mold to cast large objects (tied to craft specialization in Near East), introduction of large cups and jugs (drinking and feasting ceremonies)

Sites/People of the Copper Age

Ice Man, Megalithic monuments (Stonehenge) and sites: Varna and Pastora Cave

Bronze Age

Amplification of trends in Late Neolithic and Copper Age (hierarchies, feasting and craft specialization, elaborate ceremonial behavior, vast exchange networks),

Significance of Bronze

easier to cast than copper and can be in more difficult and complex shapes. Also durable and harder than copper. New Forms: axes, swords, spearheads, rings, pins, instruments, ceremonial sculptures.

Bronze Age Transportation

oxcarts, likely pack horses and donkeys. water transport: seafaring ships found on pottery, rock art, and frescoes. Wreck sites in Mediterranean and Black Sea. Introduction of the Sail in East Mediterranean around 2000BC from Egypt

Early Bronze Age

ca. 2800-1500BC. "unetice; bell beaker." mostly known from burial sites; range of metal finds. fibula (pins)

Middle Bronze Age

ca. 1500-1300 BC. "Tumulas." burials under barrows. Personal ornamentation, arm and leg guards, early swords. Widely in Central Europe

Late Bronze Age

ca. 1300-700BC. "urnfield" now there are cremations, increase of weapons, and hoards of metal artifacts.

Early Iron Age

800-450 BC "Hallstatt" Exchange was primarily gifts between elites--imported wine paraphernalia and other exotic luxuries

Middle Iron Age

450-200 BC "La Tene A/B/ Early C"

Late Iron Age

200BC-Roman conquest. "La Tene late C/D" Standardized coinage commodity; mass production of pottery, iron tools, weapons; trade in wide range of everyday goods from Roman world--mass produced--less trade in exotic items; pottery wheel introduced


a structure consisting of two large vertical stones (posts) supporting a third stone set horizontally across the top (lintel). Found in Stone Henge. Significant because it is very hard to do!

Iron Age

more efficient food production with more agro-output possible; iron ores widely available throughout Europe so less reliant on trade networks

Three Tier exchange system in Iron Age

1) prestige goods for elites. 2) Personal ornaments for wider social groups. 3) Salts, metals, grindstone for mass consumption. Filters down to average citizen in village


burial structures, henges, and monoliths. Late Neolithic to Bronze Age. Primarily Atlantic facade phenomenon.

Examples of Megaliths

Newgrange, Ireland; Carnace, France; Stone Henge, England

Stone Henge

~2300BC. Each Stone 50-80,000lbs but no local source of stones. evidence site was considered sacred thousands of years before it was built; 300 barrow tombs within 2 mile radius (probably the rich and powerful); henge points to where sun rises on June 21st (beginning of Summer Solstice, crude calendar?) Named World Heritage site in 1986

Blue stones

used in a loose sense to cover all of the "foreign" stones at Stonehenge


oppidum and burial complex in East France near Seine and Rhone Rivers allowing access to major trade routes. Sits on natural rise. Graves ranging from Late Bronze Age to Late La Tene

Vix: Mont Lassois oppidum

extensive fortifications, Murus gallicus, large planned settlement. "palace" found in 2006 likened to a modern church.

Murus Gallicus

a method of construction of defensive walls used to protect Iron Age hillforts and oppida of the La Tene period in Western Europe.

Lady of Vix

ca. 500 BC. wood chamber with remains of a 5'6'' 30-35 year old woman on top of dismantled wagon with wheels. Imported high-status grave goods-highest quality known!

New Grange

Boyne Valley, Ireland. Famous passage grave. Embodies, along with other graves, sophisticated architecture, cosmology, and pictorial representations

Vix Krater

Very large mixing bowl for wine made in Greek workshop in south Italy 530 BC

Significance of Vix Krater

evidence of trade between Europe and Mediterranean. "Political" feasting extremely important in foreign relations and as a show of status. could be gift from Greek politician

Varna: dates and numbers

ca. 4460-4450 BC. 294 graves. 168 inhumations. 70 destroyed burials. 56 'symbolic' graves without a body (cenotaph) or mask graves. 20 graves with no goods at all "poor graves" Duration: ~125 years and 4 generations. Gold found only in 61 graves-34 cenotaphs with 60% gold

Varna: details

Earliest gold in the world. Bulgaria. at least 8 lakeside villages nearby--likely to be cemetery for region. Burial ground reflects divided society. Prior selection of individuals to be buried. Poor graves appear later than rich graves indicating reduced competition for elite roles and more stable social structure.

Varna: Grave 43

Male, 40-50 years old. 990 gold objects in grave. Copper axe, 'scepter' chisel, awl, and needle, interpreted as socially preeminent person.


Oetzi. Found in Alps on Austria/Italian border. based on relative dating of tools thought to be 4000 years old but with radiocarbon dating 5300 years old. Late Neolithic. Range of items with him show snapshot into daily life. Had copper Ax--proof that transition to copper age was earlier than thought. 57 tattoos on body--might not just be adornment but also therapeutic. Einkorn on him indicates he was from a farming community.

Spissky Stvrtox

ca. 1700-1500BC. Early and middle Bronze Age. Fortified hilltop settlement in Slovakia. Complex system of ramparts, bastions, and ditches. 39 houses made of stone and were inside stone walls. elite quarters with higher quality of homes. Gold and Bronze weapons and ornaments found beneath house floor. Close to copper sources. One of several such sites in area--indicator of rivalries between elites?

Urnfield Complex

cremation as defining burial type for late bronze age. shift began in E. Europe but quickly spread throughout all continent. Only some fortified sites, usually on islands and peninsulas (Wasserburg on Federsee), most unfortified open-air sites

Urnfield complex: the graves

fewer grave goods: urn, body ornaments (fibula, jewelry, glass and amber beads), bronze wagon models in some graves. Some enormous cemeteries: Kiertz in Poland with 3000+ urns.

Wasserburg: Phase 1

1200 BC. 200 people. 38 small one-roomed houses (log-cabin style) surrounded by palisade.

Wasserburg: Phase 2

1000 BC. 200 people. Small settlement with 9 large multi-roomed houses--destroyed by fire

Late Bronze Age 'Revolutions': Industrial

transportation and spread of bronze economy. metallurgy: lost wax method. glass: low temperature beads

Late Bronze Age 'Revolutions': Agricultural

Changes in crops: poppy, millet, rye, flax, 'Celtic beans'; draft animals: horses, oxen, wild game

Late Bronze Age 'Revolutions': Spiritual

rock art changes, changes in attitude towards death and burials. symbolism: birds and sun motifs


pin used for clothing. Bronze age through Iron Age--good marker of the period


first appeared between 400-300BC. early coins in gold but in late Iron age added silver and bronze. standardized commodity. good measure of inter-regional exchange. minding in Iron age sites (oppida)


Denmark--Iron Age. Boat fitting about 20 people. many weapons found. ritual weapon deposit by victorious army. interpretation: 80 soldiers in 4 boats, military force consisted of large infantry and few leaders. only 10 coats of mail armor--not everyone got one!

Gundestrup Cauldren

200-100BC. Found in bog in Denmark. Art depicts 3 troop types: foot soldiers, cavalry, horn blowers. made of silver by the Celts

The Celts

Iron Age group named by the Greeks and Romans (Keltoi). unclear if term refers to language, cultural group, geography, etc.

Celtic Migrations

ca. 400-200 BC. Based on Greek and Roman texts as well as some artifactual evidence. Spread of La Tene style throughout Europe at time. Migration? In Italy yes. evidence of settlements, burials, material culture. scale of migrations unclear

La Tene

400-200 BCd. associated with Celts. Uniform burial practice: flat inhumation, men buried with weapons, women buried with jewelry. decorated metal work--demand to flaunt status, oppida, coins minted--shift to market economy.


late Iron Age phenomenon. large fortified settlements named by Caesar. Massive wall (earth, stone, timber), larger enclosed areas than in Bronze age.


typical oppidum, most extensively excavated. In southern Germany on Danube. Origins as undefended settlement. Dense clustering of small workshops. Different quarters of specialists. estimated 500,000 person-days. has rampart "murus Gallicus" by 120 BC

Maiden Castle

Neolithic occupation ca. 4000BC, abandoned by 3500BC. Iron Age Occupation 500BC.

Maiden Castle early Iron Age

interior only sparsely used, scattered small circular houses, grain storage, gradual increase in number of houses

Maiden Castle by 250 BC

reorganization of settlement, rows of houses, streets, dominated by agricultural activities, little sign of specialized manufacture.

Maiden Castle 1st Century AD

Dramatic reorganization. Much of enclosed area abandoned. evidence for some specialist production. Inhabited by Durotriges tribe. Roman invasion by 43AD--final abandonment of site

Pastora Cave

Alcoi basin, eastern Spain. ca. 3000BC. Copper age. example of social inequality. up to 70 people buried. early metallurgy. copper wire earrings. 5 with trepanations in skull-form of medical or ritual intervention. exotic grave goods. tons of pottery- Iberian Iron Age and Late Bronze Age.

Bell Beaker Phenomenon

Copper Age ca. 2800-1900 BC. Uniform burial: single burials, with beaker, amber, arrows, stone, gold earrings. Tied to emerging elites? system trickling down through society. Beakers tied to feasting. interpreted as set of values and beliefs spread with exchange networks instead of being a single culture.

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