Bronze Age

Category archives for Bronze Age

On-Line Mesopotamian Board Game

Reiner Knizia is one of the board-gaming world’s greatest celebrities, famous for a long string of hit games. According to the members of Boardgamegeek.com, the best of Knizia’s games is Tigris & Euphrates (1997), which is #11 on the site’s thousands-strong ranking list. I can’t really compare against other Knizia games, but I do know…

The Pukberget sacrifical cave, Uppland I recently submitted my contribution to the proceedings volume from the 11th Nordic Bronze Age Symposium. Here’s the manuscript and here’s the abstract: Gods of High Places and Deep Romantic Chasms Introductory remarks to a study of the landscape situation of Bronze Age sacrificial sites in the Lake Mälaren area…

Nine Sacrificial Sites

I’m writing a paper for the conference volume of the Helsinki meeting I attended back in October. Here’s an excerpt from the manuscript. In April and May of 2010 I visited nine sacrificial sites in Uppland and Södermanland provinces, selecting them by the criteria that I had to be able to ascertain their locations closely,…

Roger Wikell, Kenneth Ihrestam and Sven-Gunnar Broström during a recent documentation session with oblique lighting in Småland. Photograph by Emelie Svenman. Many important categories of archaeological site are never discovered by academic archaeologists. In the case of wetland sacrifices, it’s simply because nobody’s figured out a method to look for them. We just have to…

The Wee Folk Under the Cairn

Rock art in southern Scandinavia generally dates from the Bronze Age and depicts boats, long war canoes with lots of oarsmen. Here are some recently found ship panels at Casimirsborg in northern Småland, the new big dot on the country’s rock-art map. Although rock art is some of the most intriguing source material Bronze Age…

Ford of the Hind

The dams in River Eskilstunaån at Hyndevad regulate the water level in Lake Hjälmaren. Around 1880 when they were built, and the lake lowered, the river bed was temporarily laid dry. A major prehistoric sacrificial site was discovered, and luckily geologist Otto Gumaelius was there to document it. (He used the finds to date events…

Chariot of the Sun

Bronze Age Scandinavians believed that the sun was pulled across the sky in a chariot by a horse. They built models depicting this out of cast bronze. A well-preserved one has been found at Trundholm on Zealand, and fragments remain of one from Tågaborg in Scania. They also depicted the motif on burial razors and,…

Landscape Archaeology, Muddy Boots

In front, a boulder upon which I found cupmarks. Behind, a Bronze Age burnt mound consisting of fire-cracked stones. In order to study the landscape situation of something you need to know precisely where it is. This poses a problem when it comes to Bronze Age sacrificial finds, because they are almost never made by…

Ritual and Rationality

While reading up on the subject, I’m writing the introductory remarks for a study of Bronze Age sacrificial sites. In January I put a couple of paragraphs up here about the possibly redundant distinction between retrievable hoards and irretrievable sacrifices. Here’s some more, about ritual and rational behaviour. Ritual and rationality As Richard Bradley has…

Maori Wetland Deposits

I’m studying sacrificial deposits made by people of a lo-tech culture in Sweden 3000 years ago, largely in wetlands. This was long before any word relevant to the area was written. The objects were mainly recovered during the decades to either side of 1900. Yesterday while trawling through back issues of the Journal of Wetland…