Universiteit Leiden

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A completely normal practice

In Bronze Age Europe, an enormous amount of metalwork was buried in the ground and never retrieved.

K.M. Visser
09 December 2021
The publication in Open Access

Patterns in these finds show that this was a deliberate practice: people systematically deposited valuable metal objects in specific places in the landscape, even in non-metalliferous regions. Although this practice seems puzzling from our modern perspective, these patterns demonstrate that this is not simply a matter of irrational human behaviour. Instead, there were supra-regionally shared ideas and conventions behind this practice.This book aims to acquire a better understanding of these ideas and conventions. By systematically investigating the objects and places that people selected for metalwork depositions, the logic behind the practice of selective metalwork deposition is unravelled.This book focuses specifically on the emergence of the practice in Denmark, northern Germany, and the Netherlands, a non-metalliferous region that has not been studied as a whole before, despite striking similarities in the archaeological record. Starting from the first introduction of metal, the emergence and development of selective metalwork depositions is examined and followed over time. In addition to a new chronological and geographical depth to research on metalwork depositions, this book provides a detailed catalogue of the metalwork from the research area.

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