The Oxford Handbook of the European Bronze Age is a wide-ranging survey of a crucial period in prehistory during which many social, economic, and technological changes took place. Written by expert specialists in the field, the book provides coverage both of the themes that characterize the period, and of the specific developments that took place in the various countries of Europe. After an introduction and a discussion of chronology, successive chapters deal with settlement studies, burial analysis, hoards and hoarding, monumentality, rock art, cosmology, gender, and trade, as well as a series of articles on specific technologies and crafts (such as transport, metals, glass, salt, textiles, and weighing). The second half of the book covers each country in turn. From Ireland to Russia, Scandinavia to Sicily, every area is considered, and up to date information on important recent finds is discussed in detail. The book is the first to consider the whole of the European Bronze Age in both geographical and thematic terms, and will be the standard book on the subject for the foreseeable future.
The Low Countries around the deltas of the river Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt have a long tradition in large scale archaeological research. This book brings together research from thirteen of the largest Bronze Age settlements described by their original excavators. These contributions are preceded by two introductory chapters written by the editors, providing a full overview of the state of Dutch Bronze Age settlement research, the key sites and the explanatory models current within it. Standards have been developed for the analysis of Bronze Age house plans and settlement sites and new models for the reading of the settled landscape. The rich data of the Low Countries also incorporate burial areas and deposition places. The findings presented can be seen to reflect the situation over a large area of lands bordering the North Sea.
This two volume monograph about the region of Thy in the early Bronze Age provides a high resolution archaeological and ecological model of the organisation of landscape, settlements and households during the period 1500-1100 BC. Bordering the North Sea to the west, and the calmer waters of the Limfjord to the east, the region of Thy in Denmark experienced four centuries of intense economic and demographic expansion. By combining results from environmental and economic research (pollen and palaeo-botanical analyses) with intensive field surveys and excavations of farmsteads with exceptional preservation, it has been possible to open a window to the changes that transformed Bronze Age society and its environment during a few centuries of exceptional expansion and wealth consumption. The results from this interdisciplinary venture made it possible to link together the histories of local farmsteads with the wider regional and global history of the Bronze Age in North-western Europe during this period. Here is much to feed on for students and researchers of the Bronze Age alike.
The Later Prehistory of North-West Europe provides a unique, up-to-date, and easily accessible synthesis of the later prehistoric archaeology of north-west Europe, transcending political and language barriers that can hinder understanding. By surveying changes in social forms, landscape organization, monument types, and ritual practices over six millennia, the volume reassesses the prehistory of north-west Europe from the late Mesolithic to the end of the pre-Roman Iron Age. It explores how far common patterns of social development are apparent across north-west Europe, and whether there were periods when local differences were emphasized instead. In relation to this, it also examines changes through time in the main axes of contact between the various regions of continental Europe, Britain, and Ireland. Key to the volume's broad scope is its focus on the vast mass of new evidence provided by recent development-led excavations. The authors collate data that has been gathered on thousands of sites across Britain, Ireland, northern France, the Low Countries, western Germany, and Denmark, using sources including unpublished 'grey literature' reports. The results challenge many aspects of previous narratives of later prehistory, allowing the volume to present a distinctively fresh perspective.
Today, half the Netherlands is below sea level. Because of this, water-management is of key importance when it comes to maintaining present-day habitation of the Dutch low-lands. In prehistory, however, large parts of the Dutch landscape were highly dynamic due to ongoing fluvial sedimentation. Vast deltaic areas with ceaseless river activity formed the backdrop against which prehistoric occupation took place. Although such landscapes may seem inhospitable, the often excellently preserved archaeological evidence indicates that people lived in these lowlands throughout prehistory. This book describes why Bronze Age farmers were keen to settle here and how these prehistoric communities structured the landscape around their house-sites at various scales. Using a vast body of evidence from several large-scale excavations in the Dutch river area, the author reconstructs the changes in the cultural landscape over time. Starting from the Middle Neolithic, changing preferences for settlement site locations and changes in domestic architecture are traced in detail to the Iron Age. However, for proper understanding of the cultural landscape, not only settlements but also graves and patterns of object deposition - and their landscape characteristics - are discussed. By using evidence from over 50 major excavations, yielding over 300 house plans, this book contains by far the richest data-set on Dutch Bronze Age settlements. Most of these results have not previously been published in English, making this book of over 500 pages a true academic treasure for an international audience. The in-depth presentation of Bronze Age settlement sites, as well as the critical discussion of models and premises current in later prehistoric settlement archaeology, have an important relevance stretching beyond the Dutch lowland areas on which it is based. The wealth of high-quality Dutch data is presented as a synthesized (yet well-annotated) narrative, that rises above mere site interpretation, even more so due to its landscape-scale focus. Therefore this book is a must-have for those interested in later prehistoric cultural landscapes and settlement archaeology.
This book deals with the early history of agriculture in a defined part of Western Europe: the loess belt west of the river Rhine. It is a well-illustrated book that integrates existing and new information, starting with the first farmers and ending when food production was no longer the chief source of livelihood for the entire population. The loess belt was chosen because it is a region with only one type of soil and climate as these are all-important factors where farming is concerned. Subjects covered are crops, crop cultivation, livestock and livestock handling, the farm and its yard, and the farm in connection with other farms. Crop plants and animals are described, together with their origin. New tools such as the plough, wheen, wagon and scythe are introduced. Groundplans of farm buildings, the history of the outhouse and the presence or absence of hamlets are presented as well, and the impact of farming on the landscape is not forgotten. The loess belt was not an island and the world beyond its boundaries was important for new ideas, new materials and new people. Summarising six millennia of agriculture, the thinking in terms of the Western European loess belt as one agricultural-cultural unit seems justified.
This volume focuses on the development of field systems through time and space and in their wider landscape context, including classical issues pertaining to past land use and management regimes, including manuring, water, land and crop management, and technologies such as slash‐and‐burn cultivation, and use of the ard and plough. This book provides the first comprehensive attempt to bring together and provide a comprehensive insight into the latest prehistoric fieldscape research across Europe. The book raises a broader awareness of some of the main questions and scientific requests that are addressed by scholars working in various fieldscapes across Europe. Themes addressed in this book include (a) mapping and understanding field system morphologies at various scales, (b) the extraction of information on social processes from field system morphologies, (c) the relations between field systems and cultural and natural features of their environment, (d) time-depths and temporalities of usage, and (e) specifics of the underlying agricultural systems, with special attention to matters of continuity and resilience and relation to changing practices. The case-studies explore how to best approach such landscapes with traditional and novel methodologies and targeted research in order to enhance our knowledge further. The volume offers inspiration and guidance for the heritage management of fieldscape heritage – not solely for future scholarly research but foremost to stimulate strategic guidance to frame and support improved protection of evidently vulnerable resources for Europe’s future. This volume is of interest to landscape archaeologists.
This open access book demonstrates the application of simulation modelling and network analysis techniques in the field of Roman studies. It summarizes and discusses the results of a 5-year research project carried out by the editors that aimed to apply spatial dynamical modelling to reconstruct and understand the socio-economic development of the Dutch part of the Roman frontier (limes) zone, in particular the agrarian economy and the related development of settlement patterns and transport networks in the area. The project papers are accompanied by invited chapters presenting case studies and reflections from other parts of the Roman Empire focusing on the themes of subsistence economy, demography, transport and mobility, and socio-economic networks in the Roman period. The book shows the added value of state-of-the-art computer modelling techniques and bridges computational and conventional approaches. Topics that will be of particular interest to archaeologists are the question of (forced) surplus production, the demographic and economic effects of the Roman occupation on the local population, and the structuring of transport networks and settlement patterns. For modellers, issues of sensitivity analysis and validation of modelling results are specifically addressed. This book will appeal to students and researchers working in the computational humanities and social sciences, in particular, archaeology and ancient history.
After more than 3500 years of occupation in the Neolithic and Bronze Age, the many lake-dwellings around the Circum-Alpine region ‘suddenly’ came to an end. Throughout that period alternating phases of occupation and abandonment illustrate how resilient lacustrine populations were against change: cultural/environmental factors might have forced them to relocate temporarily, but they always returned to the lakes. So why were the lake-dwellings finally abandoned and what exactly happened towards the end of the Late Bronze Age that made the lake-dwellers change their way of life so drastically? The new research presented here draws upon the results of a four-year-long project dedicated to shedding light on this intriguing conundrum. Placing a particular emphasis upon the Bronze Age, a multidisciplinary team of researchers has studied the lake-dwelling phenomenon inside out, leaving no stones unturned, enabling identification of all possible interactive socioeconomic and environmental factors that can be subsequently tested against each other to prove (or disprove) their validity. By refitting the various pieces of the jigsaw a plausible, but also rather unexpected, picture emerges.
The civitas Batavorum was a settlement on the north-western frontier of the Roman Empire, and it is now the site of numerous archaeological excavations. This book offers the most up-to-date look yet at what has been discovered, using the newest archaeological techniques, about the town and its economy, its military importance, and the religious and domestic buildings it held. It will be essential reading for anyone studying the economy of the Roman provincial countryside or the details of food supply for the Roman army and town.