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Europe’s Bronze-Age links unveiled

New research on metal hoards and objects from the Bronze Age and from four different locations in Europe has revealed intriguing historical connections and social dynamics that were not previously evident.
Europe’s Bronze-Age links unveiled
Metal hoards and votive deposits that date from the Late Bronze Age, i.e. between 1300-800 BCE, can reveal important information regarding how European societies and communities interacted during that era. The EU-funded ALBIMEH (Atlantic Late Bronze Age Interaction through Metal Hoards) investigated this interaction to identify cultural commonalities and variations.

The project’s geographical scope covered mainly areas influenced by maritime trade in France, Portugal, Spain and the UK. To achieve its aims, the project team reviewed and updated all available inventories of hoards and single finds in these areas, including museum inventories, academic records and a variety of archives.

On the technical front the project team used X-ray fluorescence to determine the elemental composition of samples in the different areas, particularly to study ancient copper alloys. This helped the team understand how the different areas were linked and how they interacted, taking into consideration the dramatic differences in the number and size of hoards among the four study areas.

Among its findings, for example, the team noted how Phoenician presence on the Atlantic side of the Iberian Peninsula had significantly impacted metal production, trade and consumption.

The project’s results were presented in several global conferences and led to compiling a valuable new transnational database of chemical composition analyses in the Atlantic area. This thorough, global approach using the latest modern technologies sheds new light on historical links within Europe and with the continent’s neighbours. The information can be very useful for academics, archaeologists and historians for establishing more accurate timelines and identifying trade links in Europe’s history.

Related information


Bronze Age, metal hoards, ALBIMEH, Atlantic Europe, X-ray fluorescence
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