Tumulus culture
Geographical rangeCentral Europe
PeriodMiddle Bronze Age
Datesc. 1600–1200 BC
Preceded byUnetice culture, Ottomány culture, Rhône culture, Mad'arovce culture, Encrusted Pottery culture
Followed byUrnfield culture, Lusatian culture

The Tumulus culture (German:Hügelgräberkultur) was the dominant material culture in Central Europe during the Middle Bronze Age (c. 1600 to 1300 BC).

It was the descendant of the Unetice culture. Its heartland was the area previously occupied by the Unetice culture, and its territory included parts of Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, the Carpathian Basin, Poland and France. It was succeeded by the Late Bronze Age Urnfield culture and part of the origin of the Italic and Celtic cultures.[1]

Artefacts and characteristics

Women's attire from Schwarza, Germany, c. 1500 BC (reconstruction)[2]

The Tumulus culture is distinguished by the practice of burying the dead beneath burial mounds (tumuli or kurgans).

In 1902, Paul Reinecke distinguished a number of cultural horizons based on research of Bronze Age hoards and tumuli in periods covered by these cultural horizons are shown in the table below (right). The Tumulus culture was prevalent during the Bronze Age periods B, C1, and C2. Tumuli have been used elsewhere in Europe from the Stone Age to the Iron Age; the term "Tumulus culture" specifically refers to the South German variant of the Bronze Age. In the table, Ha designates Hallstatt. Archaeological horizons Hallstatt A–B are part of the Bronze Age Urnfield culture, while horizons Hallstatt C–D are the type site for the Iron Age Hallstatt culture.

Gold hat and bronze axes from Schifferstadt, Germany, c. 1400-1300 BC.[3]

The Tumulus culture was eminently a warrior society, which expanded with new chiefdoms eastward into the Carpathian Basin (up to the river Tisza), and northward into Polish and Central European Únětice territories. The culture's dispersed settlements consisted of villages or homesteads centred on fortified structures such as hillforts.[4] Significant fortified settlements include the Heuneburg, Bullenheimer Berg, Ehrenbürg, and Bernstorf.[5][6] Fortification walls were built from wood, stone and clay. The massive 3.6m-wide wall surrounding the plateau of the Ehrenbürg resembled later murus gallicus fortifications known from the Iron Age.[7] 'Cyclopean' stone fortifications topped with wooden battlements were constructed c. 1400 BC at the large hillfort of Stätteberg in Bavaria.[8]

Tumulus culture societies traded with those in Scandinavia, Atlantic Europe, the Mediterranean region and the Aegean. Traded items included amber and metal artefacts.[9] From the beginning of the Middle Bronze Age there is evidence for the use of weighed metal as form of payment or money.[10][11][12] Weighing equipment has been found in central Europe dating from c. 1400 BC onwards.[13]

Some scholars see Tumulus groups from southern Germany as corresponding to a community that shared an extinct Indo-European linguistic entity, such as the hypothetical Italo-Celtic group that was ancestral to Italic and Celtic.[14][15] This particular hypothesis, however, conflicts with suggestions by other Indo-Europeanists. For instance, David W. Anthony suggests that Proto-Italic (and perhaps also Proto-Celtic) speakers could have entered Northern Italy at an earlier stage, from the east (e.g., the Balkan/Adriatic region).[16]

The Bronze Hand of Prêles from Switzerland, dating from the 16th-15th century BC, is a unique find from the Tumulus culture period.[17] Described as "the earliest metal representation of a human body part ever found in Europe",[18] it may have been a ritual object, or mounted on a standard like similar metal hands known from the Iron Age,[19] or possibly a prosthesis.[20] It was found in a grave along with a bronze hair-ring, pin and dagger. The hand had a golden bracelet or cuff decorated with solar motifs.[21]

Golden hats from Schifferstadt in Germany and Avanton in France, dating from the late Tumulus period (c. 1400 BC), may have been worn by elite religious figures, described as 'oracles' or 'king-priests' by researchers.[22][23] The patterns of ornaments or symbols on the hats are thought to represent calendars,[24][25] as on the later and more elaborate Berlin Gold Hat, which may encode knowledge of the luni-solar Metonic cycle.[26] Gold discs from the Czech Republic, dating from c. 1650-1250 BC, feature similar ornaments and are thought to represent simpler calendars.[27][28] Identical 'ritual objects' from Haschendorf in Austria and Balkåkra in Sweden may also date from the Middle Bronze Age and have been interpreted as solar calendars.[29][30]

Gallery

See also

Central European Bronze Age
Late Bronze Age
Ha B2/3 800–950 BC
Ha B1 950–1050 BC
Ha A2 1050–1100 BC
Ha A1 1100–1200 BC
Bz D 1200–1300 BC
Middle Bronze Age
Bz C2 1300–1400 BC
Bz C1 1400–1500 BC
Bz B 1500–1600 BC
Early Bronze Age
Bz A2 1600–2000 BC
Bz A1 2000–2300 BC


References

Specific
  1. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_kZIeAsk9w
  2. ^ "Jewelry from Schwarza". Museum of Prehistory and Early History of Thuringia.
  3. ^ Schmidt, Mark (2017). "Religiöse Vorstellungen in der mittleren Bronzezeit". Archäologie in Deutschland (3): 38–39. JSTOR 26323464.
  4. ^ Fokkens, Harry; Harding, Anthony, eds. (27 June 2013). "40. Germany in the Bronze Age". The Oxford Handbook of the European Bronze Age. Oxford University Press. p. 730. ISBN 9780199572861.
  5. ^ Schussmann, Markus (2017). "Defended sites and fortifications in Southern Germany during the Bronze Age and Urnfield Period – a short introduction". In Heeb, Bernhard; Szentmiklosi, Alexandru; Krause, Rüdiger; Wemhof, Matthias (eds.). Fortifications: The Rise and Fall of Defended Sites in Late Bronze and Early Iron Age of South-East Europe. Die Deutsche Bibliothek – CIP-Einheitsaufnahme. pp. 59–78.
  6. ^ Kristiansen, Kristian; Suchowska-Ducke, Paulina (December 2015). "Connected Histories: the Dynamics of Bronze Age Interaction and Trade 1500–1100 BC". Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. Cambridge University Press. 81: 361–392. doi:10.1017/ppr.2015.17. Bernstorff is the largest fortified settlement in southern Germany/western Central Europe with a size of 14 ha. Its huge fortifications were constructed in the Middle Bronze Age (middle of the 14th century BC), when the power balance between eastern and western Central Europe was changing, and shortly after it was devastated and burned down along 1.6 kilometres of its length. We will probably never know who the enemies were, but we might suspect them to be outsiders, because at the same time we find evidence of major upheavals in eastern Central Europe.
  7. ^ Schussmann, Markus (2017). "Defended sites and fortifications in Southern Germany during the Bronze Age and Urnfield Period – a short introduction". In Heeb, Bernhard; Szentmiklosi, Alexandru; Krause, Rüdiger; Wemhof, Matthias (eds.). Fortifications: The Rise And Fall Of Defended Sites In Late Bronze And Early Iron Age Of South-East Europe. Die Deutsche Bibliothek – CIP-Einheitsaufnahme. pp. 59–78.
  8. ^ Nebelsick, Louis (2022). "Eine »zyklopische« Steinbefestigung der Mittelbronzezeit auf dem Stätteberg bei Oberhausen". Bayerische Archäologie: 15–25.
  9. ^ Kristiansen, Kristian; Suchowska-Ducke, Paulina (December 2015). "Connected Histories: the Dynamics of Bronze Age Interaction and Trade 1500–1100 BC". Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 81: 361–392. doi:10.1017/ppr.2015.17. In the 15th and into the 13th century BC ... the western Mediterranean became the focus of new direct trade with the expanding Tumulus Culture of western Central Europe, which secured direct connections to Jutland and its sources of amber. The archaeological evidence shows that the Tumulus societies were in contact with the Aegean city-states through the exchange of amber and metal items, and also perhaps of perishable goods. It created new wealth in the Nordic Bronze Age and led to the formation of a specific Nordic style based on Mycenaean templates.
  10. ^ Kuijpers, Maikel H. G.; Popa, Cătălin N. (January 2021). "The origins of money: Calculation of similarity indexes demonstrates the earliest development of commodity money in prehistoric Central Europe". PLOS ONE. 16 (1): e0240462. Bibcode:2021PLoSO..1640462K. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0240462. PMC 7816976. PMID 33471789.
  11. ^ Pare, Christopher (2013). "Chapter 29: Weighing, Commodification and Money". In Harding, Anthony; Fokkens, Harry (eds.). The Oxford Handbook of the European Bronze Age. pp. 508–527. ISBN 978-0-19-957286-1.
  12. ^ Vandkilde, Helle (2021). "Trading and weighing metals in Bronze Age Western Eurasia". PNAS. 118 (30). doi:10.1073/pnas.2110552118. PMC 8325268. PMID 34301879. copper was traded for amber to be transported southward hundreds of kilometers to south German Tumulus groups who were in possession of weighing technology and greatly appreciated the amber, worn by women as necklaces not unlike those found in the shaft grave circles of Mycenae.
  13. ^ Ialongo, N.; Rahmstorf, L. (2019). "The identification of balance weights in pre-literate Bronze Age Europe: Typology, chronology, distribution and metrology". Weights and Marketplaces from the Bronze Age to the Early Modern Period. European Research Council. pp. 105–126.
  14. ^ Kortlandt, Frederik (2007a). Italo-Celtic origins and prehistoric development of the Irish language. Amsterdam: Rodopi,[page needed]
  15. ^ Eska, J. F. (2010). "The emergence of the Celtic languages". IN: M. J. Ball and N. Müller (eds.), The Celtic Languages, second edition. London: Routledge,[page needed]
  16. ^ Anthony, David W. (2010). The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World, Princeton University Press, p. 367.
  17. ^ "Photo of the Bronze Hand of Prêles".
  18. ^ "3,500-Year-Old Hand is Europe's Earliest Metal Body Part". National Geographic. 2018. Archived from the original on February 19, 2021.
  19. ^ "Das bronzezeitliche Grab und die Bronzehand von Prêles. Ergebnisse der Table Ronde vom 30.Oktober 2019 in Bern".
  20. ^ "Was This Man a Bronze-Age Cyborg? His Metal Hand May Have Been a Prosthetic". Live Science. 2018.
  21. ^ Garrow, Duncan; Wilkin, Neil (2022). The World of Stonehenge. London: British Museum Press. p. 21. ISBN 978-07141-2349-3.
  22. ^ "Mysterious gold cones 'hats of ancient wizards'". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 5 December 2021.
  23. ^ Schmidt, Mark (2017). "Religiöse Vorstellungen in der mittleren Bronzezeit". Archäologie in Deutschland (3): 38–39. JSTOR 26323464.
  24. ^ Gold und Kult der Bronzezeit. Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg. 2003. pp. 220–237. ISBN 3-926982-95-0.
  25. ^ The World of the Nebra Sky Disc: The Golden Hat of Schifferstadt. Halle State Museum of Prehistory. 2022.
  26. ^ Menghin, Wilfried (2008). "Zahlensymbolik und digitales Rechnersystem in der Ornamentik des Berliner Goldhutes". Acta Praehistorica et Archaeologica. 40: 157–169. doi:10.11588/apa.2008.0.71505.
  27. ^ Bouzek, Jan (2018). Studies of Homeric Greece. Charles University. p. 205. ISBN 978-80-246-3561-3. The West Bohemian gold roundels with twelve bosses are simplified calendars of the gold cones.
  28. ^ "Prehistoric Collections". Museum of West Bohemia in Pilsen.
  29. ^ Szabo, Geza (2016). "Local and Interregional Connections Through the Comparison of the Hasfalva Disc and the Balkåkra Disc". Bronze Age Connectivity in the Carpathian Basin. Editura Mega. pp. 345–360. ISBN 978-606-020-058-1.
  30. ^ Randsborg, Klavs (2006). "Calendars of the Bronze Age". Acta Archaeologica. 77: 62–90.
  31. ^ "Prehistoric Collections". Museum of West Bohemia in Pilsen.
  32. ^ Bouzek, Jan (2018). Studies of Homeric Greece. Charles University. p. 205. ISBN 978-80-246-3561-3. The West Bohemian gold roundels with twelve bosses are simplified calendars of the gold cones.
  33. ^ "Die neolithischen und bronzezeitlichen Goldfunde Mitteldeutschlands – Eine Übersicht". p. 667.
  34. ^ Feger, Rosemarie (2017). "Ein Europa ohne Grenzen?". Archäologie in Deutschland (3): 26–29. JSTOR 26323460.