Tales of Hoards and Swordfighters in Early Bronze Age Scandinavia: The Brand New and the Broken

  title={Tales of Hoards and Swordfighters in Early Bronze Age Scandinavia: The Brand New and the Broken},
  author={Lene Melheim and C. Horn},
  journal={Norwegian Archaeological Review},
  pages={18 - 41}
This article focuses on the complexity of Early Bronze Age weapon depositions. While some of the deposited weapons have been disabled by intentional breakage, others seem to be more or less unused. A plausible explanation for the variability is that the surrender of lethal weapons to land or water was a means of coping with their power or agency – their individuality. We suggest that weapons, in their capacity as extensions of warriors’ bodies, may have substituted for humans in ritual… Expand
Hunting Warriors: The Transformation of Weapons, Combat Practices and Society during the Bronze Age in Ireland
Warfare is increasingly considered to have been a major field of social activity in prehistoric societies, in terms of the infrastructures supporting its conduct, the effects of its occurrence, andExpand
Fast Like a War Canoe: Pragmamorphism in Scandinavian Rock Art
The article discusses a category of petroglyphs dating to the Scandinavian Bronze Age (1750/1700–550 BC), in which ambiguous human bodies were constructed by replacing body parts with canoes,Expand
Anatomy of a notch. An in-depth experimental investigation and interpretation of combat traces on Bronze Age swords
Abstract Weaponry is one of the most widespread categories of metalwork from the European Bronze Age. Different lines of evidence point out that violent encounters and martial values played aExpand
The Nordic Origins of the Iliad and Odyssey: An Up-to-date Survey of the Theory
An up-to-date survey of the theory proposed in "The Baltic Origins of Homer’s Epic Tales" is presented here. The real setting of the Iliad and Odyssey can be identified not as the Mediterranean Sea,Expand
Roles of weapons: significance, identity and value in Anyang late Shang (c. 1200-1050 b.C.) society China
Weapons of the late Shang (c.1200-1050 B.C.), characterised by their frequent discovery and various forms and materials, have often been dogmatically deciphered as either symbolic signifiers orExpand
Narrativizing Difference in Earlier Bronze Age Society: a comparative analysis of age and gender ideologies in the burials of Ireland and Scotland
A feminist-inspired gender archaeology promised to revolutionise how archaeologists talk about people in the past – to take us from what Ruth Tringham (1991: 94) memorably called “faceless blobs” toExpand
Bronze Age Swordsmanship: New Insights from Experiments and Wear Analysis
The article presents a new picture of sword fighting in Middle and Late Bronze Age Europe developed through the Bronze Age Combat Project . The project investigated the uses of Bronze Age swords,Expand
Going to Pieces: Investigating the Deliberate Destruction of Late Bronze Age Swords and Spearheads
  • M. G. Knight
  • History
  • Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society
  • 2019
The deliberate destruction of Late Bronze Age swords and spearheads has been widely recognised across Europe. This observation has typically relied on the obvious nature of the destruction, such asExpand
The Bronze Artifacts of Tall Jalul, Jordan
An Experimental Approach to Prehistoric Violence and Warfare
Despite the wealth of recent research into prehistoric warfare, our knowledge of how early weapons were handled and used in combat encounters remains limited. The Bronze Age Combat Project aims toExpand


Weapons, fighters and combat: spears and swords in Early Bronze Age Scandinavia
This article deals with the use-wear analysis of 204 weapons of Period I of the Early Nordic Bronze Age. The analysed sample contained 154 spearheads and 50 swords and was made up of approximatelyExpand
The Spirit of the Sword and Spear
From the Norse sagas or the Arthurian cycles, we are used to the concept that the warrior’s weapon has an identity, a name. In this article I shall ask whether some prehistoric weapons also had anExpand
When Expediency Broaches Ritual Intention: The Flow of Metal Between Systemic and Buried Domains
The current interpretation of Bronze Age metalwork deposits relies on an opposition between deposits made ritually and those made with the utilitarian objective of temporary safe keeping. Tied toExpand
Harm’s Way: An Approach to Change and Continuity in Prehistoric Combat
SUMMARY This article has been based on a definition of warfare with an emphasis on engagement and technology. Both have been argued to be important features in warfare and therefore combat. In thisExpand
Swords and Swordsmanship in the Aegean Bronze Age
Warfare and combat are often considered to have played central roles in the characterization of elite identities and the social evolution of Aegean Bronze Age polities of Crete and the GreekExpand
Martial arts and materiality: a combat archaeology perspective on Aegean swords of the fifteenth and fourteenth centuries bc
Abstract The early swords of the Aegean Bronze Age are some of the most striking artefacts from this epoch in terms of craftsmanship and opulence. Their perceived role has at various times rangedExpand
Rock Art as Secondary Agent? Society and Agency in Bronze Age Bohuslän
During the major part of the 20th century the rock art in Bohuslän has been seen as a manifestation of an agrarian ‘cultic’ ideology in the landscape. In this context the dominant ship image and theExpand
Original copies: seriality, similarity and the simulacrum in the Early Bronze Age
This article explores inter-artefactual relations in the Nordic Bronze Age. Notions of copying and imitation have been dominant in the description of a number of bronze and flint artefacts fromExpand
Warfare and exchange in a Melanesian society before colonial pacification: the case of Manus, Papua New Guinea
[Extract] Just before the arrival of Western colonisers the Admiralty Islands - now Manus Province in Papua New Guinea (Fig. 1) - were a warlike environment. This picture is confirmed both by theExpand
Inalienable Possessions: The Paradox of Keeping-While Giving
"Inalienable Possessions" tests anthropology's traditional assumptions about kinship, economics, power, and gender in an exciting challenge to accepted theories of reciprocity and marriage exchange.Expand