CRC 1266 - Scales of Transformation

D3: The Bronze Age in North Central Europe: Scales of transformation

Transformation processes in the Bronze Age
Fig. 1. Transformation processes in the Bronze Age, archaeological, climatological and environmental. Red highlights the transformation periods discussed. (graphic: J. Kneisel)

The Bronze Age in Northern Central Europa displays different phases of extraordinary transformations On the one hand the transition to the Middle Bronze Age and on the other the beginning of the Urnfield period. From a European perspective, 1600 and 1200 BCE are commonly understood as two tipping points of drastic societal change, collapses and crises: the end of the first Bronze Age settlement between Elbe and Warta around 1500 BC and a subsequent lack of human impact in these areas for around 150 years. And 200 years later, the start of cremation burials and the large urn mark the beginning of the late Bronze Age around 1300 BC. The introduction of the cremation not only proves a change in the burial ritual, but also proves radical social changes. In contrast to the few older Bronze Age graves, every individual was then buried. But the transformation processes are not the same in all regions.

Especially in the north, the transitional phases seem to change little in the settlement. The beginning of the period II, around 1500 BC, with large barrows and rich grave goods, on the contrary, shows a blossoming of the Bronze Age. The transition to the Late Bronze Age period IV is accompanied by changes in the burial practice, but settlements are still being built in the same regions, and graves and burials continued at the same places. Therefore these transregional different reactions to the two Bronze Age transformation phases are to be investigated in a transect from North to Central Europe. Important is the incorporation of paleoecological and geological data, which can give us information about settlement density and the human impact. Additional geophysical surveying allows us to search for further sites in the vicinity of the burial mounds. The first phase of the project is based on two paleoecologically researched lakes, whose laminated pollen profiles can provide us with detailed information about the landscape development and changes. Lake Belau is situated just north of a dense concentration of rich grave mounds in the vicinity of Bornhöved. The comparison between the chronological sequence of the settlement and the erection of the burial mounds and secondary burials with information on the human influence on the environment allows us to grasp the Bronze Age transformation processes in northern Germany. The second point of the transect, which reaches from northern Germany to Poland, is the area around Lake Woserin in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Research Activities 2017-2019


Publications:

Brinkmann, J. 2019. Copper Output, Demand for Wood and Energy Expenditure – Evaluating Economic Aspects of Bronze Age Metallurgy, in: Dal Corso, M., Kirleis, W., Kneisel, J., Taylor, N., Wieckowska-Lüth, M., Zanon, M. (eds.). How's Life? Living Conditions in the 2nd and 1st Millennia BCE, Scales of Transformation in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies 04. Leiden: Sidestone Press, 11-34. Sidestone Press

Brozio, J.P., Dörfler, D., Eriksen, B.V., Grimm, S., Groß, D., Hartz, S., Kirleis, W., Kneisel, J., Lübke. H., Meadows, J., Müller, J., Schmölcke, U. 2016. TransformationsDimensionen – Wildbeuter, Bodenbauer und frühe Metallurgen im Fokus – Sonderforschungsbereich 1266. Ein neues Großprojekt der Uni Kiel. Archäologische Nachrichten aus Schleswig-Holstein  2016 (22), 18-21.

Dal Corso, M., Kirleis, W., Kneisel, J., Taylor, N., Wieckowska-Lüth, M., Zanon, M. (eds.) 2019How's Life? Living Conditions in the 2nd and 1st Millennia BCE, Scales of Transformation in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies 04Leiden: Sidestone Press.

Feeser, I., Dörfler, W., Kneisel, J., Hinz, M., Dreibrodt, S. 2019. Human impact and population dynamics in the Neolithic and Bronze Age: Multi-proxy evidence from north-western Central Europe. The Holocene 29 (10). Fuchs, K., Kirleis, W., Müller, J. (Guest eds.) Special Issue: Scales of Transformation – Human-Environmental Interaction in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies, 1596-1606. DOI

Filatova, S., Guylai, F., Kirleis, W. 2019. Environmental imposition of ancient farmers’ choice? A study of the presence of “inferior” legumes in the Bronze Age Carpathian Basin (Hungary), in: Dal Corso, M., Kneisel, J., Zanon, M., Wieckowska, M., Kirleis, W. (eds.). How‘s life? Living conditions in Europe in the 2nd and 1st millennium BCE, Scales of Transformation in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies 04. Leiden: Sidestone Press, 57-84. Sidestone PressSocieties, 1596-1606. DOI

Filipović, D., Mewis, F., Saalow, L., Schmidt, J.-P., Kirleis, W. 2019. Waste Disposal In The Bronze Age: Plants In Pits At Wismar-Wendorf, Northern Germany, in: Dal Corso, M., Kirleis, W., Kneisel, J., Taylor, N., Wieckowska-Lüth, M., Zanon, M. (eds.). How's Life? Living Conditions in the 2nd and 1st Millennia BCE, Scales of Transformation in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies 04. Leiden: Sidestone Press, 103-130. Sidestone Press

Heron, C., Shoda, S., Breu Barcons, A., Czebreszuk, J., Eley, Y., Gorton, M., Kirleis, W., Kneisel, J., Lucquin, A., Müller, J., Nishida, Y., Son, J.H., Craig, O. 2016. First molecular and isotopic evidence of millet processing in prehistoric pottery vessels. Scientific Reports 6 (1), 38767. DOI  

Kneisel, J. 2018. Borders - Developments of Society and Landscape during the Bronze Age and the Iron Age – Face Urns as a Case Study, in: Haug, A., Käppel, L., Müller, J. (eds.). Past landscapes. The Dynamics of Interaction between Society, Landscape, and Culture. Leiden: Sidestone Press, 235-258. Sidestone Press

Kneisel, J. 2019Gesichtsurnen. Menschenbilder der Vergangenheit. Bonn: Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH.

Kneisel, J. 2019. Case Study “How Was Life in Early Bronze Age Bruszczewo” – Archaeology and the View of Prehistory in Reconstruction Images, in: Dal Corso, M., Kirleis, W., Kneisel, J., Taylor, N., Wieckowska-Lüth, M., Zanon, M. (eds.). How's Life? Living Conditions in the 2nd and 1st Millennia BCE , Scales of Transformation in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies 04. Leiden: Sidestone Press, 199-218. Sidestone Press

Kneisel, J., Brinkmann, J., Corradini, E., Erkul, E., Feeser, I., Panning, D., Pickartz, N., Rabbel, W., Schaefer-Di Maida, S., Stümpels, H. 2018. Mang de Bargen bei Bornhöved - Kleine Region, große Fragen. Archäologische Nachrichten aus Schleswig Holstein 2018 (24), 48-56.

Kneisel, J., Dörfler, W., Dreibrodt, S., Schaefer-Di Maida, S., Feeser, I. 2019. Cultural change and population dynamics during the Bronze Age: Integrating archaeological and palaeoenvironmental evidence for Schleswig-Holstein, Northern Germany. The Holocene 29 (10). Fuchs, K., Kirleis, W., Müller, J. (Guest eds.) Special Issue: Scales of Transformation – Human-Environmental Interaction in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies, 1607-1621. DOI

Kneisel, J., Kaiser, J. 2017. Beisetzung als Aspekt des Bestattungsrituals am Beispiel der Bronzezeit Nord- und Mitteleuropas, in: Beutmann, J., Kaiser, J., Manschus, G., Wolfram, S. (eds.). Tod und Ritual. Kulturen von Abschied und Erinnerung, Begleitband zur gleichnamigen Sonderausstellung im Staatlichen Museum für Archäologie Chemnitz, 16. November 2017 - 21. Mai 2018, Ausstellungskataloge des Staatlichen Museums für Archäologie Chemnitz 1. Chemnitz: SMAC, 149-157.

Kneisel, J., Schaefer-Di Maida , S. 2019. Loom Weights in Bronze Age Central Europe, in: Sabatini, S., Bergerbrant, S. (eds.). The Textile Revolution in Bronze Age Europe. Production, Specialisation, Consumption. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 80-116. DOI

Krause-Kyora, B., Susat, J., Key, F., Kühnert, D., Bosse, E., Immel, A., Rinne, C., Kornell, S.-K., Yepes, D., Franzenburg, S., Heyne, H.O., Meier, T., Lösch, S., Meller, H., Friederich, S., Nicklisch, N., Alt, K.W., Schreiber, S., Tholey, A., Herbig, A., Nebel, A., Krause, J. 2018. Neolithic and Medieval virus genomes reveal complex evolution of Hepatitis B. eLIFE 7, e36666, Genomics and Genomics, Microbiology and infectious disease, Short report May 10, 2018. DOI

Schaefer-Di Maida, S. 2017. "Textilkeramik" - Textileindrücke auf bronzezeitlicher Keramik vom Fundplatz Bruszczewo. Światowit 56 (1), 23-42.

Schaefer-Di Maida, S., Kneisel, J. 2019. Textile ceramics as a complement to textile research, in: Sabatini, S., Bergerbrant, S. (eds.). The Textile Revolution in Bronze Age Europe. Production, Specialisation, Consumption. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 197-216. DOI

News
New Publications
Fieldworks
Links