Features of fragmentation of swords – new details of Late Bronze Age metalwork in central Germany
1 – Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie, Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte, Halle/Saale, Germany
In: M. S. Przybyła, K. Dzięgielewski (eds.), Chasing Bronze Age rainbows. Studies on hoards and related phenomena in prehistoric Europe in honour of Wojciech Blajer, Prace Archeologiczne 69, Kraków: Institute of Archaeology, Jagiellonian University / Profil-Archeo, 2019, pp. 471-490.
Recent professional excavations and amateur field-walking in central Germany have uncovered new Bronze Age sword finds. One of them, the sword from Hessen am Fallstein in the Harz Mountains region was completed from fragments fifteen years after the discovery of first of them. This find draws the attention on the fragmentation of swords in general. A regional limited study on the topic including an autopsy of the finds brought to light as follows: 1) the published record is not a reliable source of information concerning the damage; 2) half of the swords were very variably damaged or fragmented, and 3) the degree of fragmentation is not related to the find context.
Key words: Bronze Age, Saxony-Anhalt, metalwork, swords, fragmentation, deposition, Urnfield culture