Tüllenmeißel in bronze- und ältereisenzeitlichen Gräbern Alteuropas. Zur frühen Geschichte eines Werkzeugs
by Albrecht Jockenhövel 1
1 – Emsdetten, Deutschland
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. 431-464.
Abstract: Socketed chisels in Bronze Age and Early Iron Age burials of Ancient Europe. On the early history of a tool. Tools as offerings are very rare in Bronze and Early Iron Age grave finds, as well as in later periods, in Europe. From about 520 graves and/or grave-affine contexts with tools, the graves with chisels represent the largest group (about 230 contexts) with socketed chisels handed down from 95 graves or grave-affine contexts. Socketed chisels occur without many formal differences from the early Bronze Age to the older Iron Age. Initially they are cast from bronze, later forged from iron. Their distribution concentrates on a limited number of European regions: Middle Danube, Nordic Circle of the Earlier Bronze Age, Western Lusatian culture and in the older Iron Age Eastern Alps and Central and Lower Italy. Socketed chisels as function-related tools hardly vary as to their design. Special variants, especially in the Late Bronze Age of Western Europe, are socketed gouges with a hollow cutting edge. With their large, heavy chisels, for example in the central Danube Čaka culture, they may have been used as tool-weapons. Very small chisels could be miniatures of larger ones (e.g. in the Piliny culture). According to the few data on anthropological sex determination, socketed chisels are special accessories of grave equipment, especially of adult and mature men, which is also confirmed by archaeological gender determinations. The burials with chisels are consistently well equipped, very often with weapons (swords, spearheads, arrowheads etc.). There are no imported objects in the graves. Tombs and grave goods are embedded in the respective local rite, so that we cannot speak of ‘itinerant craftsmen’.
Key words: socketed chisels, tools, male graves, social stratification, Bronze Age, Early Iron Age