In the midst of Godelier, Facebook and bloody forays. Several comments on metal and its availability in the Bronze and Early Iron Ages
1 – Institute of Archeology, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland
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. 141-155.
Abstract: This paper consists of several impressions on the subject of the availability of metal among communities of the Bronze and Early Iron Ages. The discussion therefore leads the reader on a journey between Oceania, the British Isles, the Bóbr River basin, Pomerania, northern Wielkopolska and the Apennine Peninsula – with the hope that the arguments advanced shall constitute an impetus towards considerations on the availability of metal in the Bronze and Early Iron Ages, as well as being a voice in the general research discussion focused around this very issue. A number of questions can therefore be posed, such as: Who had the right to possess metal tools? Were differences in the frequency of metal objects, especially those out of copper and its alloys in various regions of the continent, a testimony to a community’s access to a network of exchange? Or were perhaps the intensive contacts initiated because of the desire and possibility to make use of metal? Was bronze in fact so rare that some communities did not have the means to acquire it, or were lower amounts in this context associated with cultural norms, or in fact ones that limited its exploitation?
Key words: Bronze Age, Early Iron Age, function of metal, ritual use of metal, decorative use of metal, hoards, new media in archaeology