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New Thoughts on Europe’s Bronze Age Hoards

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Bronze Age ToolLEIDEN, NETHERLANDS—According to a statement released by Leiden University, archaeologist Marieke Visser studied the Bronze Age practice of burying axes, swords, and jewels by assembling a database of deposits uncovered in Denmark, northwestern Germany, and the northern Netherlands. Visser said she found metal objects buried in areas where they did not occur naturally and therefore must have been imported. She then identified clear patterns in the data of the types of objects and where they had been buried. Visser suggests that rather than having a possible religious significance, these deposits of valuable metals could reflect regional trade networks, and in this way, she explained, they may have served as a map connecting people to their communities. Visser hopes that the database will be useful for additional archaeological research. For more on Bronze Age hoards, go to "Tool Time."

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