Manual Organizing Bronze Age Societies: The Mediterranean, Central Europe, and Scandanavia Compared

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With Nessel, B. In: Transporte, Transportwege und Transportstrukturen. Nessel, D. Neumann, M. Bartelheim eds. Ciugudean, S. Hansen, G. Burlacu-Timofte, G. In: S. Bergerbrant - A. Wessmann eds. With H.

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Rustoiu, R. Burlacu-Timofte, B. Kalmbach Oarda. In: O. Lungu — F. Matei-Popescu eds.

In: Forging identities. The mobility of culture in Bronze Age Europe. It took time and negotiations to overcome some differences, mostly those grounded in different exca- vation traditions, but others were immediately realised, such as the plough-sampling strategy employed in the Thy project in Denmark, or the micromorphology analysis employed in Hungary and Sicily. The third pillar of the project was to integrate undergraduate honours, masters degree essays, and doctoral projects into the project, as this vitalises work and helps get results analysed and published doctoral projects are listed in Appendix 2.

I believe that joint projects should be interdisciplinary, multinational, and balanced with respect to gender and junior versus senior researchers to create a dynamic environment. A sociological analysis was done at one point in the projects history in Sicily, but we did not intend to analyse the results ourselves, but rather preferred to work collaboratively and let the results speak for themselves. The fourth pillar of the project was to integrate local museums into the individual field projects, and the national archaeological heritage organisations, because they represent cutting-edge skills in archaeo- logical documentation, and because it secured similar documentary standards between all field projects.

We used the newly developed digital documentation system from the National Swedish Heritage, Intrasis, in all three projects in Tanum, Szazhalombatta, and Monte Polizzo, and staff from the rescue divisions in Sweden took part in all three projects to maintain and teach the system, even as they carried out separate subprojects.

For many students, this provided important skills that qualified them for the archaeological job market. The fifth pillar was funding. Inviting different institutions to par- ticipate brought in funding from different sources, sometimes in the form of student labour, sometimes in the form of skilled archaeolo- gists, sometimes in the form of money for scientific analyses, which levelled out fluctuations on a year-to-year basis. Although most fund- ing was national and institutional, we also obtained a European grant from the European Unions EUs 6th Framework Programme during the last four years of the project, which financed a number of PhD scholarships and some postdoctoral research.

This helped greatly to integrate the research programmes into the larger project. During the same period, a generous grant from the Swedish Riks- bankens Jubileumsfond provided funding for most of the natural xix science analyses in the projects. Likewise, generous grants from the preface National Science Foundation of the United States provided funding for both the original Thy project and the field surveys in Hungary and Sicily. After this presentation of the ideals behind the project, let me tell the story of its realisation, which, of course, never is as smooth and well planned as it may look upon completion.

Organising Bronze Age Societies: The Mediterranean, Central Europe and Scandinavia Compared

I shall begin by citing my old friend and museums inspector from the Thy museum, Jen- Henrik Bech. When asked about his experiences from the Thy project, which served as a model for the subsequent projects, he answered: If I had known all the difficulties that an international project were to involve, I never would have done it, and that would have been the biggest mistake of my life. The first project was carried out in Thy, a peninsula in north- western Jutland, which borders the rough North Sea to the west and the quiet Limfjord to the east.


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It started in , and by this time I was director of the archaeological heritage division in the National Agency for Nature Conservation and Forestry, Ministry of the Envi- ronment. The project originated out of two strands of research: At the time we were running a national program of pollen diagrams in col- laboration with the Geological Survey of Denmark, which hosted the department for palaeo-botanical research headed by Svend Thorkild Andersen.

We had already done interesting regional pollen diagrams from southern Jutland and Djursland, but I wanted to do one for Thy, as this was the area with the densest distribution of preserved Bronze Age barrows in Denmark. Through research by Klavs Randsborg and myself, Thy was known as one of the richest areas in burial wealth from the Early Bronze Age.

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By period 3, swords deposited in burials were heavily worn on their hilts, and after that time, bronzes nearly disappeared from the burial record there. It was thus an enigmatic region in Bronze Age research that deserved to be studied in a field project. I had completed a draft manuscript of my book and felt the need to test some of its hypotheses in field research. The pollen diagram turned out to be one of the most dramatic in northern Europe Chapter 2, Figures 2.

It showed a massive forest clearance around BC providing grazing lands for herds of animals. We now decided to establish a field archaeological project within the preface catchment area of the regional pollen diagram. It encircled a km- wide area in Thy with a dense barrow landscape around Lake Ove and the parish of Sdr. Ha Chapter 1, Figure 1. We further decided to create a project that placed natural sci- ence and archaeology on equal footing. To accomplish these ambi- tious goals, Jens-Henrik and I realised we needed the skills and sup- plementary funding of international partners.

I contacted my good friend Tim Earle, who, at the time, was running a project in Peru that was under increasing pressure from a local insurgency in the region where he worked. He therefore readily accepted my invita- tion and brought a whole set-up of new ideas and field procedures. When confronted with the Danish tradition of large-scale stripping of plough soil with machines to get to the house plans, he pointed out that we were taking away all ploughed-up cultural information from underlying houses.

Together with his graduate student, John Steinberg, we designed a plough soil-sampling program that pro- vided much new information to the project and was used in Johns PhD; an award-winning article in Antiquity in presented the methodological approach. Together we worked out systematic pro- cedures for field walking, procedures for excavation, and sampling procedures for macro-botanical evidence, which later became a PhD by Kristina Kelertas.

Soon I also invited my old friend Michael Row- lands from University College London, who came with his graduate student at the time, Nick Thorpe; he carried out much of the field walking with English students. Over the years, the project joined forces with two remarkable res- cue projects of Bronze Age farms, in Bjerre Enge in northwestern Thy, and in As, close to the Limfjord. Some of Tims high demands had to give way because of the nature of the landscape in Denmark, but during trial and error we ended up with a research design that became the model of the subsequent three projects in Sweden, Hungary, and Sicily Chapter 1.

Estonian Journal of Archaeology

It also included the joint multina- tional teamwork that had been so productive, although not without heated discussions when different research and field traditions and sometimes different personalities clashed. However, that provided innovations in our research design and in our thinking.

New technologies and transformations in the European Bronze Age

It was also a central aspect of the project that students and project leaders lived together and shared meals and other daily practicalities. We also practised our anthropological knowledge of feasting by creating a feasting tradition for each project. In Thy, it was the eel xxi party with snaps and beer eels were, strangely enough, foreign to preface many American students but most of them learned to appreciate them. In Sicily, it was the midsummer party, with snaps and herring, to which all friends of the project in town were invited and at which we raised a Swedish midsummer pole and danced around it; in Hungary it was a goose-liver dinner at a traditional restaurant.

By that time, I had been professor at University of Gothenburg since and brought students to participate in the project. I had also started up a new Bronze Age project linked to the rock-art of Bohuslan in Tanum, western Sweden, where I met Christopher Prescott from Oslo, who later became my field director in Sicily. However, in , two completely independent things happened that proved to be deci- sive.

Through one of my graduate students, Marco Montebelli, who visited Sicily for his PhD research, I received an invitation from Sebas- tiano Tusa, then at the soprintendenza of Trapani, to come down and start a joint project.

I met with him during an international conference in Forl that same year and realised we could work well together, as we shared a modern theoretical approach to archaeology. I told her I had always wished to do a modern excavation of a Bronze Age tell, and she answered that she or rightly, her museum owned one. They had just bought the land where the tell was situated at the Danube, where she had started to excavate some years before, but had stopped because of financial and other constraints.

Both Sebastiano and Ildiko were keen to add natural science analyses to their excavations, as well as mod- ern documentation procedures. One thing led to another, and after having visited both sites during , we agreed to get started, but on the condition that I could invite colleagues from other universities to participate on equal terms, and on the condition that we applied sim- ilar documentation procedures and a similar research design in the two projects, which became three when we added Tanum in western Sweden.

We could never have carried out the projects without the goodwill and support provided by Sebastiano and Ildiko and their colleagues.

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They paved the way for the projects in multiple practical ways, so that we could concentrate on the archaeology. Also of fundamental importance to the projects was the goodwill xxii of the Swedish National Heritage Board to let their rescue units the division called UV take part in the projects and provide the digital preface documentation, which later became the Intrasis system.

It was tested under diverse foreign conditions, but it also helped students achieve skills they could use later when applying for jobs. Of equal impor- tance was having two colleagues on board from the very beginning, Tim Earle in Hungary and Christopher Prescott in Sicily.

Marie Louise Stig Sørensen

In Sicily, we also had Michael Kolb from Northern Illinois University to con- duct the field survey and later he also developed his own projects , and we soon added Michael Shanks and Ian Morris from Stanford University. Although Michael soon moved on to new projects, Ian Morris stayed on and conducted excavations on the acropolis during the whole period, aided by his assistants Emma Blake and Trinity Jackson, as well as Brien Garnand.

I was lucky to have good assis- tant directors in Christian Muhlenbock in Sicily and Claes Uhner in Hungary, both of whom took their PhDs on material from the project. Sebastiano Tusa also brought in excavation teams from Sicily, which meant that we soon numbered close to a hundred. In Hungary, we were likewise lucky to have good partners in Marie Louise Stig Srensen from Cambridge, who brought in Joanna Sofaer, newly appointed in Southampton, just as Ildiko and her invaluable assistant, now director of the museum, Magdi Vicze, invited a group of talented Hungarian graduate students, several of whom took their PhDs in the project.

Charly French supervised the students on landscape history and soil micromorphology, while Tim Earle completed the field survey of the project in collaboration with Magnus Artursson from the Swedish Heritage. In the Tanum project, our partner became my old friend Felipe Criado and his team from Santiago de Compostela in Spain. In this project, new innovative excavation methods around the rock-art sites were developed and exchanged. Lasse Bengtsson and, later, Johan Ling were the principal field directors. The results of that work are available separately.

During the nine years of the projects, hundreds of students from Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Slovakia, Germany, Sicily, Canada, and the United States met and learned to collabo- rate internationally, as well as learning to cope with cultural differ- ences. I consider this a major achievement of the project at a time when national and local archaeologies predominate. As the mayor of Salemi in the projects. The students also learned how to adapt to a foreign cuts a cake decorated country, just as they experienced the hospitality and support of local with flags of all par- ticipating nations, he people and politicians, most notably in Sicily, where the municipal- is surrounded by the ity of Salemi furnished a huge building to house the project and its project leaders Michael Kolb, Ian Morris, Bengt participants.

In the illustration above, you see the mayor of Salemi Westergard, Kristian cutting a huge layer cake decorated with the flags of all participating Kristiansen, and Chrisopher Prescott, nations. The project leaders, Ian Morris, Kristian Kristiansen, and as well as local friends of Chrisopher Prescott are, for the occasion, decorated with laurels. The the project.