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Herausgeber:

nsal Yaln
Bochum 2011
Anatolian Metal V
DEr AnSCHnITT
Herausgeber:
Vereinigung der Freunde von Kunst und Kultur im Bergbau e.V.
Vorsitzender des Vorstandes:
Dipl.-Ing. Bernd Tnjes
Vorsitzender des Beirats:
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Geschftsfhrer:
Museumsdirektor Prof. Dr. phil. Rainer Slotta
Schriftleitung (verantwortlich):
Dr. phil. Andreas Bingener M.A.
Editorial Board:
Dr.-Ing. Siegfried Mller, Prof. Dr. phil. Rainer Slotta; Dr. phil.
Michael Farrenkopf
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Bremen; Prof. Dr. Thilo Rehren, London; Prof. Dr. Klaus Tenfel-
de (), Bochum; Prof. Dr. Wolfhard Weber, Bochum
Layout: Karina Schwunk
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Montanhistorische Zeitschrift
Der ANSCHNITT. Beiheft 24
= Verffentlichungen aus dem Deutschen
Bergbau-Museum Bochum, Nr. 180
Titelbild
Alacahyk gehrt zu den wichtigsten prhistorischen Stdten in
Anatolien. Besonders berhmt sind die frhbronzezeitlichen Fr-
stengrber mit ihren zahlreichen Grabbeigaben aus Gold, Silber
und Bronze, darunter die frhesten Eisenfunde Anatoliens. Zum
Grabinventar zhlten auch zahlreiche bronzene Sonnenstandar-
ten und Tieriguren. Im Vordergrund ist eine dieser Sonnenstan-
darten zu sehen. Sie dient heute als Symbol des Kultur- und Tou-
rismusministeriums der Trkei.

Im Hintergrund ist eine schroffe Landschaft bei Derekutuun,
Kreis Bayat, Provinz orum zu sehen. In Derekutuun wurde seit
dem 5. Jt. v. Chr. gediegenes Kupfer bergmnnisch gewonnen.
Im Vordergrund ist eine der prhistorischen Strecken abgebildet.
Fotos stammen von Herausgeber.
Bibliografische Informationen der Deutschen Bibliothek
Die Deutschen Bibliothek verzeichnet diese Publikation in der
Deutschen Nationalbibliografie; detaillierte bibliografische Daten
sind im Internet ber http/dnd.ddb.de abrufbar.
redaktion
nsal Yaln
Christian Wirth

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Inhaltsverzeichnis
Vorwort 9
Gruwort 11
Rainer Slotta & Andreas Hauptmann
robert Maddin and the Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum 13
James D. Muhly
robert Maddin: An Appreciation 17
Mehmet zdoan
The Dynamics of Cultural Change in Anatolia 21
H. Gnl Yaln
Die Karaz-Kultur in Ostanatolien 31
Ulf-Dietrich Schoop
amlbel Tarlas, ein metallverarbeitender Fundplatz des vierten Jahrtausends v. Chr.
im nrdlichen Zentralanatolien 53
Horst Klengel
Handel mit Lapislazuli, Trkis und Karneol im
alten Vorderen Orient 69
Metin Alparslan & Meltem Doan-Alparslan
Symbol der ewigen Herrschaft: Metall als Grundlage des hethitischen reiches 79
nsal Yaln & Hseyin Cevizolu
Eine Archaische Schmiedewerkstatt in Klazomenai 85
Martin Bartelheim, Sonja Behrendt, Blent Kzlduman, Uwe Mller & Ernst Pernicka
Der Schatz auf dem Knigshgel, Kaleburnu/Galinoporni, Zypern 91
Hristo Popov, Albrecht Jockenhvel & Christian Groer
Ada Tepe (Ost-rhodopen, Bulgarien):
Sptbronzezeitlicher ltereisenzeitlicher Goldbergbau 111
Tobias L. Kienlin
Aspects of the Development of Casting and Forging Techniques from the Copper Age
to the Early Bronze Age of Eastern Central Europe and the Carpathian Basin 127
Svend Hansen
Metal in South-Eastern and Central Europe
between 4500 and 2900 BCE 137
Evgeny N. Chernykh
Eurasian Steppe Belt: radiocarbon Chronology and Metallurgical Provinces 151
Andreas Hauptmann
Gold in Georgia I: Scientiic Investigations into the Composition of Gold 173
Thomas Stllner & Irina Gambashidze
Gold in Georgia II: The Oldest Gold Mine in the World 187
Khachatur Meliksetian,

Steffen Kraus, Ernst Pernicka

Pavel Avetissyan,
Seda Devejian & Levron Petrosyan
Metallurgy of Prehistoric Armenia 201
Nima Nezafati, Ernst Pernicka & Morteza Momenzadeh
Early Tin-Copper Ore from Iran, a Posssible Clue for the Enigma of Bronze Age Tin 211
Thomas Stllner, Zeinolla Samaschev, Sergej Berdenov , Jan Cierny , Monika Doll,
Jennifer Garner, Anton Gontscharov, Alexander Gorelik, Andreas Hauptmann, Rainer Herd,
Galina A. Kusch, Viktor Merz, Torsten Riese, Beate Sikorski & Benno Zickgraf
Tin from Kazakhstan Steppe Tin for the West? 231
Autorenliste 253
137
Introduction
The economic role of metal in our modern societies can-
not be overestimated. This is not only true in recent
times, when investors try to protect their money by
buying gold. Also, the price of copper on the interna-
tional markets has risen ever more during the last few
years. Control over raw materials plays a strategic role
in international politics, which has sometimes led to
armed conflict and civil war in South America as well as
Africa in past decades.
Therefore, it is not surprising that archaeologists ascribe
an important role to gold and copper and their alloys
during the emergence of complex societies and states.
According to Gordon Childe, the wheel, the wagon, the
sail boat and metallurgy were the preconditions for the
urban revolution in Egypt and the Near East (Childe
1942/1982; Childe 1958/2009).
What was the crucial point of metallurgy in this develop-
ment? Was metallurgy really an innovation that led to
more profit or a better life? The period between ca. 4500
to 2900 BCE seems to have been decisive for the de-
velopment of metallurgy and the circulation of metals in
South-eastern and Central Europe. This time span cov-
ers according to many archaeologists - the increasing
production of gold and copper in the second half of the
5th and the first half of the 4th millennium and the decline
of copper production in the second half of the 4th mil-
lennium BCE. This crisis in metallurgy was asserted in
several papers by Christian Strahm (e.g. Strahm 1994;
Strahm & Hauptmann 2009: 120). This picture has been
drawn particularly for Central and Southeastern Europe;
however, in the last few years it has also been applied
to Eastern Europe. Richard Harrison und Volker Heyd
describe one element of their Yamnaya Package
around 2900 as: re-establishing metallurgy and gold
and copper, following a long decline after 3500 BCE
(Harrison & Heyd 2007: 196).
Here I would like, first, to go through the archaeological
material on the basis of some important stations of met-
allurgy and the social use of copper and bronze artefacts.
In the second part I shall discuss how the visibility of
metal artefacts depends upon the depositions in graves
or hoards of offering. Both parts will show that there was
never a crisis in metallurgy during the 4th millennium,
and I suggest giving up this idea.
Let us start with the archaeological material. From the
technical point of view, copper axes were not more ef-
fective than simple stone axes. People with copper
axes could not cut trees in less time than people with
stone axes. Hence, the question arises as to how the
spectacular start of copper mining, production and con-
sumption in the 5th millennium BCE in Southeastern
Europe and somewhat later in other European regions
can be explained. What was the motivation for these
activities? In such cases archaeologists usually con-
sider symbolic or ideological reasons for early copper
mining. At first glance this opinion seems to be sup-
ported by the fact that the first metal finds in the ace-
ramic Neolithic period were beads and other adornments
(Schoop 1995). Ornaments make social relations visible,
for which it is relevant how people are perceived by
others. Beads have played this role since Palaeolithic
times (Kuhn & Stiner 2007). They represent an exotic
element, as snails and mussels from the Mediterranean
were transferred hundreds of kilometres for use. The
same is true for beads and other ornaments in the Ne-
olithic and Copper ages (Wright & Garrard 2003). There-
fore, the very early copper beads represented an aes-
thetic as well as a social value. From the beginning
onwards copper has been highly significant in social
relations and has displayed its effects on social distinc-
tion (Zimmermann & Siegmund 2002).
But the secret of its success must be sought elsewhere.
The career of the metal is built upon its practical advan-
tages, which were evident from the very beginning when
this material was used. It was possible to recast the
metal, one of the two main practical reasons. It was the
first recycling material. Every broken axe could be
melted down and a new one could be cast. Or a brace-
let or a knife, whatever one wished or whatever one
could do. Two qualities in one material: restoration or
transformation.
Metal in South-Eastern and Central Europe
between 4500 and 2900 BCE
Svend Hansen
Svend Hansen
138
The fragments of axes in the 5th millennium settlement
of Pietrele (fig. 1) show the dilemma of stone axes. These
stone fragments had become useless and, therefore,
were thrown away. In general the weight of the stone
axes was limited, whereas it was easy to cast larger and
heavier metal axes. The limited access to raw material
sources was the reason that in nearly all periods of the
history of humankind people used them economically.
In this regard it is noteworthy that the mentality of the
throw-away-society lasted a very short period between
the Second World War and the late 1970ies, before peo-
ple understood again that metals and other materials
can be recycled.
With the recasting and production of a new object, a
new quality came into the world and this is the second
reason for the success of metals. Metal was the first
material that could not be used up. It could be used
again and again for recasting without any serious loss.
This property had enormous economical and social con-
sequences. I would suggest that even the philosophical
reflection of the world changed (cf. Eliade 1980).
Unlike stone, metal could be accumulated in a useful
way. It could be used for different purposes and it was
convertible. According to necessity one could melt down
ornaments for swords or axes for bracelets. Everything
could be reused and normally it was reused. This is the
reason that the lack of metal is a standard in the ar-
chaeological record.
Metal played an important role in the emergence of hi-
erarchical societies in western Eurasia. In a geographi-
cally wider perspective it is true that in general metal
neither was the precondition for the rise of complex so-
cieties nor was metal production always linked with con-
trol by ruling institutions (Thornton & Roberts 2009).
The Black Sea Area in the 5th and
4th Millennium BCE
In the history of Eurasian metallurgy, the Circumpontic
area played a dominant role in the 5th and 4th millen-
nium BCE. Evgenij Chernykh has made the most impor-
tant contributions to this field of study (Chernykh 1992).
Both the trends in the development of metal types as
well as new technological processes illustrate a large
scale communication, which was based upon the ex-
change of material, products and ideas. Two points are
important: First, raw materials were not available eve-
rywhere and had to be transported over large distances.
Second, the artefacts, especially weapons, were distrib-
uted in regional networks through the exchange of gifts.
These precious objects were used to create and to con-
solidate social relationships between individuals, fami-
lies and states. This twofold circulation implies the dis-
tribution of technological knowledge either by the
mobility of experts or by the circulation of the objects
that could be copied easily.
Copper objects did not belong to the Neolithic package
of different innovations like domesticated sheep and cat-
tle, ceramics and polished stone tools, which was typical
of the spread of the Neolithic way of life in Southeastern
Fig. 1: Stone axes from the
Copper Age settlement Pietrele
(44504250 BCE) (photograph
S. Hansen).
Metal in South-Eastern and Central Europe between 4500 and 2900 BCE
139
Europe. In the late 7th and early 6th millennium early
Neolithic copper objects were very rare. But in the sec-
ond half of the 6th millennium and during the 5th millen-
nium there is a considerable increase of finds, which
demonstrates a growing interest in copper and malachite
(Kalicz 1992). The Late Neolithic Lengyel Culture used
beads, small rings and bracelets (Zalai-Gaal 1996). In
the cemetery of Mrgy-Tszdomb (Hungary) 18% of
the graves contained copper, mostly associated with
spondylus from the Mediterranean Sea. Approximately
contemporaneous are the finds from the cemetery of
Durankulak on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, where
copper beads and spondylus were also found together.
In Aa Pnar (Turkish Thrace) a beautiful necklace
made of spondylus and malachite was found in the Late
Neolithic settlement (zdoan & Parzinger 2000).
In Southeast Europe copper was socially significant and
connected with leading persons. Since the 6th millen-
nium in Anatolia also heavier tools were produced, like
the macehead from Can Hasan (Yaln 1998) or small
axes from Mersin or Arpachiyah in upper Mesopotamia
(Schoop 1994). In the 5th millennium heavier tools flat
axes as well as hammer axes were produced for the
first time in the Carpathian Basin and in the West Pon-
tic area. These metal finds were so impressive that the
former director of the Hungarian National Museum, Fer-
encz Pulszky, was the first who spoke of the copper
age in 1876 (Pulszky 1877). One hundred years later
the first Copper Age mine was found in Aibunar near
Stara Zagora (Bulgaria), which could be dated to the
second half of the 5th millennium (ernych 1988). Two
important conclusions could be drawn from these dis-
coveries. The metal was local and not imported from far
away, and the axes were cast, not hammered, from na-
tive copper.
The discovery of Ai Bunar gained more importance
through the sensational finds made in the cemetery of
Varna in 1972. The finds are well known, and much has
been written about them (Fol & Lichardus 1988). In grave
no. 4 the body was covered with gold. Nearly 1500 grams
of gold were deposited in this grave. Gold is clearly the
metal of power. This meaning is underlined by the gold-
en sceptre in grave 36 (fig. 2). In the same grave the
excavators found a golden astralagus, which is the first
time that part of an animal was reproduced in metal. The
two cattle figures are the first metal representations of
animals in Eurasia.
New radiocarbon data from the Varna graves recently
published (Higham et al. 2007) suggest that the richest
burials were the oldest in Varna and originate from the
46th/45th century BCE, which is much earlier (more than
200 years) than previously thought. These and unpub-
lished data are very homogeneous, and there seems to
Fig. 2: Golden sceptre and other objects from Varna grave 36 (after Fol & Lichardus 1986).
Svend Hansen
140
Fig. 3: Gold disc
from Moigrad (after
Makkay 1989).
Fig. 4: Pendant from Pietrele
(photograph S. Hansen).
Fig. 5: Distribution map of gold pendants (after Hansen 2007).
be no reservoir effect behind them (pers. comm. J. Chap-
man). If the data are correct, it would mean that the
heavy metal tools apparently appeared suddenly; that
is to say, no traces of any experimental phase are visible
in the archaeological record. It is still an open question
as to how to explain this situation. However, it can be
assumed that axes were produced and used already in
the Late Neolithic, in the first half of the 5th millennium.
Metal in South-Eastern and Central Europe between 4500 and 2900 BCE
141
They only became visible in the archaeological record at
that moment, in which they were used in a secondary
social context as a grave good or a gift for the powers
believed to be supernatural.
Without doubt, Varna is an exceptional cemetery. But
very similar trends in social stratification and accumula-
tion of wealth can be observed in the Carpathian Basin
and in Moldova, even though the finds are not as spec-
tacular as in Varna, which could be the reason that re-
cently the differences were emphasised (Kienlin 2008).
Yet the cemetery of Velk Rakovce in Slovakia con-
tained not only socially significant artefacts like in Varna,
such as copper tools, long flint blades and copper orna-
ments, including golden pendants, it also displays an
internal differentiation (Lichter 2001). The cemetery be-
longs to the Tiszapolgr culture, which was seen as
contemporaneous with Varna. But now after the predat-
ing of Varna, new radiocarbon datings from the Tisza-
polgr cemeteries are necessary.
The most impressive example of an offering is the 31-cm
large gold disc from Moigrad in Transylvania (fig. 3), which
with a weight of about 750800 grams, is the heaviest
gold object known from the Copper Age (Makkay 1991).
An idea of its significance can be gained by its com-
parison with Varna grave 36, which held 800 grams of
gold. The disc shows that similar accumulations of wealth
were possible not only in Varna, but in the Carpathian
Basin too. Smaller versions of this type were normally
worn as pendants, like the gold example recently discov-
ered in Pietrele (fig. 4). The distribution map (fig. 5) is
similar to the maps of early axes: two main centres of
distribution, one in the Lower Danube and western Pon-
tic area and the other in the Carpathian Basin. The
golden pendants are concentrated along the Tisza river,
whereas only a few finds are known in Transylvania.
There metal was not placed in graves. Nevertheless, it
is worth mentioning that the Moigrad disc is equivalent
in weight to ca. 200 small golden amulets: more than is
known from all other find spots.
So-called heavy tools, the different types of hammer
axes and axes with a double edge, are the characteristic
element of the Carpathian Basin and the western Pontic
area. Several maps presented by researchers have
shown the distribution of these axes and special types.
All of these maps show a dense concentration in the
Carpathian Basin and the northwestern Pontic area, with
only a few single pieces in the adjacent northern regions
(cf. Schubert 1965; Matuschick 1997; Klassen 2000). With
the research of the Schubert brothers in the 1960ies, it
became clear that these axes had to be dated earlier than
the Baden culture. The following horizon of shafthole
axes was traditionally connected with Glina and Schneck-
enberg, Early Bronze Age cultures in Romania. According
to this dating, a chronological gap exists between the
older hammer axes and the Bronze Age shafthole axes.
Fig. 6: Axe and dagger from Mala Gruda (after Primas 1996).
Svend Hansen
142
This view had to be revised after the excavation of the
tumulus burial in Velika Gruda in Montenegro by Mar-
garita Primas, which had serious consequences for the
grave in Mala Gruda, located in the immediate neigh-
bourhood of Velika Gruda (Primas 1996). The golden
dagger and the silver axe (fig. 6) are exceptional finds
and were dated to the Mycenaean period. Primas, how-
ever, could show by means of radiocarbon data that
both graves belong to the very early 3rd millennium.
Furthermore, four silver axes were found in an offering
hoard in Bosnia together with a typical axe of the wide-
spread Kozarac type and with local flat axes of the Gria
type (Born & Hansen 2001). The Kozarac type is also
represented in the offering hoard of Dunakmld in
Hungary (fig. 7), which contained an early flanged axe
as well. This flanged axe can be compared with the axe
of the Simliaun man, the well known tzi, who died
in the last quarter of the fourth millennium (Barfield
1994). At the moment it is obvious that the well defined
Kozarac type, which typologically is a developed form,
must be dated to the early third millennium. It is unclear
whether this type of axe already appeared in the last
centuries of the 4th millennium BCE and how long it
was produced.
The elegant Kozarac type contrasts distinctly with the
heavy, clumsy axes of the Baniabic type, which was
Fig. 7: Hoard from Dunakmld with a Kozarac axe and an ear-
ly flanged axe (photograph Hungarian National Museum in Bu-
dapest).
Fig. 8: Early shafthole axes from different sites in Southeast Europe and the Kuban region (after Hansen 2011).
Metal in South-Eastern and Central Europe between 4500 and 2900 BCE
143
Fig. 9: Dagger and axe from Maikop
(after 2004).
Fig. 10: Axes from Klady grave 31/5 (after Rezep-
kin 2000, rearranged).
considered the older type (fig. 8) (Vulpe 1970). In the
Carpathian Basin these axes too were deposited in
hoards of offerings or alone as single depositions.
In order to gain more information about these clumsy
shafthole axes we must leave the Carpathian Basin and
move to the first metallurgical centre outside of the Car-
pathians into the northern Caucasus. (Btora 2003) The
Maikop grave contained a lot of precious materials, such
as silver vessels, golden applications and others. It can
be dated to the middle of the fourth millennium BCE or
even before (Govedarica 2002). A tool kit and weapons
were found in this grave. The shafthole axe and a dag-
ger, 30 centimetres long with silver rivets, should be
pointed out (fig. 9).
In Klady 31/5 the richest grave of the Novosvobodnaya
phase four clumsy axes were found besides flat axes
and two axes of older tradition (fig. 10). The grave can
be dated to the last third of the 4th millennium (Rezepkin
2000). It contained several daggers as well an early
sword, 63 cm long, which can be compared with the
roughly contemporaneous swords from Arslantepe (Fran-
gipane & Palmieri 1988). The arsenal of arms found in
the grave is not a functioning set of weapons for a war-
rior; instead, it can be described as the earliest example
of an over-display of weapons (Hansen 2002).
Svend Hansen
144
Fig. 11: Metal set from Brno-Le (after Beneov 1956).
Chisels belong to the grave inventories in Klady and
other Novosvobodnaya graves. These Caucasian chis-
els are characterized by their pyramidal shafting zone.
Such chisels were found together with axes in offering
hoards in Fajsz, Hungary (Kalicz 1968) and Petralona
on the Chalkidike, Greece (Grammenos & Tzachilis
1994; Maran 2001). The chisel from Brno-Le (fig. 11)
was associated with a flat axe and a clumsy shafthole
axe weighing 685 grams, which can also be compared
with Caucasian axes (Beneov 1956). The objects were
deposited in crossed position, which is a typical element
of early metal weapon sets (Hansen 2002). The hoard
was found in the settlement of Star Zmky, and new
radiocarbon datings make it probable that the level in
which the hoard was found belongs into the late 4th
millennium (Furholt in print).
The influence of Caucasian metal production in the
fourth millennium is postulated for typological reasons
as well as on the basis of chemical analysis. It is the
change to arsenical copper or as Hans-Jrgen Hundt
(1982) formulated arsenical bronze and it is the begin-
ning of the Circumpontic metallurgical province as de-
fined by Evgenij ernych (1992). The production of
swords in the 4th millennium was confronted by a lot of
technical problems, and this is one of the reasons that
it lasted for about 2000 years before the sword became
common in Central Europe. Yet, by using arsenical cop-
per it was much easier to cast long blades because of
less oxidation and, therefore, fewer shrink holes in the
blade. It has been suggested that producing a sword
took more than 20 days work (Jockenhvel 2004
2005). This clearly shows that swords should be con-
nected with social and political leaders. But it shows as
well that the production of swords and other sophisti-
cated objects was carried out by a full-time specialist,
who had enough time to experiment and enough expe-
rience to cast what the patron wished. During the third
millennium such specialists tried to produce long blades
to enlarge the distance between the combatants, as can
be demonstrated by finds from a grave of the Yamnaya
culture in Kutuluk (Kuznetsov 2005; Anthony 2007) and
a dagger from grave 7 in Srrtudvari in eastern Hun-
gary (Dani & Nepper 2006).
Fig. 12: Distribution of hammer axes from hoards and graves.
Metal in South-Eastern and Central Europe between 4500 and 2900 BCE
145
In contrast to the production of long blades, the casting
of axes was far more simple and became widespread
within a relatively short period in the fourth millennium
BCE from the Caucasus to northern Mesopotamia, the
Mediterranean sea to the Balkans and the Adriatic coast.
Nevertheless, the success of new weapons cannot be
explained by casting methods alone. The re-positioning
of the shafthole to the very end of the axe changed the
quality of the weapon: It gained much more force in
striking, and it was possible to increase the weight up
to more than 1000 grams. This was an enormous tech-
nical innovation, which is evident in the fact that these
axes were used in an area extending from Mesopotamia
to Italy over a period of 1000 years. This weapon became
the sign of a new social formation: the warrior.
So far, I have attempted to show that there was a more
or less continuous development of metal artefacts from
the middle of the 5th to the end of the 4th millennium
and beyond. There was no real crisis of metallurgy in
the second half of the 4th millennium. Metal was used
in the Baden culture in larger quantities (Sherratt 2003).
Even in Central Europe metal was used in the second
half of the 4th millennium, as has been shown in Arbon
Bleiche 3 (De Capitani et al. 2002). In the Alps copper
mining started around 3600 cal BCE, as has been dem-
onstrated recently in Liguria (Maggi & Pearce 2005).
Paul Gleirscher has connected the fourth millennium flat
axes in western Hungary with similar pieces in the east-
ern Alps (Gleirscher 2007).
The second half of the 4th millennium can be seen as
the most innovative time after the Neolithic Revolution
(Hansen 2011). It was the time of new animals, the woolly
sheep, the domesticated horse and the donkey, of the
wheel and the wagon, of new weapons (shafthole axes,
swords and halberds), of new metals (silver and lead),
of new copper alloys and a diversification of alloy com-
position in functional categories like axes and daggers;
it was the time of the appearance of new forms of social
representation in tumulus graves and large stone stelae,
and last but not least of hoards as a medium for so-
cially controlled communication with the powers believed
to be supernatural. It was the time of the formation of
the warrior as a social type.
The Deposition of Axes
In the second part of this paper I would like to return to
the discussion of the social importance of copper. One
of the most striking qualities of the metal is the possibil-
ity to reuse every single piece, and it was normally re-
used. In the fifth, fourth and third millennia BCE larger
quantities of metal axes were deposited, especially in
Fig. 13: Distribution of early axes from hoard and graves.
Svend Hansen
146
the eastern part of Transylvania in ritual hoards. In a
wider geographical perspective it could be recently de-
monstrated that the ritual hoarding of axes was embed-
ded in a wider social function of axes in the exchange
of gifts, brideprices and offerings (Klimscha 2009). Cop-
per axes probably played the same role as jade axes in
western Europe or large flint axes of the Funnel Beaker
System in northern Europe. Two main consequences
can be drawn from these observations. First, the distri-
bution maps do not show the original distribution of
metal axes, but only their deposition. Second, it can be
assumed that the use of metal axes was much more
common in other regions. This is strongly supported by
the widespread distribution of casting moulds for early
axe types (Boroffka 2009).
The oldest types of hammer axes, Vidra and Plonik
(Govedarica in print) are distributed in the Carpathian
Basin as well as in the lower Danube area and on the
Black Sea coast (fig. 12). In the lower Danube area they
are found in small quantities in tell settlements; only in
the Black Sea Area do they appear in graves (espe-
cially Varna). In the Carpathian Basin they appear in
ritual hoards and as single depositions.
The later types Jszladny, iria, Handlov and others
(according to Schubert 1965; for technical aspects Kien-
lin & Pernicka 2009) of the 4th millennium BCE display
a slightly different picture (fig. 13). The lower Danube
area and the Bulgarian coast are nearly empty of these
axe-types because of the end of the Gumelnia and the
Karanovo VI culture. By contrast, in the Carpathian Ba-
sin we still have the same picture, but even more dense
than in the distribution maps of the older types. Graves
are limited to the middle and upper course of the Tisza
river. It is remarkable that there most of the axes were
deposited in ritual hoards and were given as single
depositions. If we consider that one single axe could
weigh up to 1600 grams, a single deposition is quite
remarkable. The dense distribution of copper axes in
Transylvania is the result of a specific custom. A ritual
landscape emerged, in which the deposition of metal as
an offering was practised for over thousands of years,
whereas metal artefacts were normally not placed in
graves.
The picture changes when we turn to the shafthole
axes (fig. 14). For the first time it is possible to compare
the situation. On the one hand, in the Caucasus region
where the concentration of axes represent components
of graves and, on the other hand, in the Carpathian
Basin where we again find axes in ritual hoards and as
single depositions. One of the largest hoards, from Vl-
cele near Cluj (Transylvania) contained 43 axes that are
typologically connected with early types.
To sum up: the metal crisis of the second half of the
fourth millennium did not exist. We are able to identify
a group of clumsy shafthole axes belonging to this pe-
riod, which marked a technical innovation embedded in
Fig. 14: Distribution of shafthole axes in hoards and graves.
Metal in South-Eastern and Central Europe between 4500 and 2900 BCE
147
a series of other important innovations of that time. In a
long-term perspective it becomes clear that the archae-
ological visibility of axes depends upon the custom of
offering the metal for religious and social reasons. The
Carpathian Basin became for reasons we probably will
never really understand the European focus of hoard-
ing during the Bronze Age.
Acknowledgements
I would like to thank nsal Yaln for the invitation to the
conference Anatolian Metal V. Michael Mller worked
out the distribution maps on the computer. Anke Reuter
was responsible for all of the graphics. I would like to
thank Martin Furholt for his unpublished manuscript
about Brno-Le. Emiliy Schalk corrected my english
text.
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