By Peter Clark
New and intriguing discoveries on each side of the English Channel lately have began to teach that individuals residing within the coastal zones of Belgium, southern Britain, northern France and the Netherlands shared a standard fabric tradition through the Bronze Age, among 3 and 4 thousand years in the past. They used related kinds of pottery and metalwork, lived within the comparable type of homes and buried their useless within the similar form of tombs, frequently really diverse to these utilized by their neighbours extra inland. the ocean didn't seem to be a barrier to those humans yet quite a road, connecting groups in a special cultural id; the 'People of los angeles Manche'. Symbolic of those maritime Bronze Age Connections is the long-lasting Dover Bronze Age boat, one in every of Europe's maximum prehistoric discoveries and testomony to the ability and technical sophistication of our Bronze Age ancestors. This monograph provides papers from a convention held in Dover in 2006 organised by means of the Dover Bronze Age Boat belief, which introduced jointly students from many various international locations to discover and have a good time those historic seaborne contacts. Twelve wide-ranging chapters discover topics of shuttle, trade, construction, magic and formality that throw new gentle on our figuring out of the seafaring peoples of the second one millennium BC.
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Extra resources for Bronze Age Connections: Cultural Contact in Prehistoric Europe
The papers are presented here in a slightly different order to that of the conference itself, a reflection of the changing emphases of the written texts in response to discussion both at the conference and in subsequent correspondence. Thus the volume begins with Stuart Needham’s broad overview of the nature of maritime cultural contacts in the transmanche region (Chapter 2), where he debates the extent to which they might imply a unified cultural entity in the manner of the Manche-Mer du Nord/People of La Manche groups (Marcigny and Ghesquiere 2003; Clark 2004d).
Cosmological differentiation of the sea can have a marked effect on perceptual relations between communities separated by it, but does not necessarily do so. For example, in considering the Neolithic of the islands of Malta and Gozo, Robb has argued that there was a key change during the period. He interprets the marked cultural differentiation apparent in the Temple period in terms of a new social geography (Robb 2001, 191); ‘travel forges and fixes relative identities… crossing the seas would have meant consciously crossing an ideological frontier to strange lands where people lived differently’.
Much attention has been focussed on the Atlantic Zone and the maritime connections along the western European seaboard, but we should not forget that there were also connections with the interior, a point recently highlighted by the discovery of a Bronze Age hoard of central European bronze ingots found at the mouth of the River Somme in Saint-Valery-sur-Somme (Blanchet and Mille forthcoming), and that the Amesbury Archer spent some time in central Europe before making the long journey westwards to the British Isles (Evans et al 2006; Fitzpatrick this volume).
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