My completed research project on the connections between female mobility and metal trade in Bronze Age northern Europe resulted in the idea of ambassadors. Here, ambassadors are seen as people, female as male, who connect social groups and establish and maintain networks. These networks involve the trade of metals and other goods, leading to an increasing exchange of people and, thus, knowledge. The exchange of knowledge is fundamental for social development.
For more, join my forthcoming lectures on this topic at:
the Kiel Conference 2023: Scales of Social, Environmental and Cultural Change in past Societies #KielScales23, Session 1, Monday 13th March 16.00.
and at the EEA Meeting in Belfast 30th August – 2nd September 2023, Session: #480, Metals and Metalworking I
Start of 2022 the news around the world reported that organic material from one of the horns of the Viksø helmets could be scientifically C14-dated and make their use around 950 BC very likely. Not surprisingly for Danish archaeologists, these helmets come from the late Bronze Age. What is surprising, however, is that this new date marks the first published scientific analysis of these artifacts. In October 2022, the Danish Cultural Ministry announced the newly financed research projects within the humanities and the project Viksø re-investigated was one of them! Following, I will spend the next years creating an interdisciplinary biography of the Viksø helmets. A combination of a craft-technical analysis, the archaeometallurgical fingerprint of the helmets, and local workshops combined with a stylistic and iconographic examination of contemporary helmets will give us new insights into the helmet’s origin and meaning!
Yes, that is correct! They are part of a transfer of novel beliefs and cults that spread across Europe during the Late Bronze Age, around 1000 BC, as you can read in our new article published in Prähistorische Zeitschrift. The new radiocarbon date of one of the Viksø helmets did not confuse the archaeologists of this study, it supported much more what Danish research had long assumed. The interesting fact was, that the helmets date into a transition period within the Late Bronze Age. A detailed network analysis of the iconography revealed striking similarities between southwest Iberia, Sardinia and southern Scandinavia.
This research was funded by the Cultural Ministry of Denmark. Only due to the collaboration with the National Museum Denmark and Moesgaard Museum, the Curt-Engelhorn-Centre in Mannheim, the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Cagliari in Sardinia, the Archaeological superintendency of Sardinia this paper by Helle Vandkilde (Aarhus University), Valentina Matta (Aarhus University), Laura Ahlqvist (Aarhus University) and Heide W. Nørgaard (Moesgaard Museum) could be published.
Today our article “Anthropomorphised warlike beings with horned helmets: Bronze Age Scandinavia, Sardinia, and Iberia compared”, written by Helle Vandkilde, Valentina Matta, Laura Ahlqvist and me, was published open access in Prähistorische Zeitschrift. It includes a brand-new C14-dating of the famous Viksø-helmets, a detailed network analysis of the iconography related to horned helmets and some ideas to how the similarity between Scandinavia, Sardinia and Iberia could be understood.
See what SCIENCE is writing about our new article…