By Peter Clark
New and fascinating discoveries on each side of the English Channel in recent times 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 throughout the Bronze Age, among 3 and 4 thousand years in the past. They used related varieties of pottery and metalwork, lived within the related type of homes and buried their useless within the similar form of tombs, frequently relatively varied to these utilized by their neighbours additional inland. the ocean didn't seem to be a barrier to those humans yet quite a road, connecting groups in a distinct cultural id; the 'People of l. a. Manche'. Symbolic of those maritime Bronze Age Connections is the enduring 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 nations to discover and have a good time those historic seaborne contacts. Twelve wide-ranging chapters discover topics of trip, trade, creation, magic and formality that throw new gentle on our realizing 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
Acquisition of this kind was not driven by a mutual desire to exchange ‘commodities’ and it must have operated within some kind of understood system of gift exchange between travelling group and host community or its leader. Robert Van de Noort draws the further inference that the journeyers of the Early Bronze Age normally went the full distance themselves rather than relying on a chain of exchanges; in this respect it is analogous to ‘directional trade’ (Van de Noort 2006). Stephen Shennan persuasively applied the framework offered by Helms to the case of the Early Bronze Age ‘trade’ in amber (Beck and Shennan 1991, 137–140) and a broader application of the same ideas to this period and region has been referred to by the present writer as cosmologically-driven exchange (Needham 2000a).
The range of vessels depicted on Scandinavian rock carvings and northern European bronzes (Kaul 1998; 2004; Coles 1993; 2000), even allowing for artistic expression, is a tantalising suggestion of the range of boat types that may have existed in the period. We still have much to learn, and every new boat find will be of critical importance for the foreseeable future. Notwithstanding this, several avenues of research have suggested the existence of a cultural unity between peoples living on either side of the Channel and southern North Sea; further fieldwork and new research can only clarify our understanding how this community operated, and how it related to other social groups along the coasts and inland.
These side planks also possess side cleats carved out of the solid wood. The timbers forming the end of the boat splay into a Y-shape, intricately carved from the main planks. This originally would have held a carved wooden board, reminiscent of a modern “punt”. There was clear evidence for the presence and some dimensions of this missing end board; there was also evidence for at least two other main structural timbers. On the top of the curved side planks was another row of stitches, cut through in antiquity.
Bronze Age Connections: Cultural Contact in Prehistoric Europe by Peter Clark