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Arrows of power at the dawn of metallurgy, from Brittany to Denmark (2500-1700 BC).

Nicolas, C., 2017. Arrows of power at the dawn of metallurgy, from Brittany to Denmark (2500-1700 BC). Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 83, 247 - 287.

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NICOLAS_2017_PPS_Author_version.pdf - Accepted Version
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DOI: 10.1017/ppr.2017.5


This article presents a comparative study of the arrowheads found in graves dating to between 2500 BC and 1700 BC in north-west France, southern Britain and Denmark. The aim is to characterize their modes of production and functions during a period which successively sees the introduction of copper then bronze metallurgy, the former accompanying the appearance of Bell Beaker pottery and associated practices in these areas. Several modes of production are proposed, from individual manufacture by Bell Beaker-using warriors to specialist production for elite use during the Early Bronze Age. Over and above their function as weapons - arguably associated more with interpersonal combat than with hunting -, arrowheads served to portray and emphasise the social status of the individuals. In the case of the Early Bronze Age Armorican arrowheads, they should be regarded as ‘sacred’ objects, made for display and enhancing the power of the chiefs. Lastly, arrows are placed in the broader perspective of major trends affecting Europe during the Bell Beaker period and then the Early Bronze Age, while the distribution of arrowheads with slanted barbs suggests the operation of an Atlantic cultural complex.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:arrowhead; flint; stone; Brittany; Armorican Massif; Great-Britain; Denmark; Atlantic Europe; typology; raw materials; technology; experimental archaeology; use-wear analysis
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:33580
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:04 Mar 2020 14:55
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:20


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