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Tipologija, kronologija in razprostranjenost bronastodobnih jezičastoročajnih srpov v jugovzhodni Evropi
Typology, chronology, and distribution of Bronze Age tanged sickles in South-Eastern Europe

Author: Primož Pavlin
Year: 2023

Bronze Age sickles occur in the thousands in Europe. The initial area of the current study is southeastern Europe, but indirectly the study covers the entire occurrence area of tanged sickles - from Denmark to southern Italy and from Britain to Ukraine. More than 6,000 sickles from more than 1,200 sites are recorded. More than a hundred years have passed since the first, rough typological classification. Several new typologies have been developed in the last third of the last century. Since the proposed typologies seemed too loose to the author, he has created a new, original and very precise typology, which consequently allows a much more accurate chronological determination of the individual variants of sickles. The differences between some variants are so small that they seem negligible at first sight. As it turns out, however, it is possible to identify sickles made in the same workshop or even according to the same model on the basis of such minor details. In this way, the author has managed to determine the original geographical areas of individual types or groups of tanged sickles and to make their chronological determination. The Carpathian Basin is characterised by sickles without a hole in the tang, while sickles with a pierced tang are characteristic of the area north and west of it. In the younger part of the Urnfield Culture, in the area of eastern France, southern Germany and Switzerland, sickles without spurs occur, either with pierced or unpierced tang. They also occur sporadically in the Carpathian Basin and are an indicator of contacts between the West and the East.

Of particular interest is the distribution of variants with sickles made according to the same model. Some of them prove contact between communities over long distances, even over more than a thousand kilometres. An interesting idea expressed in the conclusion is that the large hoard finds in the east of the Carpathian Basin, in which sickles are also massively represented, may represent accumulations of wealth from the salt trade. Sickles were therefore not only agricultural tools, but also a pre-monetary means of payment.

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archaeological finds
Bronze Age
Southeastern Europe


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