Contrasts of Bronze Age Societies
A large body of research on the Nordic Bronze Age societies has focused on chiefdoms, elites and centre-periphery models. On the other hand, numerous studies in “marginal areas” study life as a continuation of traditional Neolithic or hunter-gatherer life styles. Though these approaches have provided valuable perspectives on the Bronze Age world, they are seldom integrated. The Nordic Bronze Age comprises a variety of economic adaptions, social organizations, contact networks and conflict beyond the chiefly elites of Southern Scandinavia – and a strong element of integration across modes of production and scale of social formation, is an increasingly important element of the emerging picture. Moreover, emerging topics and methods allow glimpses into novel territory: – Individual life histories, the assemblages of humans and things, or differentiated social groups.
This session addresses the range of potential models and perspectives on social organization, networks, and power in the Nordic Bronze Age. We encourage views from below, and perspectives from outside the chiefly centres – but also on the interworking between societies. We invite papers that explore or question our perceptions of the elites, nuance the understanding of power dynamics, or consider social groups or societies which complement models of centre-periphery relations. What does a social archaeology of the Bronze Age entail? How can the diverse facets of Bronze Age societies be understood?
Marie Louise Stig Sørensen
Division of Archaeology
University of Cambridge
Directorate for Cultural Heritage in Norway
Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History,
University of Oslo