Collection Description

Tradition Name

Northeastern European Bronze Age

Tradition Description

The Northeastern European Bronze Age tradition is located in central and eastern Europe from the Carpathian to the Ural Mountains. The tradition extends from 4000/3800-2800/2700 BP. The people were sedentary agriculturalists who raised livestock and also hunted and fished. Their settlements were close to fresh water. Long distance trade along the many great rivers of eastern Europe extended from the Baltic to the Caucasus Mountains. In addition to lithic and bone tools and ceramics, bronze was used for weapons and ornaments as found in their burial mounds. Social differentiation increased during the time period along with conflict and warfare. As with most traditions covering such a large area there was wide regional diversity.


Select the Tradition Summary link above for a longer description of the culture.


Europe --Eastern Europe


















OWC Code


Number of Documents


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Collection Overview

Documents referred to in this section are included in the eHRAF Archaeology collection and are referenced by author, date of publication, and eHRAF document number.

The Northeastern European Bronze Age is located in central and eastern Europe from around 4000/3800-2800/2700 BP, depending on the region.

All the documents, except for Harding and Coles (1979, no. 6) which contains the bibliography for document nos. 4-5, are overviews that discuss different areas of this tradition. Gimbutas (1965, no 1) discusses migrations, trade, burial patterns, artifacts, and the economy of dozens of different groups in eastern and central Europe. Sulimirski (1970, no. 2) does the same for the groups within the former Soviet Union and includes discussions of groups and traditions located in Asia as they affected their western neighbors. In the second document by Sulimirski (1968, no. 3) he presents the results of fieldwork conducted in the 1930s to the northeast of the Carpathian Mountians in addition to an overview of the many groups within this area. Harding and Coles present overviews of the late Bronze Age in central Europe (Harding and Coles 1979, no. 4) and Eastern Europe (Harding and Coles 1979, no. 5).

For further information on individual works in this collection, see the abstracts in the citations preceding each document.

Overview by

Sarah Berry

Amber -- Use Special Deposits ( 317 )

Bridles -- Use Animal Transport ( 492 )

Bronze -- Use Smiths And Their Crafts ( 326 )

Burial of widow with spouse -- Use Burial Practices And Funerals ( 764 ) with Gender Roles And Issues ( 890 )

Byre -- a cow barn -- Use Outbuildings ( 343 )

Chernozem -- black earth, a soil type -- Use Soil ( 134 )

Faience -- Use Ceramic Technology ( 323 )

Gold -- Use Nonferrous Metal Industries ( 328 )

Greave -- a piece of armor that protects the lower leg, especially the shin. -- Use Uniform And Accouterment ( 714 )

Helmets -- Use Uniform And Accouterment ( 714 )

Krummesser -- curved sickle-knives -- Use General Tools ( 412 ) with Cereal Agriculture ( 243 )

Lead -- Use Nonferrous Metal Industries ( 328 )

Metallurgy centers -- Use Commercial Facilities ( 366 )

Molds -- used to form bronze items, usually sandstone -- Use Metallurgy ( 325 )

Palstave -- a bronze axe of a particular shape -- Use General Tools ( 412 )

Production centers -- Use Metallurgy ( 325 )

Razors -- Use Personal Grooming ( 302 )

Recycling bronze or other metal items -- Use Metallurgy ( 325 ) with Environmental Quality ( 318 )

Shields -- Use Uniform And Accouterment ( 714 )

Silver -- Use Nonferrous Metal Industries ( 328 )

Situla -- from the Latin for bucket or pail -- Use Utensils ( 415 )

Traders -- Use Retail Marketing ( 443 )

Tutulus -- plural tutuli; conical shaped ornaments, similar to a headdress of the same name -- Use Ornament ( 301 )

Wrist guards -- a bronze or leather plate worn on the inside of the wrist to protect it when using a bow and arrows -- Use Uniform And Accouterment ( 714 )

Zolniki -- ash pits -- Use Refuse Disposal And Sanitary Facilities ( 364 )

Indexing Notes by

Sarah Berry

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