Research topic: The Bronze Age

The Bronze Age in Norway lasted from approximately 1750 BC to 500 BC, although the process leading up to the Bronze Age began in 2350 BC.

The period is divided into two broad epochs, the Early Bronze Age (up to 1100 BC) and the Late Bronze Age (1100 BC until approx. 500 BC).  This division is primarily based on a transition in burial practices from inhumations to cremations.

Bronze is an alloy of copper and zinc. These elements are seldom found in the same place and bronze production created a communication and distribution network across Europe. Norway has areas with significant copper deposits. There are also areas where we find some tin and traces of metal casting. These areas probably exported copper and imported bronze.

Bronze brought with it changes to the structure of society in Norway. As the inhabitants adopted new technology, bartered goods and travelled abroad, the results included new hierarchical social structures and ways of thinking. This hierarchical social structure is reflected in large Bronze Age graves, which are found especially in Southwest Norway and around the Oslo Fjord. We believe that bronze objects had great value as symbols, status objects and weapons - and also as tool for activities such as shipbuilding. Stone was still used for axes, knives and arrowheads.

Bronze Age rock carvings are found throughout Norway. These give us insight into the conceptual world of the Bronze Age through their depictions of, e.g., ships, phallic men, erotic scenes, battles, processions, animals and weapons.

Research projects

Archaeology of Dwelling: The dynamics between house and society in prehistoric Scandinavia

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Published Feb. 5, 2013 10:58 AM - Last modified Apr. 12, 2016 10:31 AM