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Article contents

‘Gifts for the gods’: lake-dwellers' macabre remedies against floods in the Central European Bronze Age

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 April 2015

Francesco Menotti
Affiliation:
Institute of Prehistory and Archaeological Science, Basel University, Spalenring 145, 4055 Basel, Switzerland
Benjamin Jennings
Affiliation:
Institute of Prehistory and Archaeological Science, Basel University, Spalenring 145, 4055 Basel, Switzerland
Hartmut Gollnisch-Moos
Affiliation:
Department of History and Geography, Thurgau University of Teacher Education, Unterer Schulweg 3, Postfach, CH-8280 Kreuzlingen 2, Switzerland

Abstract

The lake-dwellings of the Circum-Alpine region have long been a rich source of detailed information about daily life in Bronze Age Europe, but their location made them vulnerable to changes in climate and lake level. At several Late Bronze Age examples, skulls of children were found at the edge of the lake settlement, close to the encircling palisade. Several of the children had suffered violent deaths, through blows to the head from axes or blunt instruments. They do not appear to have been human sacrifices, but the skulls may nonetheless have been offerings to the gods by communities faced with the threat of environmental change.

Type
Research
Copyright
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd 2014

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