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The Rise of Bronze Age Society
Travels, Transmissions and Transformations


  • Date Published: December 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521604666

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About the Authors
  • Beginning with state formation and urbanization in the Near East c.3000 BC and ending in Central and Northern Europe c.1000–500 BC, the Bronze Age marks an heroic age of travels and transformations throughout Europe. In this 2005 book, Kristian Kristiansen and Thomas Larsson reconstruct the travel and transmission of knowledge that took place between the Near East, the Mediterranean and Europe. They explore how religious, political and social conceptions of Bronze Age people were informed by long-distance connections and alliances between local elites. The book integrates the hitherto separate research fields of European and Mediterranean (classical) archaeology and provides the reader with an alternative to the traditional approach of diffusionism. Examining data from across the region, the book presents an important new interpretation of social change in the Bronze Age, making it essential reading for students of archaeology, of anthropology and of the development of early European society.

    • Offers a significant new interpretation of social development in the European Bronze Age
    • Archaeological evidence and historical sources are explored by two leading experts in the field, Kristian Kristiansen and Thomas Larsson
    • Integrates traditionally separate research fields of European and classical or Mediterranean archaeology
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '... much to admire...' Antiquity

    '… a stimulating and brave book. … I recommend it as an illuminating and well-written treatment of one of the key periods of European history.' European Journal of Archaeology

    '… impressive and provocative … dense, deliciously seductive … it is a book which presents the most crucial virtue of all: it makes one think about material culture and about the kind of past that we, archaeologists, try to describe and explain.' Cambridge Archaeological Journal

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2005
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521604666
    • length: 464 pages
    • dimensions: 246 x 184 x 27 mm
    • weight: 0.97kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Prologue - between Scylla and Charybdis
    1. A theoretical strategy for studying interaction
    2. Odysseus - a Bronze Age archetype
    3. Rulership in the Near East and the Eastern Mediterranean during the Bronze Age
    4. Europe in the early Bronze Age - an archaeological background
    5. Symbolic transmission and social transformation in Bronze Age Europe
    6. The cosmological structure of Bronze Age society
    7. Among gods and mortals, animals and humans
    8. Cosmos and culture in the Bronze Age.

  • Authors

    Kristian Kristiansen, Göteborgs Universitet, Sweden
    Kristian Kristiansen is Professor at the Department of Archaeology, University of Gothenburg. His previous publications include Europe before History (Cambridge University Press, 1999) and Social Transformation in Archaeology (2000) (with Mike Rowlands). He was the co-founder and first president of the European Association of Archaeologists and is a member of the Swedish Academy of History and Letters.

    Thomas B. Larsson, Umeå Universitet, Sweden
    Thomas Larsson is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Umeå. He is the co-editor of Approaches to Swedish Archaeology (with Hans Lundmark) (British Archaeological Reports, 1989) and monographs on the Scandinavian Bronze Age including The Bronze Age Metalwork in Southern Sweden: Aspects of Social and Spatial Organization 1800–500 BC (1986).

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