August 10, 2013

Origin of copper ores of Nordic Bronze Age

Journal of Archaeological Science doi:10.1016/j.jas.2013.07.018

Moving metals II: provenancing Scandinavian Bronze Age artefacts by lead isotope and elemental analyses 

Johan Ling et al.

The first part of this research published previously proved without doubt that the metals dated to the Nordic Bronze Age found in Sweden were not smelted from the local copper ores. In this second part we present a detailed interpretation of these analytical data with the aim to identify the ore sources from which these metals originated. The interpretation of lead isotope and chemical data of 71 Swedish Bronze Age metals is based on the direct comparisons between the lead isotope data and geochemistry of ore deposits that are known to have produced copper in the Bronze Age. The presented interpretations of chemical and lead isotope analyses of Swedish metals dated to the Nordic Bronze Age are surprising and bring some information not known from previous work. Apart from a steady supply of copper from the Alpine ores in the North Tyrol, the main sources of copper seem to be ores from the Iberian Peninsula and Sardinia. Thus from the results presented here a new complex picture emerges of possible connectivities and flows in the Bronze Age between Scandinavia and Europe .



Grey said...

"the main sources of copper seem to be ores from the Iberian Peninsula and Sardinia"

Awesome. I was hoping it would be.

Atlantis FTW!

Annie Mouse said...

What exactly do you mean Grey?

I suppose this is evidence that Iberia was a major source of copper ore in the period 1700–500 BC.

Tartessos seems like a reasonable candidate for the source. And I suppose it suggests Tartessos must have been wealthy.

Supported by contemporaneous descriptions of Tartessos by folk such as Ephorus as a source of tin and Celtic copper.

But Atlantis?

Dr Rob said...

certainly also helps explain the centrality of Iberia during the preceding Bell-Beaker period

Michael Caton said...

This is a really (for me at least) unexpected and interesting answer. I don't know that much about metallurgy; what's the chance that they're wrong? And if they're right, what are the possible explanations? I can't imagine individuals traveling from Scandinavia to those places during the bronze age, but I also can't imagine raw ore being lugged all that way in trade and then processed only in the north. Is *all* the copper in central and Western Europe at that time (northern or southern) from those places?

Annie Mouse said...

Transport of copper ore from the Tyrol to Sweden is impressive regardless of how it was done. Overland north, along the french pyrenees, or along the coast via Gibralter. The chosen route would be very revealing.

Grey said...


"What exactly do you mean Grey?"

What you said basically - an earlier version of Tartessos which before the late bronze age collapse was a well-known trade link from the eastern med via Sardinia to the atlantic coast (and possibly the source region for the maritime Bell Beaker people imo).

I think what may have happened is the trade route was severed for a time after the late bronze age collapse so the memory of a major port city beyond the pillars of Hercules became myth - at least among the Greeks - as i think it was the Phoenicians who re-opened the route later.

Grey said...

Michael Caton

"Is *all* the copper in central and Western Europe at that time (northern or southern) from those places?"

There were sources in the Balkans in modern-day Serbia and Bulgaria.

What seems plausible to me is initially there was both a sea route and a land route (or multiple land routes,

with the sea route cut by the late bronze age collapse re-opening again some centuries later via the Phoenicians.

Va_Highlander said...

Michael Caton:

"I can't imagine individuals traveling from Scandinavia to those places during the bronze age, but I also can't imagine raw ore being lugged all that way in trade and then processed only in the north."

It is not difficult to imagine processed metals being transported to Scandinavia, though. I assume that is what's implied.

andrew said...

There have been many hints of this already, but this is real solid confirmation of what is going on at the cultural and human level, in terms of sources of technological and cultural changes, in the Nordic Bronze Age. This is the kind of study that really cinches the case for an overall narrative of the origins of the archaeological culture.

James Laffrey said...

It would have been nice if they had included copper from the Lake Superior region on the USA-Canada border.

But it is no surprise that they didn't. Conventional science does not want to go near confirming that Europeans sailed not just in and out of the Pillars Of Hercules but also across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The very similar monolith structures, in Cahokia, Illinois, USA; underwater at Bimini islands; in New Zealand, and others, all confirm this fact.

andrew said...

The structures in Cahokia, Illinois to which you allude date from ca. 1000 CE to 1350 CE, and the first human (or hominin for that matter) presence in New Zealand likewise dates from ca. 1000 CE. The only evidence of pre-Columbian European arrival in the New World is also at about same time (ca. 1000 CE). This is about 2,500 years to 3,000 years after the Nordic Bronze Age artifacts discussed.

In terms of technology, the structures at Chahokia are similar to early Sumerian and pre-Dynastic Egyptian structures ca. 5,000 years before them.

An essentially total lack of pre-Columbian DNA of types that would be found in Europeans among indigeneous gene pools of North America and South America likewise very strongly disfavors any demic impact of migrations from Europe across the Atlantic, and the one or two arguable outliers can be better fitted to the hypothesis of cryptic early post-Columbian contacts.

There is credible linguistic and genetic and archaeological evidence of contact between Siberia and arctic North America via Alaska. The Inuits (aka the Thule) arrive in the fringes of Alaska ca. 500 CE and flourish a few centuries later. They were preceded by the Dorset indigeneous Paleoeskimo culture (that no longer exists and was probably replaced to a great extent after flourishing perhaps 500 BCE to 1500 CE in much of Arctic North America, although a relict population called the "Sadlermiut survived until 1902-1903 at Hudson Bay on Coats, Walrus, and Southampton islands."), and the Saqqaq Paleoeskimo culture (2500 BCE until about 800 BCE) whom ancient DNA links to the modern related to modern Chukchi and Koryak peoples of Siberia, that preceded the Dorest, all made migrations to North America that were subsequent to that of the remainder of the indigeneous American founding population. The Na-Dene were either in between those two Paleo-Indian waves or derived in part from one or more of them together with first wave indigenous Americans.

While the Saqqaq culture overlapped in time with the Nordic Bronze Age culture and was closer than it seems geographically by a circumpolar route, the Saqqaq are not known for the megalithic structure and were almost certainly not a source for the Cahokia, Illinois culture which has more direct antecedents in Poverty Point and Monroe, Louisiana who started building mounds ca. 3700 BCE. It isn't unbelievable far fetched to think that mound builders in Monroe, Louisiana had cultural influence from an isolated Asian wanderer who was not survived by ancestors for many generations, but there is simply no evidence whatsoever for any metal mining in the Northern U.S. around the time of the Nordic Bronze age. Metal working arose in Meso-America and near the Pacific coastal mountains of South America not long after Bronze Age collapse in Europe and SW Asia, but arrived later in North America.

James Laffrey said...

Good move, there, Andrew, avoiding Bimini, where the monolith structures were built when the ocean levels were far lower than now. No blizzard of establishment-approved bits can touch that.

You didn't mention skulls and skeletons of Whites found in the USA that are several thousand years old. Of course, you didn't. Officially, they don't exist.

I see where you come from. On the "Wash Park Prophet" blog that you list as yours, you wrote:

"Overuse of mandatory minimum sentencing is a leading cause of racial discrimination in the criminal justice system, with blacks and Hispanics charged with mandatory minimum sentence bearing offenses in federal court and middle class whites charged with much lighter sentences in state court, when they are prosecuted at all."

That's the typical anti-White interpretation.

And you're a lawyer. And you link to HuffPost, Paul Krugman, Eric Goldman. Speaking of races, there's a trio of representation of one right there.

Yes, I am race-conscious, as every race is encouraged to be EXCEPT Whites, who are brainwashed to be punching bags and let their (our) countries be taken away. I apply science to the real world. Keeping scientific fields compartmentalized keeps each one conveniently ignorant.

Martin Dupre has a website that goes into great detail on all of the places I mentioned. Sea-navigation schools. That's what several of the massive monolith structures were about. His site:

I am not anonymous. I stand by what I say, and my picture and my site are easily found on the Internet. Anonymous writers take responsibility for --. Yes, nothing.

Va_Highlander said...

Meanwhile, back in the reality-based community, this article by geologist Eugene A Shinn provides a fairly comprehensive discussion of the "Bimini Road", though apparently unaware that American white supremacists have now adopted this old myth as their own:

"A Geologist’s Adventures with Bimini Beachrock and Atlantis True Believers"

James Laffrey said...

Dear Highlander,

"Reality-based"? That linked article is nothing but a mudslinger's defense of the establishment. It starts by flinging big brown pies of "UFOs," the "Loch Ness monster," and "Atlantis" at us.

I will provide just one more thing. I highly recommend downloading the free pdf file from 1999 offered by the AncientAmerican magazine at the following link:

A variety of authors offer evidence and photos on the above issue and related subjects.

The truth does not fear investigation. The mudslingers are the establishment's defenders who want to demonize anyone providing independent research results that show how wrong the establishment has been.

James Laffrey
(not a fake-named, insultive coward)

Va_Highlander said...

James -- assuming that is indeed your real name -- I find it very amusing that you did not, and almost certainly could not, address the science disproving your claim. I understand your embarrassment, and would be embarrassed myself in your circumstances, but if you do not like being associated with New Age cranks, then stop peddling crank 'science' as fact.

As for Ancient American Magazine, Wayne May is unhinged, even by Mormon standards. Such pseudoscientific rubbish is proof only of the gullibility of its target audience.

andrew said...

FWIW, I am not anonymous. My full name appears twice in the sidebar of my blog - once as an author and again in the copyright notice.

Otherwise, I'll ignore the rantings of the crazy guy.

DDeden said...

per Andrew "Metal working arose in Meso-America and near the Pacific coastal mountains of South America not long after Bronze Age collapse in Europe and SW Asia, but arrived later in North America."

Michigan smelting of copper 8ka:
"Nearly simultaneous lead enrichments occurred at Lake Manganese and Copper Falls Lake 8000 and 7000 years before present (yr BP), indicating that copper extraction occurred concurrently in at least two locations on the peninsula. The poor temporal coherence among the lead enrichments from 6300 to 5000 yr BP at each lake suggests that the focus of copper mining and annealing shifted through time. In sediment younger than 5000 yr BP, lead concentrations remain at background levels at all three lakes, excluding historic lead increases starting 150 yr BP."