June 04, 2013

The Nordic razor

I had posted a few studies suggesting links between Mycenaean Greece and Scandinavia, and here is another one. From the paper, this ties a bit to my ideas about the establishment of long-range networks associated with metallurgy in the Bronze Age:
It can be seen that there were two, chronologically separate, lines of introduction or transfer of the razor idea from the eastern Mediterranean to northern Europe. The spread of the two-edged razor to Central and Western Europe including Britain and Ireland took place just before or around 1500 BC. The one-edged razor arrived in Scandinavia in the decades before 1400 BC. The two ‘time-slots’ of transfer from the Mediterranean of two types of razors indicate the use of specific long distance networks that were probably in existence beforehand.
Antiquity Volume: 87 Number: 336 Page: 461–472

The Nordic razor and the Mycenaean lifestyle

Flemming Kaul

*Danish Prehistory, The National Museum of Denmark, Frederiksholms Kanal 12, Copenhagen DK 1220, Denmark (Email: flemming.kaul@natmus.dk)

The bronze razor with the horse-head handle appeared in Scandinavia in the fifteenth century BC. Where did it come from and what did it mean? The author shows that the razor had some antecedents in the Aegean, although none of these objects were imported to the north. He argues that the Scandinavian warrior class consciously adopted elements of the Mycenaean warrior package, including a clean-shaven face. This vividly exposes new aspects of the busy and subtle nature of international communication in the Bronze Age.



AWood said...

What if the Mycenaean warrior class were immigrants from the north-west to begin with? (ie: R1b and I1)


Certainly the Mycenaean busts, at least for the men from western Europe than they do anywhere else. They are certainly not Middle Eastern, Mesopotamian or unlikely even Levantine if we go by old pictographs. There is even mtDNA U5and possibly U4 which seem atypical for farmer DNA.

Anonymous said...


These look like people from the North West?


Grey said...

"this ties a bit to my ideas about the establishment of long-range networks associated with metallurgy in the Bronze Age"

I do think this will turn out to be critical to the full story (and possibly even earlier for gold and silver).

Mauri said...

I don't really know, because bronze razors have found in Northern Europe, including Finland (the picture). Why it would mean Aegean connection? Is a vague horse head enought to prove something? Maybe, maybe not.


Fiend of 9 worlds said...

Dorians claim they were reclaiming their lost homeland. Would not be surprised if that's who they were claiming it from but there's been plenty of changes to the scandinavia since 1500bc including the migration and the almost complete obliteration of most of the swedish population by the plague. Before that they were not so full of blondes and the sammi were a minuscule minority.

Dienekes said...

Dorians claim they were reclaiming their lost homeland.

Not sure how Dorians tie into this paper, but if you refer to the Dorian invasion of the Peloponnese, the Dorians were _not_ reclaiming their lost homeland; the Heraclids -who were Achaeans, and not Dorians- were, leading a Dorian army.