Manufacture of Eastern European decorative tin–bronze discs from twelfth century BC

Abstract

During the European Bronze Age, flat discs with a variety of decorative elements were produced to be used most likely as either decoration attached to clothing or as parts of horse harnesses. The size and decoration differ according to region and period. The discs discussed here were all found in hoards deposited in a rather short period around 1200–1100 BC in Croatia, Bosnia and Austria. They were analysed to obtain information about their composition and manufacture, both of which may have changed in relation to increasing distance from the centre of distribution or supposed production as a result of copying, or might not have changed significantly if the discs were imported.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the FP7/Marie Curie actions for supporting the research of Marianne Mödlinger with Schrödinger-fellowship J 3109-G21. Special thanks to the curators of the museums concerned who permitted the sampling of the decorated discs: Jacqueline Balen (Arheološki muzej u Zagrebu, Croatia), Lidia Miklik-Lozuk (Muzej Slavonski Brod, Croatia), Vesna Isabegovic and Nataša Perić (Muzej istočne Bosne posjeduje Tuzla, Bosnia–Herzegovina) and Sieglinde Köberl (Kammerhofmuseum Bad Aussee, Austria).

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Correspondence to Marianne Mödlinger.

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Mödlinger, M., Piccardo, P. Manufacture of Eastern European decorative tin–bronze discs from twelfth century BC. Archaeol Anthropol Sci 5, 299–309 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-012-0111-6

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Keywords

  • Copper–tin alloy
  • Microstructure
  • Corrosion
  • Bronze Age
  • Ornaments