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1. Materiality & the Construction of Identity

Session leaders: Marie Louise Stig Sørensen, Cambridge University & Joanna Sofaer, Southampton University

This session sets out to locate patterns and modes of social responses to transcultural flows within the various levels of societal complexity. Were local cultural traditions reinforced or did they, in fact oppositely, change? If altered, to what degree did this take place and at what scale?

Papers may pursue the ways in which different forms of transculture underwent creative translations and the consequences this had for the construction of identities. Did these new material platforms inspire new forms of identification?

The session has two subthemes, which offer some possible entries for papers:


Material culture, people and their construction of identity

  • Within-group relationships as formulated by the specific contexts
  • Material culture as integrated in the expression of identity


Foreign forms of material culture and the construction of identity

  • The social incorporation of metal objects
  • The impact of ideological innovations and their materialisations


2. Economic & Political Foundations of Interaction

Session leaders: Johannes Müller, Kiel University & Kostas Kotsakis, Thessaloniki University

This session sets out to explore the economic and political basis of increased mobility that characterises the Bronze Age in Europe overall. Did increased cultural mobility either oblige or inspire people to widen their economic and political practices? How did trends towards integration impact daily life and the social environment of local communities? Did increased intercultural mobility emanate from periods of crisis or wealth? Did it impact day- to-day activities positively or negatively?

The session has two subthemes, which outline some possible entries for papers:

The local economic and political background for the mobility of people, animals and plants

  • Agricultural growth in terms of animal and plant domesticates
  • Technological developments in secondary product production such as weaving, dairying, horse breeding and the potentials of these products as objects of trade
  • Social reproduction and change of political power based on staple products, or illuminated by for instance patterns of diet, mortality, disease, health, and trauma


The local economic and political background for the mobility of things, ideas and knowledge

  • The production, craft specialisation (potting, metalworking, etc), and consumption of goods and valuables for example at funerals and in the sacrificial domain
  • The social reproduction and change of political power, in particular leadership as can be illuminated by data from funerals and hoards


3. Cultural Interaction: Modes & Channels of Transmission

Session leaders: Helle Vandkilde, Aarhus University & Svend Hansen, DAI-Berlin

This session sets out to track how innovative styles of culture – connected to short or longer distance movements and to increased mobility – became widespread with particular emphasis on accounting for the means and directions of the transmission of culture.

However, any movement reflects a unique temporality (duration, break, pace, rhythm), which reverberates with its surroundings in particular ways, e.g. when new settlements arise along migrational trajectories. Movement is therefore not to be considered only in terms of the physical points between which it occurs but, rather, as a unique temporal phenomenon through which new human worlds emerge.

The session has two subthemes, which offer some possible entries for papers:

Movements of people, animals, and plants

  • Migratory patterns of people, animals and plants, including studies of origin, direction and distances:
  • Sociology of migration

Movements of things, ideas, and knowledge

  • Itinerant patterns of material novelties such as metalwork, pottery, amber, glass, and stoneMeans of transport:
  • Sociology of culture exchange

4. Geo-political Configurations, Boundaries &Transformations

Session leaders: Kristian Kristiansen, Gothenburg University & Helle Vandkilde, Aarhus University


This session sets out to track and explain changing geo-political constellations and boundaries through time. It highlights ‘marginal’ communities, hotspots and gateway societies in Europe in relation to mobility patterns and systems. The 2,500 years of the Bronze Age represent the first era in which convergence – at certain times and in an apparently regular manner – frequently prevailed over divergence. In a manner of speaking, the European Bronze Age shared cultural expressions while simultaneously developing local and regional differences.

This session seeks to pinpoint cultural and societal conjunctures and ‘cultures of contact’ in non-state Europe in order to determine whether they occurred independently of early state-organised societies in the south.

Papers are thus invited which scrutinise those diversities and commonalities on a regional and European level that emerged from increased intercultural trafficking. This may include discussions of the possible relationship between micro-scale events, everyday-practices and structures of mobility on the one hand  and, macro-scale conjunctures and disjunctures on the other.

Possible entries for papers may be found in the following subthemes:


  • Geo-political positions of specific  sites and regions
  • The geographical extension of cultural similarities across Europe in different phases and periods
  • The scale of intercultural interaction in Europe
  • The intrusion, and thus impact, of increasing cultural similarities/dissimilarities on the social life of singular societies differently positioned in the geo-political and cultural landscape of Bronze Age Europe
  • The search for the ‘rules of changethrough the study of opposing processes


5. The Nordic Bronze Age & Europe

Session leaders: Mads Kähler Holst, Aarhus University & Johan Ling, Gothenburg University


This session welcomes contributions dealing with the Nordic Bronze Age in its full geographical range 2000-500 BC, either alone or in relation to the rest of Europe. The session will nevertheless include papers with other perspectives than mobility and especially encourages papers which present exiting new finds and promising new investigations that may help to locate future research agendas within the major field of Nordic Bronze Age archaeology. Contributors are asked to address this latter issue in their communications.