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Hoarding, Recycling and the Consumption of Prehistoric Metalwork: Technological Change in Western Europe

Richard Bradley
World Archaeology
Vol. 20, No. 2, Hoards and Hoarding (Oct., 1988), pp. 249-260
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/124473
Page Count: 12
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Hoarding, Recycling and the Consumption of Prehistoric Metalwork: Technological Change in Western Europe
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Abstract

This paper discusses the relationship between two types of metal deposit dating from the first millennium BC: finds of elaborate artefacts in rivers and similar locations; and the 'non-ritual' hoards found on dry land, which sometimes contain scrap metal. It seems likely that fine bronzes were being sacrificed at an increasing rate during this period. Since the metal was rarely of local origin, the supply of bronze came under strain and more material had to be recycled to meet the need for everyday artefacts. Ultimately these conflicting claims resulted in a general shortage of metal and encouraged the adoption of ironworking in western Europe.

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