Battle-axe people

From Academic Kids

The name Battle-axe people (corded ware culture) identifies widely-scattered late Neolithic sites in Europe (3rd millennium BCE). Burial sites containing the characteristic corded ware, impressed with cords in the unfired clay, are known in a wide area in Northern, Central and Western Europe: Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, northwest Germany, Denmark and southern parts of Norway and Sweden. Little is known of them. The name comes from the perforated cast copper battle-axes of a particular double-bladed form that are found at archeological sites associated with them. Their successors, the Beaker culture— if they were in fact a separate people— copied the new axehead types in stone, but everywhere the arrival of the 'battle-axe' or 'corded-ware' cultures mark the phasing out of the Neolithic.

Linguistic controversy surrounds the people whose burial sites have been found, whether they spoke an Indo-European language or if their language was a Pre-Indo-European language, which (due to contact with Indo-European nomads) supplied the Non-Indo-European roots of Germanic languages, and even whether a change of pottery type or burying technique indicate a migration of people or merely the adoption of ideas.

Less controversial innovative features that distinguish the 'Battle-axe culture' from the later 'Beaker culture' that it infiltrated or simply superseded are the practice of burying the dead singly (instead of in megalithic group burials) under round tumuli enclosing a wooden mortuary house (a widespread practice), with grave goods.

For the first time in Europe, the bones of a domesticated horse are found in connection with the sites: the Tarpan, a forest pony that was native to Europe, but has been extinct since 1876. It is possible that wheeled carts were used in the corded ware culture.

See also: Swedish-Norwegian Battle-axe culture, Snow-Ceramic culturede:Streitaxtleute

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