Into the Fire: Comparing provenance and context in Early and Late Bronze Age cremation burials from several areas in Denmark

  • Reiter, S. (Other)
  • Niels Algreen Møller (Other)
  • Bjarne Henning Nielsen (Other)
  • Jens-Henrik Bech (Other)
  • Anne-Louise Haack Olsen (Other)
  • Marie Louise Schjellerup Jørkov (Other)
  • Kaul, F. (Other)
  • Mannering, U. (Other)
  • Frei, K. M. (Other)

Activity: Talk or presentationLecture and oral contribution


Oestigaard describes cremation as “not one, but many funeral practices” (2013: 497). Over the course of the Nordic Bronze Age (c. 2800-500 BC), the many nonstandard configurations of cremation burials from the early periods settled into the stricter, less varied patterns typical of the Late Bronze Age. In this way, there was an evolution from many ‘ways’ of depositing cremations into one more standardized pattern. In order to shed light on the uptake of cremation as a paradigm shift in burial practice and its eventual integration as the dominant mode of funeral deposition, this paper presents data from 19 new provenance analyses from Early and Late Bronze Age contexts within Denmark from the regions of Thisted County and Vesthimmerland (both from Jutland) and the island of Zealand. These data are compared with data from other extant relevant studies, including those from Late Bronze Age Fraugde on the Danish island of Fyn. By addressing habitus in relation to the deposition of cremations as juxtaposed with these provenance data¸ we hypothesize several potential pathways for the uptake of cremation as a new cultural practice within the Danish Nordic Bronze Age, thereby bringing together concepts of mobility, identity and culture change in a dynamic and formative period of European prehistory.
Period22 Sept 2021
Event titleSouth African Cemeteries Association: A Grave New World: The Pandemic Shift
Event typeConference
LocationJohannesburg, South AfricaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational