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Bronze and Iron Age Amber From Croatia and BiH

Bronze and Iron Age Amber From Croatia and BiH

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Board of Trustees, Boston University
Bronze and Iron Age Amber Artifacts in Croatia and Bosnia-HercegovinaAuthor(s): Joan M. Todd, Marijean H. Eichel, Curt W. Beck, Angela MacchiaruloSource:
Journal of Field Archaeology,
Vol. 3, No. 3 (1976), pp. 313-327Published by:
Stable URL:
Accessed: 06/04/2011 11:03
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IntroductionThepresenceofarchaeological mberartifacts ntheprovinces alongthe eastern coast ofthe Adriaticiscrucialto the questionwhetherornot-and whennorthernamberreached the Aegean bya direct over-landroute. Pastwork basedon findsthen publishedandchronologieshen currented to theconclusionhatmodernYugoslavia wasentirelybypassed by themovementofamber from northernEuropeto Greece.Thus deNavarro, nhis justlyacclaimedcomprehensivestudyfifty yearsago,l couldpoint to noBronzeAgeamber inds east ofthe Adige river nnorthern taly andthereforewrotethat duringthis period "itwas throughsuccinite."2DeNavarro istednumerousamberElndsf
1. Jose MariadeNavarro, Prehistoric RoutesbetweenNorthernEuropeand ItalyDefined by the Amber Trade,"
Geographicalournal
66 (1925) 481-503. Weare greatlyindebted toProfessordeNavarrofor giving us access tothe unpublishedtypescript ofthe second partofhis work, 'sTheDistribution ofAmberAntiquities withSpecialReferenceto Southernand CentralEurope." Thetwo parts willbecitedhereafter asdeNavarro, Part Iand deNavarro, Part II,respec-tively.2. Ibid.,pt. I, p. 501.
theEarly Iron Age inCarniola,3Croatia andBosnia-Hercegovinaand these,togetherwith a string of findsleading northto theeasternBaltic,ed him topostulateaneasternAmber Routefrom eastPrussia othe headof theAdriatic4which openedonly atthat late time.The division betweenthe Late Bronze Ageand theEarly IronAge is, ofcourse,problematic.DeNavarrowasas explicit as he wascarefulabout hischronologyandhisgeneralstatementsmust be read interms of hisdeElnitions:5eusesHallstattexclusively o referto theEarlyIronAge and incontradistinctionoBronzeAge.This is,indeed, the bestuse of that term,6butHallstatt
3. CarniolaorKrainwas aF Austrianerown-land ntil1918when twas dividedbetween Italy (VeneziaGiulia) and Yugoslavia(Slovenia). Since 1947 it isentirelyencompassedby theYugoslavrepublic fSlovenia.4. Ibid.,pt. I, mapfacingp. 484.5. Ibid.,pt. I, p.503.6.Marija Gimbutas, BronzeAge Cultures n Centraland EasternEurope (TheHague 1965) 131: "Theapplication of the term'Hallstatt' or thecentralEuropeanLate BronzeAge phases dating
Bronzeand IronAge AmberArtifacts nCroatiaandBosnia-Hercegovina
Joan M.Todd
San JoseState University,California
MarijeanH.Eichel
VirginiaCommonwealthUniversity,Richmond,Virginia
Curt W. BeckAngelaMacchiarulo
VassarCollege, Poughkeepsie,New YorkThequestion s towhether rnot Yugoslavialayedarole n the BronzeAgeamberrade oGreecehas traditionallyeenanswered egativelyecauseof thescarcityof ambernds n thatcountry.Amber ndsthathavecometo light as aresultofmorentensivexploration fterWorldWar I havebeenhought o beof localoriginbysome Yugoslavcholars.Spectroscopic nalysisof 35archaeologicalmberartifactsrom theYugoslavrovinces f CroatiaandBosnia-Hercegovinaf theBronzeandIronAge shows31 of them o be of im-portedBalticamber.The inds arediscussed n theirarchaeologicalndgeographic ontextsas a first step towardse-assessingheplace ofthe EasternAdriaticarea n thesouthwardmovement famber.
 
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314 Bronze and Iron Age Amber Artifacts/Todd, Eichel, Beck, and MacchiaruloTable 1. Succinicacid contentofYugoslavamberartifacts.From Hedinger, p. cit. (in note 11).
Location(Name in 1903)Prozor45.02N15.12EPercentSuccinic Acid1.5 (interior)2.2 (weathering crust)3.2 (interior)4.6 (interior)5.0 (interior)7.4 (weathering crust)3.3 (brittle interior)2.1 (Flrm nterior)5.4 (interior)5.3 (interior)5.6 (interior)
ProvinceCroatia
ProzorM okronog(Nassenfuss)45.57 N 14.50 E
Slovenia
Toplice(Toplitz)45.45 N 15.03 EMagdalenska gora(M agdalenenberg)near Smarje (= St. Marein)45.58 N 14.37 ESmarjeta(St. Margarethen)46.08 N 15.12 EPodzemelj(Podseml; Podsemel)45.37 N 15.17 EVace(Watsch)46.07 N 14.50 E
has been and continues to be used to refer to LateBronze Age periodssand many of the 'Hallstatt' ElndsdeNavarro lists belong to the Bronze rather than theIronAge.7Thus revisions of chronology as well as new findsrequirea reassessment f the role Yugoslaviamay haveplayed in the southward ransportof amber.This can-not well be done without establishinga furtherpoint:are the archaeological mberElnds f Yugoslavia n factmade of that species of amberwhich is known as suc-
back to Reinecke's time is a misunderstanding. 'Hallstatt' properlybelongs to the Early Iron Age, the period of the Halstatt cemetery."7. E.g., deNavarro, op. cit. (in note 1) Part 11, 263-264: "No amberantiquities have been found [in Albania, Hercegovina, Bosnia andCroatia] with objects which belong to the Bronze Age: the earliestdate from the Hallstatt period. Sporadic finds occur as early asGlasinac l; but not until the second phase does amber appear in con-siderable quantities; it is still better represented in the third periodand continues to be found in abundance in the ensuing LaTenePeriod." deNavarro uses the chronology of Fiala which puts GlasinacI ca. 900-700
B.C.,
Glasinac 11 ca. 700-500
B.C.,
and Glasinac 111ca.500-300 B.C.; but note that Gimbutas, op. cit. (in note 6) 283 equatesGlasinac llawith the Koszider Horizon ofthe Middle BronzeAgeTumulus Culture, ca. 1450-1350/ 1325
B.C.
cinite or less preciselyas "Balticamber,"and which oc- curs naturally nly in the north of Europe?Claimshavebeen made8and supportedby chemical tests9 hat theYugoslav amber Elndsare of another fossil resin andeven that they are not fossil at all, but werefashioned nsitu from the sap of livingtrees.'°On the other hand, Hedingerhad long ago publishedchemical analyses of amber finds from Croatia and
8. Djurdje Boskovic. "De L'origine de l'ambre trouve dans leslocalites Illyro-Grecques des Balkans,"
Bulletinde l'Aeademie erbedes Seieneeset des Arts, Seetiondes SeieneesSoeialesN. S.
8 (1961)11-12.9. D. Lebez, "The Analysis of Archaeological Amber and Amberfrom the Baltic Sea by Thin-Layer Chromatography," J.
Chromatog.
33 ( 1968) 544-547.10. Franc'e Stare, "Zur Problematik des vorgeschichtlichenBernsteins aus Nordwest-Jugoslawien," paper read at the SeventhInternational Congress of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences,Prague, August 1966, but not printed in the
Aetes
of that congress. Inthe German summary of "Dva Prazgodovinska Groba z DalmatinskeObale" (Two Prehistoric Graves on the Dalmatian Coast),
AdriaticaPraehistoricat AntiquaFestsehriSt regorNovak)
Zagreb l970) 207Stare writes: "Man kann namlich mit voller Berechtigung annehmen,dass das Auftreten der Bernsteinproduktion nordlich der Gorjanci

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