At the beginning of the Bronze Age, Central Europe formed part of a wide-ranging cultural network, which extended from the British Isles to the Eastern Mediterranean. Compelling evidence for this has been found, here in Saxony: the style of this tapered spearhead found in a deposit in Kyhna in the county of North Saxony is typical of Eastern Mediterranean products. It’s a truly unique object, here, in this area!
Metal analysis has shown that, while the spear point of Kyhna was made from Alpine copper here, in Central Europe, its design was taken from a foreign model. This has also been observed in the famous Nebra sky disk, its complex astronomical concepts, calendar, and mythology, point to oriental ideas and beliefs. The driving force for this cultural exchange was the flourishing metal trade, which led to copper and tin being transported great distances. This was also how other raw materials, such as amber beads, reached Saxony.
In Central Germany, the early Bronze Age was represented by the Únĕtice Culture. These people were still burying their dead in graves in the Neolithic tradition. There is a remarkable number of graves beneath large burial mounds in the area between Saale and Harz. These graves are richly endowed with gold and their burial rites are reminiscent of royal tombs in ancient civilisations.
As the find from Kyhna shows, the bronze deposits of the Únĕtice Culture display a wealth of metal goods. But individual items could also be offered as part of a ritual sacrifice during the Bronze Age. They were generally axe-heads, which for example are found at the meeting point of old pathways, or beside bodies of water. They are reminiscent of votive offerings, as a way of expressing thanks or making a vow at a sacred site.