Central Europe

While various evolving episodes of cultural unity occur, the ancient history of Central Europe remains largely tribal throughout the Bronze and Iron ages. With the early Bronze Age, in Unitise and Tumulus culture (1800-1600 BC) we see the artefacts typical of pan-European culture including torcs, flat axes, bracelets and rings commonly found in hoards or burial sites in barrows, the Nabra sky disk is a notorious piece. Bronze age development is at least to some degree dependent on trade and cross-migration across Europe seems to be relatively common. The late Bronze Age Urnfield culture (1300-700BC) sees the development of more elaborate bronze work that includes fine examples of weaponry and armour as well as interesting miniature bronze wagons that were associated with cremation burial practices as were ceramic urns. The early Iron age sees cremation develop as a popular burial practice which in turn sees the urn become a significant artefact as well as often many secondary vessels that are buried with the urn. In the Hallstatt culture some chariot burials occur with associated chariot miniature pieces, situla and other metal works are often fine examples. In the later La Tene culture, some influence through trade with Greeks and Etruscans is seen. Around 270 BC the Celts from the west swept across Central Europe up to the Baltic and the Roman conquest begins.