Home Region:  Western Europe (Europe)

Hallstatt A-B1

EQ 2020  fr_hallstatt_a_b1 / FrHallA

The Hallstatt culture, named after an archaeological site in Austria and traditionally divided into four phases, was the main cultural complex in Western Europe during the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age. It coincides with the North Alpine complex, extending over modern-day central and southern Germany, northern Italy, and Switzerland. [1]
Population and political organization
Across Europe, thousands of small-scale polities coexisted in the Hallstatt A period (c. 1100-1000 BCE); [2] the average independent political unit controlled a zone with a radius of 20 kilometres. [3] Most settlements identified archaeologically consisted of dispersed farms gravitating around a significant monument, a village or a fortification. [4]
At this time, elites had control over long-distance exchange networks, which encouraged the production of bronze objects such as helmets. [5] These elites also distinguished themselves in death, as they were buried in elaborate complexes of tumuli, which could include protective walls, stone markers and even four-wheeled wagons. [6]

[1]: (Brun 1995, 14) Brun, Patrice. 1995. “From Chiefdom to State Organization in Celtic Europe.” In Celtic Chiefdom, Celtic State: The Evolution of Complex Social Systems in Prehistoric Europe, edited by Bettina Arnold and D. Blair Gibson, Cambridge University Press, 13-25. Cambridge. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/RZWRCEPH.

[2]: (CNRS-ENS 2017) CNRS-ENS. 2017. “Atlas de L’âge Du Fer.” Accessed July 7. http://www.chronocarto.ens.fr/gcserver/patlas. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/HUKZMF9J.

[3]: (Brun 2007, 381) Brun, Patrice. 2007. “Une Période de Transition Majeure En Europe: De La Fin Du IVe Au Début Du IIe s. Av. J.-C.(La Tène B2 et C).” In La Gaule Dans Son Contexte Européen Aux IV e et III e Siècle Avant Notre Ère, edited by Christine Mennessier-Jouannet, Anne-Marie Adam, and Pierre-Yves Milcent, 377-84. Lattes: Edition de l’Association pour le Développement de l’Archéologie en Languedoc-Roussillon. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/D2ET47FZ.

[4]: (Brun 1995, 15) Brun, Patrice. 1995. “From Chiefdom to State Organization in Celtic Europe.” In Celtic Chiefdom, Celtic State: The Evolution of Complex Social Systems in Prehistoric Europe, edited by Bettina Arnold and D. Blair Gibson, Cambridge University Press, 13-25. Cambridge. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/RZWRCEPH.

[5]: (Allen 2007, 119) Allen, Stephen. 2007. Lords of Battle: The World of the Celtic Warrior. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/F9D9PI8A.

[6]: Pare, Christopher FE. 1992. Wagons and Wagon-Graves of the Early Iron Age in Central Europe. Vol. 35. Oxford: Oxford University School of Archaeology. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/XPKX7SNP.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
31 U  
Original Name:
Hallstatt A-B1  
Capital:
Unknown  
Alternative Name:
European Bronze Age  
Late European Bronze Age  
Atlantic Complex  
Hallstatt culture  
Hallstatt  
North-Alpine Complex  
Urnfield culture  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
900 BCE  
Duration:
[1,000 BCE ➜ 900 BCE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
none  
Supracultural Entity:
Hallstatt  
Succeeding Entity:
Hallstatt B  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity  
Preceding Entity:
Atlantic Complex  
Degree of Centralization:
loose  
Language
Linguistic Family:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Language:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Religion
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
100 people  
Polity Territory:
[750 to 1,250] km2  
Polity Population:
[100 to 1,000] people  
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[1 to 2]  
Religious Level:
1  
Military Level:
1  
Administrative Level:
[1 to 2]  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
inferred absent  
Professional Priesthood:
inferred absent  
Professional Military Officer:
inferred absent  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
unknown  
Merit Promotion:
unknown  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
inferred absent  
Examination System:
unknown  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
unknown  
Judge:
unknown  
Formal Legal Code:
unknown  
Court:
unknown  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
unknown  
Irrigation System:
unknown  
Food Storage Site:
unknown  
Drinking Water Supply System:
unknown  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
unknown  
Port:
unknown  
Canal:
unknown  
Bridge:
unknown  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
unknown  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
unknown  
Script:
unknown  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
unknown  
Nonwritten Record:
unknown  
Non Phonetic Writing:
unknown  
Mnemonic Device:
unknown  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
unknown  
Sacred Text:
unknown  
Religious Literature:
unknown  
Practical Literature:
unknown  
Philosophy:
unknown  
Lists Tables and Classification:
unknown  
History:
unknown  
Fiction:
unknown  
Calendar:
unknown  
Information / Money
Token:
present  
absent  
Precious Metal:
unknown  
Paper Currency:
unknown  
Indigenous Coin:
unknown  
Foreign Coin:
unknown  
Article:
inferred present  
Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
unknown  
General Postal Service:
unknown  
Courier:
unknown  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
inferred present  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
inferred present  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
unknown  
  Fortified Camp:
absent  
  Earth Rampart:
unknown  
  Ditch:
unknown  
  Complex Fortification:
inferred absent  
  Long Wall:
absent  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
absent  
  Iron:
unknown  
  Copper:
present  
  Bronze:
present  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling:
unknown  
  Self Bow:
inferred present  
  Javelin:
inferred present  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
absent  
  Composite Bow:
inferred absent  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
inferred present  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
inferred present  
  Polearm:
inferred present  
  Dagger:
present  
  Battle Axe:
inferred present  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
inferred present  
  Elephant:
absent  
  Donkey:
unknown  
  Dog:
unknown  
  Camel:
absent  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
unknown  
  Shield:
inferred absent  
  Scaled Armor:
absent  
  Plate Armor:
absent  
  Limb Protection:
inferred present  
  Leather Cloth:
unknown  
  Laminar Armor:
absent  
  Helmet:
inferred present  
  Chainmail:
absent  
  Breastplate:
absent  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
absent  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Hallstatt A-B1 (fr_hallstatt_a_b1) was in:
 (1000 BCE 901 BCE)   Paris Basin
Home NGA: Paris Basin

General Variables
Identity and Location



Alternative Name:
European Bronze Age

The Paris Basin region straddles the "North-Alpine Complex" and the "Atlantic Complex" culture. [1] This time period straddles end of the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age in Europe.

[1]: (Brun 1995, 14)

Alternative Name:
Late European Bronze Age

The Paris Basin region straddles the "North-Alpine Complex" and the "Atlantic Complex" culture. [1] This time period straddles end of the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age in Europe.

[1]: (Brun 1995, 14)

Alternative Name:
Atlantic Complex

The Paris Basin region straddles the "North-Alpine Complex" and the "Atlantic Complex" culture. [1] This time period straddles end of the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age in Europe.

[1]: (Brun 1995, 14)

Alternative Name:
Hallstatt culture

The Paris Basin region straddles the "North-Alpine Complex" and the "Atlantic Complex" culture. [1] This time period straddles end of the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age in Europe.

[1]: (Brun 1995, 14)

Alternative Name:
Hallstatt

The Paris Basin region straddles the "North-Alpine Complex" and the "Atlantic Complex" culture. [1] This time period straddles end of the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age in Europe.

[1]: (Brun 1995, 14)

Alternative Name:
North-Alpine Complex

The Paris Basin region straddles the "North-Alpine Complex" and the "Atlantic Complex" culture. [1] This time period straddles end of the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age in Europe.

[1]: (Brun 1995, 14)

Alternative Name:
Urnfield culture

The Paris Basin region straddles the "North-Alpine Complex" and the "Atlantic Complex" culture. [1] This time period straddles end of the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age in Europe.

[1]: (Brun 1995, 14)


Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
900 BCE

Most developed at the end of this period?


Duration:
[1,000 BCE ➜ 900 BCE]

At the end of the European Bronze Age at the transition to Hallstatt culture
"The European Bronze Age lasted from approximately 2500-800 BC. It was the period in which the production and use of metal tools and weapons first became widespread." [1]

[1]: (Allen 2007, 18)


Political and Cultural Relations

Supracultural Entity:
Hallstatt

2500-800 BCE (European Bronze Age) "The principal characteristics of the Bronze Age appear during the middle of the third millennium BC." [1]

[1]: (Brun 1995, 13)





Degree of Centralization:
loose

2500-800 BCE (European Bronze Age)
"centralization of power but only at a restricted scale and in three forms (Brun and Pion 1992): 1. A cluster of dispersed farms gravitate around a monument, a sort of tomb-sanctuary, which symbolizes the unity of the territorial community. This community is ruled by a chief who occupies one of the farms. 2. A cluster of farmsteads polarized by a village, near which is found the territorial sanctuary. ... 3. Identical in organization to #2, but the central role of the village is held by a fortification. It appears that this type of settlement owes its existence to the control it exerted over long-distance exchange, especially over exchange in metal." [1]

[1]: (Brun 1995, 15)


Language

Language:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI

Unknown?


Religion

Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
100 people

Inhabitants.
2500-800 BCE (European Bronze Age)
"Each autonomous political community consisted of around a hundred people on average, distributed in five to eight small settlements." [1]

[1]: (Brun 1995, 14)


Polity Territory:
[750 to 1,250] km2

in squared kilometers
Around 1000-900 BCE, politically independent polities in the northern alpine region (which includes central France [1] ) had a radius of about 20 km, which gives an area of about 1,257 sq kilometers. [2]
[2]
2500-800 BCE (European Bronze Age) - this is earlier research from the same author. Since it is earlier research and the same author I defer to the more recent research. However, the upper limit is similar.
"Each politically autonomous territory measured from 7 to 15 km in diameter during the whole period, except during periods of temporary expansion." [3]
"The Wessex communities seem to have succeeded in organizing polities 1000 km2 in extent" however "Evidence of similar polities is very rare in Europe during the same period." [4]

[1]: (Brun 2007, 380)

[2]: (Brun 2007, 381)

[3]: (Brun 1995, 15)

[4]: (Brun 1995, 14)


Polity Population:
[100 to 1,000] people

People. There is a mismatch between polity territory and polity population. Very rough estimate assuming small communities of ~10 100-or-so person villages
2500-800 BCE (European Bronze Age)
"Each autonomous political community consisted of around a hundred people on average, distributed in five to eight small settlements." [1]

[1]: (Brun 1995, 14)


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[1 to 2]

levels.
1. Village

2. Farmstead

2500-800 BCE (European Bronze Age)
"centralization of power but only at a restricted scale and in three forms (Brun and Pion 1992): 1. A cluster of dispersed farms gravitate around a monument, a sort of tomb-sanctuary, which symbolizes the unity of the territorial community. This community is ruled by a chief who occupies one of the farms. 2. A cluster of farmsteads polarized by a village, near which is found the territorial sanctuary. ... 3. Identical in organization to #2, but the central role of the village is held by a fortification. It appears that this type of settlement owes its existence to the control it exerted over long-distance exchange, especially over exchange in metal." [1]

[1]: (Brun 1995, 15)


Religious Level:
1

levels.
Quasi-Polities were unified by their sanctuaries and monuments. [1]

[1]: (Brun 1995, 15)



Administrative Level:
[1 to 2]

levels.
1. Chief

2. Headman

2500-800 BCE (European Bronze Age)
"centralization of power but only at a restricted scale and in three forms (Brun and Pion 1992): 1. A cluster of dispersed farms gravitate around a monument, a sort of tomb-sanctuary, which symbolizes the unity of the territorial community. This community is ruled by a chief who occupies one of the farms. 2. A cluster of farmsteads polarized by a village, near which is found the territorial sanctuary. ... 3. Identical in organization to #2, but the central role of the village is held by a fortification. It appears that this type of settlement owes its existence to the control it exerted over long-distance exchange, especially over exchange in metal." [1] . "The production of bronze objects has suggested to many scholars that, just as trade became more complex, sociopolitical organization may have become more complex as well. This idea seems to be reinforced by the presence of fortified towns, suggesting some degree of political integration, at least at a local level. Unfortunately, there is little formal data on sociopolitical organization for the Earlier Bronze Age. Scholars analyzing the contents of burials have suggested a two-tiered division was present in Earlier Bronze Age society, with one tier being "elites" buried with considerable wealth, the other being commoners buried with very few goods. Most scholars believe that such differences were probably achieved during the life of the individual, particularly since many of the "elite" burials contain goods associated with warriors. However, both women and men, and even some children, were buried in the "elite" style, suggesting that ascribed status differences may have been present." [2]

[1]: (Brun 1995, 15)

[2]: (Peregrine 2001, 413)


Professions
Professional Soldier:
absent

Full-time specialists


Professional Priesthood:
absent

Full-time specialists


Professional Military Officer:
absent

Full-time specialists


Bureaucracy Characteristics


Full Time Bureaucrat:
absent

Full-time specialists



Specialized Buildings: polity owned

Irrigation System:
unknown


previous code: inferred present | primitive irrigation system known from Beaker culture. "Silo" present during this time period. [1] Does this refer to food storage? Surplus production might also indicate irrigation systems. DH: is there evidence or reason to believe Beaker irrigation, if existed, remained?

[1]: (http://www.chronocarto.ens.fr/gcserver/atlas#)


Food Storage Site:
unknown

"Silo" present during this time period. [1] Does this refer to food storage?

[1]: (http://www.chronocarto.ens.fr/gcserver/atlas#)



Special-purpose Sites

Information / Writing System






Information / Kinds of Written Documents









Information / Money

Possibly present for Atlantic Complex.

Possibly present for Atlantic Complex.






Article:
present

Interpolating between the previous and succeeding periods


Information / Postal System



Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Wooden Palisade:
present

Some fortified villages that appear to be associated with long-distance exchange networks. [1]

[1]: (Brun 1995, 15)


Stone Walls Non Mortared:
unknown

Not mentioned in the literature.


Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown

Not mentioned in the literature.


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

Some fortified villages that appear to be associated with long-distance exchange networks. [1]

[1]: (Brun 1995, 15)


Modern Fortification:
absent

Not mentioned in the literature.


Not mentioned in the literature.


Fortified Camp:
absent

Not mentioned in the literature.


Earth Rampart:
unknown

Not mentioned in the literature.


Not mentioned in the literature.


Complex Fortification:
absent

Inferred from the presence of complex fortifications in previous and subsequent polities in the Paris Basin.



Military use of Metals


Copper:
present

"In the Halstatt and early La Tene periods, helmets were made of bronze. Iron helmets first appeared in the 4th century BC and gradually replaced the softer alloy, possibly in response to the development of the long slashing sword." [1]

[1]: (Allen 2007, 119)


Bronze:
present

"In the Halstatt and early La Tene periods, helmets were made of bronze. Iron helmets first appeared in the 4th century BC and gradually replaced the softer alloy, possibly in response to the development of the long slashing sword." [1]

[1]: (Allen 2007, 119)


Projectiles
Tension Siege Engine:
absent

Not mentioned in the literature.


Sling Siege Engine:
absent

Not mentioned in the literature.


Not mentioned in the literature.


Self Bow:
present

"The story of the Bronze Age is also to some extent the story of the inven- tions that occurred during it. High up on the list of these come the series of new weapons created during the period. The bow and arrow had existed since at least the Mesolithic, the dagger since the Neolithic." [1]

[1]: (Harding 2000, 275)


Javelin:
present

"Spears were used from the Palaeolithic period for hunting, both handheld and as projectiles, and also served as weapons in early times, though it was not until the Middle Bronze Age when socketed metal spearheads began to be developed that spear superseded arrows as the preferred projectile. Their frequency in Bronze and Iron Age burials shows that they were used by all warriors and par- ticularly by fighters who did not own a sword." [1]

[1]: (McIntosh 2006, 298)


Handheld Firearm:
absent

Not mentioned in the literature.


Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent

Not mentioned in the literature.


Crossbow:
absent

Not mentioned in the literature.


Composite Bow:
absent

Inferred from previous and succeeding (quasi)polities.


Not mentioned in the literature.


Handheld weapons
War Club:
present

Inferred from previous quasi-polities.


Sword found in Loire Valley dates to 1000-820 BCE time period. [1] "Bronze age swords found by Lake Neuchâtel, Switzerland, estimated to be 3,000 year old." [2]

[1]: (http://www.chronocarto.ens.fr/gcserver/atlas#)

[2]: (https://twitter.com/europeshistory/status/630725341313548288)


Spear:
present

Spears were used from the Palaeolithic period for hunting, both handheld and as projectiles, and also served as weapons in early times, though it was not until the Middle Bronze Age when socketed metal spearheads began to be developed that spear superseded arrows as the preferred projectile. Their frequency in Bronze and Iron Age burials shows that they were used by all warriors and par- ticularly by fighters who did not own a sword." [1]

[1]: (McIntosh 2006, 298)


Polearm:
present

Present in previous and subsequent periods.


Dagger:
present

"a very fine decorated one-edged knife of advanced Hallstatt A type ... also a dagger with notched hilt" [1]

[1]: (Sandars 1957, 90) N K Sandars. 2014 (1957). Bronze Age Cultures in France. The Later Phases From The Thirteenth To The Seventh Century B.C. Cambridge At The University Press. Cambridge.


Battle Axe:
present

Inferred from previous quasi-polities.


Animals used in warfare
Horse:
present

Present in previous and subsequent periods


Elephant:
absent

Not mentioned in the literature.


Donkey:
unknown

Not mentioned in the literature.


Not mentioned in the literature.


Not mentioned in the literature.


Armor
Wood Bark Etc:
unknown

Not mentioned in the literature.


Shield:
absent

No finds within France until 620-560 BCE. ("Umbo" = shield boss?) [1]

[1]: (http://www.chronocarto.ens.fr/gcserver/atlas#)


Scaled Armor:
absent

Not mentioned in the literature.


Plate Armor:
absent

Not mentioned in the literature.


Limb Protection:
present

Present in previous and subsequent periods.


Leather Cloth:
unknown

Not mentioned in the literature.


Laminar Armor:
absent

Not mentioned in the literature.


Helmet:
present

Helmet found in Loire Valley dates to 1000-820 BCE time period. [1]

[1]: (http://www.chronocarto.ens.fr/gcserver/atlas#)


Chainmail:
absent

Iron chain mail was introduced in the third century BCE, probably by the Celtic peoples. [1] The French Chronocarto database mentions "Chaîne de suspension" for the later Hallstatt periods. Either way, the technology was not present at this time.

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 21) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.


Breastplate:
absent

Not mentioned in the literature.


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
absent

Not mentioned in the literature.


Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present

"Similarities between the logboats and plank boats of the period 600 BC to AD 600 and those of earlier times suggest that the roots of Celtic boatbuilding lie in the second millennium BC or earlier." [1] However there is no geographical resolution, even if the term ’Celtic’ implies La Tène and Hallstatt.

[1]: (Green 1995, 271)


Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown

Not mentioned in the literature.



Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.