Fossilized fashion and social sparkle. Dutch Bronze Age bracelets in context

Stijn Arnoldussen, Hannie Steegstra

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This contribution deals with the bronze bracelets found in the Netherlands that are datable between the Late Neolithic and the Middle Iron Age (n=176). We study their context (hoards, funerary contexts, settlements and stray finds), and we relate the specifics of their form and decoration to regional and supraregional traditions. First, we study their role as social signifiers (in reconstructions) of prehistoric identities across those scales, discussing how particular Bronze Age ‘costumes’ or ‘ornament sets’ may have been kept from graves and deposited in alternate ways. Then, we study later prehistoric arm-rings for their potential to indicate the scale, orientation and longevity of supraregional contact networks into which the later prehistoric communities of the Netherlands
were integrated.
Keywords: bracelets, arm-rings, costume, Bronze Age, Iron Age, contact networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-110
Number of pages68
Publication statusPublished - 15-Jun-2021


  • bracelets
  • arm-rings
  • costume
  • indentity
  • Bronze Age
  • Iron Age
  • contact networks

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