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"Travels, transmissions and transformations in the 3rd and 2nd millennium BC in northern Europe: the rise of Bronze Age societies" (THE RISE)
Start date: Jun 1, 2011, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Research problem: The 3rd and 2nd millennium was a period that saw major social and cultural transformations in Europe, from migrations and the introduction of metal (the Bronze Age) to new cultural identities and languages. As these two millennia were formative for Europe’s later history, these are hotly debated issues. However, they can now be resolved, at least in part, by the application of new science-based methodologies and the development of new interpretative frameworks.Aims and methodologies: The project does so by adopting an interdisciplinary methodological approach that combines science and culture. Isotope tracing in combination with recent advances in ancient DNA is employed to test human origins and movements during the two millennia, as well as the origin of wool and textiles. Lead isotope is adopted to trace the origin of copper. Based on this the project will document and explain the forging of new identities and new types of interaction during the 3rd and 2nd millennium BC in temperate northern Europe, but with implications for western Eurasia.Progress and originality: Accomplishment of front-line research results by combining archaeology with new developments in the natural sciences to produce new knowledge about the mobility of people, animals, things, ideas and technologies. This will allow a critical comparison of different types of evidence on mobility from DNA to strontium isotope analyses, and will lead to improved knowledge about the ways in which European regional cultures and identities were formed in the Bronze Age through interaction. Finally, the project will potentially change our understanding and thinking about human mobility as a key factor in cultural and social change."

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