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Alex Brea

Alex Brea

Alex Manteiga Brea (PhD Candidate)

Atlantic Metal Hoards in the later Bronze Age

Supervisor: Prof. William O'Brien
Prehistoric Transitions Research Group


During the Bronze Age internationalisation developed further, and in order for metal industries to flourish in some parts of Europe, the acquisition of raw materials from outside became a necessity. The regions bordering the Atlantic in Europe have been in active relationships for thousands of years. All these specific areas have shared a very similar cultural identity, offering the same solutions to the same problems in the past.

The deposition of hoards is a common feature in the Atlantic fa├žade, especially during the Later Bronze Age. Some of these deposits are formed by an accumulation of scrap metal, workshop remains, and complete objects. There are some shipwrecks from the same period containing the same range of artefacts, both from sea and river contexts. The discovery of many hoards in coastal locations may be connected to maritime trade in metal between different regions of Atlantic Europe. This may also have been linked to the intentional accumulation of metal for recycling purposes.

My research is going to be focus on the metal exchange (trade) contacts between all the Atlantic regions, with special interest on hoards and the characteristics of their deposition. I am particularly interested in the significance of coastal hoards, in terms of maritime trade and contact between the different regions of Atlantic Europe.

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