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Contribution of Slovakia to Economic and Social Development of Central European Urnfields

Principal investigator: Vladimír Mitáš

Project start – end: 1. 7. 2017 – 30. 6. 2021

Project ID: APVV-16-0441

Co-ordinating organization: Institute of Archaeology, SAS


Václav Furmánek, Rudolf Kujovský, Ondrej Ožďáni, Ladislav Veliačik, Barbara Zajacová a 2 post-docs (Pavol Bobek, Petra Chebenová)


Key words: Slovakia, Bronze Age, Urnfields, economic and social development, settlement, cultural influences and interactions, identities, archaeological sources


03_ziarovyhrobcinAnnotation: The project is focused to continue the processing of specific sources that have passed through the archaeological transformations and were obtained on the territory of Slovakia. Based on heterogeneous material from the Late Bronze Age the project will extend findings on the evolution of prehistoric entities in this territory, having regard to the development of colour metallurgy and related contexts. The chronological framework is defined by the beginning and the end of Urnfield civilization in central Europe. Particular attention will be paid to the impact of metallurgy on economic and social development of the European Urnfields. The results of previous archaeological research excavations carried out on numerous sites of the Late Bronze Age in Slovakia clearly show the importance of these sites in that civilizational framework. An important part of the project will be therefore based on comprehensive analysis of metal artefacts from various cultures of the Late Bronze Age, but also on further ceramic and non-ceramic artefacts (e.g. stone, bone, glass), and with attempt to interpret the impact on differentiated social groups and identities. These, on territory of Slovakia, were exposed to cultural influences coming from the more developed areas of western, southern and eastern Europe. With the use of new knowledge, modern methods and involving interdisciplinary approach (anthropology, archaeobotany, paleodemography and etc.), the main ambition of the project is to highlight the importance and interconnection of domestic development with cultural development and civilizational centres of prehistoric Europe; but primarily to clarify the contribution of Slovakia in this process.


Project schedule and outcomes: Draft timetable of the project is based on the declared project objectives as laid out in a logical time sequence – three thematically structured stages:

06_geofyzika Slovakia and Central European Urnfields – settlements, burial grounds, other types of sites

Catalogues of sites will be completed; databases prepared and filled, artefacts will be selected for analysis within the natural science; and research team will focus on the analysis of the sources. Emphasis will be given on interdisciplinarity. Part of this stage will be the archaeological field research of selected the Urnfield Period sites as well as the presentation of research results at professional events and popularisation.

Stage 2: Slovakia and Central European Urnfields – contacts, relationships, identity, environment

Our research team will be focusing on analysis, evaluation and interpretation of the sources in the wider Central European context. Analyses of natural science and interdisciplinary cooperation will continue. Part of this stage will be the archaeological field research of selected the Urnfield Period sites as well as the presentation of research results at professional events and popularisation.

Stage 3: Slovakia and Central European Urnfields – synthesis of knowledge

Evaluation of assemblages. Finalisation of publication outputs to press. Presentation of research results at professional events and popularisation.04_hradiskostrieborna

The project anticipates a critical approach to archaeological source by modern methodical approaches with interdisciplinary collaboration (anthropology, archaeobotany, archaeozoology etc.) and computer support (databases, statistics, spatial analysis, 3D modeling etc.) in archaeology. Its objective is to collect, document, analyse and including attempt to create models to evaluate the artefacts ecofacts and so-called specimens, respectively assemblages of artefacts, ecofacts, and so-called natural materials of the later phases of the Bronze Age with their archaeological contexts, to precise issues of referred time period of  late prehistory in Slovakia and Central Europe, obviously, with regard to the contribution of Slovakia for economic and social development of Central European Urnfields. Logical outcome of the project are besides the partial publications and excavations, will be collective work Slovakia and Central European Urnfields.


Translated by Viera Tejbusová