Our third lecture is by Paul R. Duffy, SSHRC Postdoctural Fellow at the University of Toronto.
What do the Kivik stone glyphs in Sweden, the Mycenaean shaft graves in Greece, and the bronze axe hordes of eastern Hungary all have in common? According to recent opinion, they all share religious iconography held by an elite class of travelling warriors between the 17th and 14th centuries BC. Danish archaeologist Kristian Kristiansen and others have suggested that highly mobile chiefly groups, sharing a common ideology and symbolism, travelled across Central and Eastern Europe to link Scandinavia with the Mediterranean, and essentially united continental Europe into a single elite worldview. This talk presents ethnographic data and computer models to discuss how plausible such travel is and provides alternate ways of explaining the widespread distribution of symbols common in the European Bronze Age. Using cemetery and settlement data from Eastern Europe, it is argued that although mobility was increasing during the second millennium BC, the continent was culturally fragmented and social inequality was not ubiquitous.