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Urnfield period

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A series of related cultures distinctive of the European late Bronze Age, broadly 1200 bc through to 800 bc, distinguished by their cemeteries of cremated burials deposited as urnfields, sometimes known collectively as the Urnfield Culture. The appearance of urnfields marks a major transition in burial rites from the previous predominance of inhumations, often under round barrows, to a predominance of cremations. The Urnfield Tradition in central and eastern Europe is generally equated with the Hallstatt sequence as defined by Paul Reinecke in the early years of the 20th century, and has been divided into five phases. Each is characterized by diagnostic pottery and metal types. By the end of the 2nd millennium bc, the Urnfield Tradition had spread through Italy, northwestern Europe, and as far west as the Pyrenees. It is at this time that fortified hilltop settlements and sheet‐bronze metalworking also spread widely across Europe, leading some authorities to equate these changes with the expansion of the Celts. These links are no longer accepted.

Subjects: Archaeology

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