The Blossoming of the Atlantean Empire in Middle Europe,
the Bronze Age (18,30a)

by Karl Juergen Hepke

The Bronze Age began in the area between Alps and North-Sea around 2300 B.C. First traces of weapons and tools or jewelry from the new alloy of copper and tin are found at the middle and upper Elbe and in the region of southern Germany. In these regions had been already extracting and processing of copper in the younger Neolithic and with that the basis for a progressive metal technic was given. From where the knowledge came, that with the addition of 10 % tin to the molten copper the processing and the quality of the product was considerably improved, is resting still open. For the region of western Europe it could have been developed at the Iberian peninsula, because here were copper and tin deposits well workable and connected with water ways. Also a progressive knowledge of metal extracting and of silver, copper and gold processing had here a longer tradition.

The knowledge of the production of bronze can have reached the middle and upper Elbe by the water way Atlantic, North-Sea, Elbe with the people of "bell-formed-ceramic" who practised far reaching commerce , as has been proved. To southern Germany came this knowledge probably by the way Aegaeis, Black Sea , Danube. This was also a way of spreading of knowledge and culture in the Neolithic.

If the knowledge of the new alloy in the Aegaeis came also from the West, Iberia, or from the East, the mountain regions of Iran, to Troja, can perhaps be cleared up by extensive metallurgical examination of first products of bronze in the Aegaeis, so far these are available. Until now one does only know, that the first alloys of copper with improved quality from the regions of Iran were alloys with Arsenic , which was a natural part of the here found ore. Also iron was a part of this ore, but was unwelcome and ended in the slag. But there were also deposits of tin in Iran and with that was given, as in Iberia, the precondition for the production of tin-bronze.

The first culture of bronze in middle Europe at the upper and middle Elbe is called "culture of Aunjetitz" and is dated for the time from 2300 to 1500 B.C. It developed from the here resident culture of "bell-formed-tumbler", which had already practised copper processing. Tin and copper came from the Erzgebirge and the oldest objects of with them produced bronze were found in Unetice ( in German "Aunjetitz") near Prag and published in 1910. This publishing gave the name to the culture.

By examination of numerous fields of graves in Middle-Germany much is known about the here resident Aunjetitz people. They were as descendants of the people of "bell-formed-tumbler" relatively tall. Men had in the middle 1,71 m in maximum 1,78 m. The most tall woman reached 1,66 m. The skulls of an at Soemmerda in Thuringia resident group were unusual long, very narrow and extremely high. The chin was higher than that of men of today. Men reached no long age, in average they died with 37 years, women with 35,8 years. Only 17,4 percent of man were older than 40 years, of women only 4,3 percent. The condition of their teeth was bad. Every fourth had tooth decay, 80 percent had beginning of paradontosis, which began often at youth. One woman had alterations at the skull, pointing out to a tumour. In this group were made three operations of the skull of which two were successful , discernible from traces of recovery.

The "Aunjetitz´s" wore clothes from woven material. There were found indications of looms and prints from cloth at rings of bronze. The typical needle for cloth was the "Cypriot Bow Needle" , which is known from Cyprus and Egypt. The needles are taken for local production but are an indication of far reaching cultural contacts in the Atlantian Empire. Traces of settlements are mainly found from the late time, from which houses and fortified and not fortified settlements on hills could be proved. The considerable big houses were erected with posts. They reached sizes of 27 m to 6 m. The fortified settlements lied predominantly at roads of far reaching commerce in front of mountain passes, at fords, forks or crossroads. Obviously was commerce controlled in style of castles . Other settlements were in the neighbourhood of rich deposits of ore near the surface. The distance of "castles" was between 15 and 35 Km. With preference they were erected at places where nature gave additional protection. So at mountain spurs and oxbows of rivers.

The "people of Aunjetitz" lived as the farmers of New Stone Age. They cultivated cereals as barley , emmer and single corn and grew cows, pigs, sheeps and goats as domestic animals. Skeletons of horses were often found in the proximity of human burials. As ceramic was mainly produced crockery for daily use. A new product were so called "idols of bread", pieces of ceramic with insertions, which are now taken for stamps, objects of cult or weights for the loom. They are mainly found in countries of eastern middle Europe and in the whole region of the Danube.

The blossoming of bronze production, when were manufactured big lots of it, was in the late time of the Aunjetitz people about 1650 B.C. In this time you can speak of mass production of standard articles. In possibly by dealers created depots in the soil were found blades of daggers, rings for arm and leg, spirals of wire, axes of different form and semicircular bended ingots of bronze in often numerous numbers of pieces.

It is supposed that standard forms of axes and ingots from bronze were used as a sort of money in the normally practised commerce by exchange.

The ore for bronze came from the mountains of middle Germany, the Harz and its foothills, the wood of Thuringia, the Vogtland and the Erzgebirge. Possibly also from Alps and Carpathian Mountains. The bronze was cast in forms of clay as "lost-form" or in forms of metal, which could be used again.

Rich finds of depots were made in the district of Halle/Saale in Saxony-Anhalt. One suppose that this relates with the production of salt in that region. Salt was possibly paid with products of bronze as "money". The finds in this depots reached sometimes a weight of 100 Kg. Also the graves here were richly provided with burial gifts from bronze. In spite of the plentiful supply with bronze were further used the tools, known from the New Stone Age, of stone, bones and antlers. Out of the early stages are known daggers from flint, imported from northern Germany, which were mainly used for the cut up of meat. The partly poisonous products of corrosion of copper, bronze and lead-containing tin were hence known or one feared the detracting of taste caused by them.

A completely new form of weapon was the "shafted dagger", which is called in South-Germany "Atlantian Dagger". It has a long shaft of wood at which is fastened like an axe by an eye in an angle of 90° a dagger in form of a sharp triangle with a rib in the middle. In depictions at cliffs and stones in Scandinavia, Italy and Germany the shaft is often very long and the dagger is presented like a pennant. These shafted daggers are widespread in the whole area of the Atlantian Empire, from Iberia to the Balkans and from Italy to Scandinavia, an indication, that they had a big roll in the all joining cult.

Further proofs for the far reaching cultural relationships are the reproduction of a Vaphio tumbler from the culture of Mykene found near Halberstadt in Saxony, a cup from Mykene, found near Celle in Lower Saxony and blue and green pearls of Fayance, also from the region of Mykene. In counter move in Mykene was found amber from the Northgerman area. In a grave in the district of Delitzsch in Saxony were found together with local jewelry from bronze and pearls of amber a little dagger and a dagger-formed knife resembling finds in the Aegaeis.

For commerce over large distance were used carts with cows as draught animal. Horses were also bred. At the skull of a skeleton of a horse were found two tusks of a boar, which are taken for gags of a snaffle and are pointing out to the use of horses for riding.

From the richly found jewelry from gold in the "graves of princes" in Saxony, Thuringia and Bohemia one can conclude, that there was made much "money" with the production and commerce of bronze and one can really speak of a "golden age".

Also in other aspect were the funerals of the rich very lavish. In continuation of the custom of graves with big stones they were often buried in chests of stones made from hewed stone slabs. One did not shrink from reuse of slabs from older graves of the culture of big stones, which were partly covered with engraving. Over the chest of stone were piled up other stones and than all covered with a hill from earth. So it was the style of a progressive grave of big stones without the use of them. Normal people were buried in fields of graves. The position of the dead was the same in all graves. They lied on the side, head to the south, legs to the North, looking to the East to the rising sun. In late times of the culture when the wealth of princes had considerably grown were erected huts from hewn trunks and planks of oaks for them.

One in Soemmerda in Thuringia found such grave was 3,5 m long, 1,5 m large and 1,3 m high. The oaks for the beams were felled after 1940 B.C.. Above the hut was also here the hill of stones and then the cover of earth, so that the hill had a height of 8,5 m and a diameter of over 30 m. These grave hills can easily compete with the grave hills out of the time of big stone graves. Another grave like this comes from 1840 B.C.

In the fields of graves in which were often found more than 100 graves, were already separated places for extended families. Predominantly was buried in pits of earth, but there are also examples of a planking with wood of the pit. Near Nordhausen in
Thuringia were found burials of two ore three men, in which were the dead lied one over the other, partly clamped with their legs. Some suppose that this were lovers, even in death inseparable. A grave in which were buried twelve persons instead of the intended two is pointing out to warring events or a natural catastrophe in mining. Three of the dead had injuries of the skull caused by sharp stones or axes of bronze.

Similar to the people of Aunjetitz was the development of culture in other groups of this time. The Bronze Age began here later and it was not acquired such wealth. In these groups men were mainly farmer and cattle breeder. Because they had no metal production they looked for the manufacturing of ceramic and produced tools of stone. Their objects of bronze were in the beginning imported. Later on they had own production with acquired ingots of bronze or produced their own bronze.

In North Germany came into being about 2300 B.C. the cultural environments of the "Early Nordic Bronze Age" and the "Environment of Soegel-Wohlde" in the South-West of Bremen. A speciality of this environment was the first occurrence of swords from bronze in short form. These swords are known from
Iberia. The Romans took them from there and called them "gladum". In Mecklenburg began the Bronze Age at 1800 B.C.. The here imported products were highly developed and so one found here the finest shafted daggers and axes and fine designed daggers. In the South of Germany developing groups or cultures of the Bronze Age were partly influenced by the culture of Aunjetitz, partly they had influence from the East by the Danube, partly they had a certain private life like the "Culture of Straubing." South-West Germany and Switzerland were influenced as in the New Stone Age by the Saone from France.

The Middle Bronze Age is usually counted from 1600 to 1300 B.C. .For reason of the now acquired knowledge it should be counted until 1250 B.C. because the Late Bronze Age, which has a quite other character, can than better be recognized. In the Middle Bronze Age all in middle Europe settling groups of people mastered the casting of bronze and that often with highest perfection.

The usual culture of burials was in this time from the East of France as far as the Carpathian Mountains in Hungary the burial of the dead in artificially erected hills. In the Mediterranean area and in the with it by the Atlantian Empire associated parts of middle Europe was this the time of highest blossoming of culture. A comparable level was in middle Europe not reached until 1200 A.C. In by Greece handed down history this time was called

"The Golden Age"


In this time reached the culture of the Bronze Age the whole area of
North Germany, big parts of Poland, Denmark and South Sweden with excellent worked out tools, weapons and jewelry. An outstanding importance had as before the water way of the Elbe with its tributaries Moldau and Saale. Beneath it wins the Oder importance. People of this time are descendants of that, here living before. There is no considerable immigration or change of population. Sometimes women of one group married in another group which lived more distant than 100 km. This is shown by graves with unusual jewelry in rich furnished graves. A sign for peaceful communication and stable conditions. Obviously some princes searched their wife in other princely houses for care of political relations. But the increasing wealth had no influence to the quality of life because men lived not longer as before. Also the symptoms of illness changed not. Possibly has the steadily growing population prevented from an improvement of individual life.

Apart from bronze appears increasing yellow gold with high content of silver as burial object. Also ceramic is varied and creative designed and decorated. Obviously some artists or schools give free run to fantasy. This is also valid for the design of jewelry. New are needles with wheels, elaborate decorated hilts of swords and golden "hats" in form of a cone with half-ball formed decoration at the cone and a large brim. Their use is still unknown. They show the excellent level of metal working of that time with the height of the cone of 31 cm and a thickness of only 0,25 mm with decrease at the brim to 0,1 mm. One of these hats was found in the land of Nuremberg in Bavaria, one near Ludwigshafen at the Rhine and one near Poitiers in France. All come from the time between 1300 and 1200 B.C.
.
The long distance of the places of finds lets raise the thought that they were a sort of royal signs, like a crown, with which the king or main priest of that area made impression at celebrations. After other opinion was the hat the top of a post as symbol of the sun or a god. One of the recent theories means that the impressed signs are containing a secret calendar of the priests. Also the Hittits had similar symbols.

Another find of gold from the district of Rhine-Sieg is finding also parallels at different places of the Atlantian Empire. It is a big tumbler of gold containing nearly one liter and a weight of 220 g. Similar tumblers were found in Rillaton in England, Eschenz in the North of Switzerland and in the shaft-grave IV in Mykene.

The wealth of the group of Aunjetitz at the middle and upper Elbe corresponded to the wealth of the groups of Lueneburg and Stade at the lower Elbe. These groups had developed from groups of the Big Stone Age probably with immigration. The southern bank of the Elbe had obviously high strategic and traffic-wise importance. Here were the last foot hills of solid ground with connection to the country behind them and therefore here crossed the ways along the coast from South to North with the important water way of the Elbe, which connected the rich deposits of metal at the middle and upper Elbe with other countries of the Atlantian Empire. The people of Stade provided boats for transport across or along the Elbe and cow carts for the way to the South over land. The find of four wheels from bronze, which belonged once to chariots, shows that there was also a military basis protecting the ways of commerce.

The people of Stade buried with preference in graves with chests of stones covered with hills of earth. Some of these hill graves can still be seen at the rand of the hinterland in higher position with best sight into the valley of the Elbe. Also in the hinterland were higher situated places in the hilly country preferred places for the building of hill graves. Often they are situated in the neighbourhood of Big Stone Graves, for the building of which were often chosen similar places. The same is valid for the to the South-East bordering group of Lueneburg. In their prime time their country reached from the Elbe as far as the district of Wildeshausen.

For both regions were important rand areas of the Atlantian Empire the far reaching culture is indicated in signifying finds. The structure of the country, which knows dry sandy soils as marshes and bogs, provided over that the at least partly conservation of perishable material as wood, leather and fabrics.

So there are known from the group of Lueneburg bonnets with wings from wool or leather, which were only worn by the female head of the family. They remember with their highly decorated fez-formed middle part, at which were sewed decorated wigs, reaching to the height of the chin, to the head decoration of the pharao of Egypt. As outer clothing was worn by the women stiff bell-formed capes made from leather or felt with cut like a poncho. They were richly decorated with ornamentation from bronze. With it was worn fitting to the season a longer or shorter skirt. The short skirt allowed to show favourably whole sets of leg jewelry. Obviously there was also pinafore dress, primarily worn in summer. Corresponding to the custom, known from Crete, the bust rested than uncovered. Married women took needles, long to 30 cm, with a wheel formed decoration at one side, to pin together a wrap around scarf. Other decoration of women were scrutinized and ribbed collars and so-called "hanging-discs", which were probably carried at the belt. Collar, needle and hanging-disc were often with the same order of spirals and other decoration a corresponding set.

The clothing of men was also kept together by needles from bronze. But nearly without exception they were less decorated. Besides men wore a ring of bronze at both arms. As weapon men had axe and dagger, both from bronze or bow with quiver and dagger. The combination axe and bow is missing. One was either near or far fighter. From the different furnished graves one can clearly discern social differences. This finds its expression again in the size of the grave. In the later time important dead were buried in "houses of dead", which were sometimes burned with him . Over the ashes was than piled up the hill of burial. Mostly only one person was buried under a hill. But there were also graves of mother and child, man and wife or two men or even three or four persons beneath the same hill. Sometimes they were buried at the same time, sometimes one after the other.

A special kind of burial was discovered in the Lueneburg Heath and a small stripe along the lower Elbe. Here were built for individual female persons "houses of dead" which were open to all sides. They consisted of six to eight posts at the side and had a roof. the houses were burnt during or after the funeral and covered with a hill of earth. In these graves never was found the otherwise usual jewelry of woman. One suppose therefore, that they were not married. Before it is known, that young women and children were preferred as sacrifice it is possible that these "dead" were at first still alive and were sacrificed to the god of weather or the god of the Elbe in the case of thunderstorms or storm tides to calm him. 2500 years later the bishop of Bremen described this heathen custom that it was practised still than by the vikings at Stockholm. In this case the victim was after his words raped by six men before it was killed. This can be a worsening slander as they were customary in this time in dealings with the customs of the "heathens".

Also the burial of died "at the same time" in the same grave can be taken as sacrifice of near relatives. One speaks here of the custom of "following death". As is known this custom was practised until our times in India as so called "burning of the widow" and was first forbidden in the time of British rule in India.

To means for sacrifices are also taken the often found stones with a groove. Here is a stone nearly one meter large provided with a surrounding groove several centimeters deep. This is often called groove of blood. With it are combined sacrifices of animals. But there were no bones found near these stones, only raised results of phosphate in the soil are pointing out to use of organic material near it. It is possible that these stones were only used as anchors on ships or as weight for a technical use.

In the region of the group of Stade were found several graves in which were buried noble fighters. Also with this is shown the strategic importance of this area. The graves contained rich burial gifts. A speciality are richly decorated razors and rests of a chair, which you could fold up, from wood and leather, richly ornamented with jewelry from bronze.

Similar chairs were found in Juetland and in the North-West of Mecklenburg. They are also known from the graves of pharaohs of Egypt. Frequent burial gifts in this region were swords. Men were usually buried not burnt. Above the grave was built a hill.

A special find from this area is beside the already mentioned four wheels of chariots a stone with picture of three human beings in peculiar posture. One has raised his hands as for praying but for that unusually spread his fingers. The figure in the middle of the group holds high raised an object as an axe or a shafted dagger, maybe as ritual device. The right, turned away figure is carrying a not to identify object in his wide extended hands.

Following the posture it offers a gift. Right and left of this figure are two deepened bowls. All figures are naked and have faces remembering to birds. The depiction has parallels in the paintings at rocks in
North Africa. Faces remembering to birds are also found at the Narmer pallet in Egypt. There were many speculations about this picture. At times one saw in them the three gods of the Teutons which are mentioned by Caesar and Tacitus. Actually one could say that they are remembering to the extraterrestrials of Roswell.

A further speciality of North-West Germany are the here found "stones of sun".

They are made from big field stones large 1m to 1m with a weight unto 5000 kg. The material is mostly red granite. At one side they are graded and bear unto 17 concentric deepened circles. Mostly they have a hole or deepening in the center. About their meaning also nothing is known. Possibly they had a ritual purpose in the passed Big Stone Age or were a part of a grave which was destroyed in christian times. The exactness of working can also point out to a stencil, used for the production of round objects from wood or metal, perhaps for wheels.

While jewelry in the area South of the Elbe was mostly made from bronze is in the region North of the Elbe, the so-called "land of amber" , often used gold for jewelry.

It is, as the bronze, often used as spirale of wire for the keeping of hair or as ring at the finger. Mostly this gold jewelry is worn by man. The gold is supposed to come from
Ireland, but also the region of the Alps or Siebenbuergen can be its country of origin.

Continuation in part 2: The Effects of the Catastrophe of 1250 B.C. .

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Read to this in English: The History of Atlantis, the forgotten Origin of our Culture          By Karl Juergen Hepke

Or as a book in German language:

 

DIE GESCHICHTE VON ATLANTIS, der vergessene Ursprung unserer Kultur
by Karl Juergen Hepke
TRIGA-DER VERLAG, D 63584 Gruendau-Rothenbergen, Germany, 2nd Edition, Hardcover, 268 Pages, EUR 22,00, ISBN 978-3-89774-539-1 ,

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