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Tumulus cultures

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Title: Tumulus cultures  
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Subject: Celts
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Tumulus cultures

For other uses, see Tumulus (disambiguation).
Bronze Age

Near East (3600-1200 BC)

Caucasus, Anatolia, Levant, Indus valley, Mesopotamia, Elam, Jiroft, Bronze Age collapse

Europe (3200-600 BC)

Aegean Civilization
Caucasus (Maykop culture)
Basarabi culture
Coțofeni culture
Pecica culture
Otomani culture
Wietenberg culture
Catacomb culture
Srubna culture
Beaker culture
Unetice culture
Tumulus culture
Urnfield culture
Hallstatt culture
Atlantic Bronze Age
Bronze Age Britain
Nordic Bronze Age
Romanian Bronze Age
Southeastern European Bronze Age
Italian Bronze Age

Indian Subcontinent (3300-1200 BC)

China (3000-700 BC)

Upper Oxus (2300-1700 BC)

arsenical bronze
writing, literature
sword, chariot

Iron Age

The Tumulus culture dominated Central Europe during the Middle Bronze Age (ca. 1600 BC to 1200 BC).

It was the descendant of the Unetice culture. Its heartland was the area previously occupied by the Unetice culture besides Bavaria and Württemberg. It was succeeded by the Late Bronze Age Urnfield culture.

As the name implies, the Tumulus culture is distinguished by the practice of burying the dead beneath kurgan burial mounds (tumuli).

In 1902 Paul Reinecke distinguished a number of cultural horizons based on research of bronze age hoards and tumuli in South Germany that he designated A-D. The A period and C period were further divided into an A1, A2 and C1 and C2 horizon. The time periods covered by these cultural horizons is shown in the table below. The tumulus culture or “ Hügelgräberkultur“ was prevalent during the Bronze period B, C1, and C2. Tumuli have been used elsewhere in Europe from the Stone age to the Iron Age and the term Tumulus culture specifically refers to South German Tumulus Bronze Age Culture. In the table Ha designates Hallstatt. Archaeological horizons Hallstatt A-B are part of the Bronze Age Urnfield culture, while horizons Hallstatt C-D are the type site for the Iron Age Hallstatt Culture.

Central European Bronze Age
Late Bronze Age
Ha B2/3 800–950 v. Chr.
Ha B1 950–1050 v. Chr.
Ha A2 1050–1100 v. Chr.
Ha A1 1100–1200 v. Chr.
Bz D 1200–1300 v. Chr.
Middle Bronze Age
Bz C2 1300–1400 v. Chr.
Bz C1 1400–1500 v. Chr.
Bz B 1500–1600 v. Chr.
Early Bronze Age
Bz A2 1600–2000 v. Chr.
Bz A1 2000–2200 v. Chr.

See also


  • Nora Kershaw Chadwick, J. X. W. P. Corcoran, The Celts (1970), p. 27.[1]
  • Barbara Ann Kipfer, Encyclopedic Dictionary of Archaeology (2000)
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