Transalpine Mobility and Cultural Transfer

Links and Functions
Language Selection

Breadcrumb Navigation


SP04: Mobility and social dynamics in Southern Bavaria and the North Tyrolean Inn Valley during the Urnfield Culture (13.-9. cent. BC).

Principal investigator: Prof. Dr. C. Metzner-Nebelsick

Grünwald - Grab 32Based upon the study of burial rituals in the Urnfield Culture in southern Bavaria (1300 – 800 BC), this subproject examines the reasons for the close cultural affiliation with the upper Inn Valley. Combined with the results obtained from the anthropological examinations, special focus will be directed to questions about the nature and dimension of mobility, migration, and cultural transfer.

The analysis of burial rites for the region as well as the anthropological analysis are incomplete, yet constitute a fundamental aspect of this research. Southern Bavaria plays a key role for the investigation of the European Late Bronze Age, primarily because of the emergence of unprecedented phenomena characteristic for social hierarchy in the 13th and 12th century BC (e.g. first burial of carriage driving warriors in Central Europe). An active role of southern Bavarian society in the copper trade, potentially also in the exploitation of copper ores in the upper Inn Valley with its burial sites (North Tyrolean Urnfields), is suggested as the reason since a high accordance in terms of burial equipment and the type spectrum of grave goods is evidenced. While the development of the Urnfield Culture in southern Bavaria from a local cultural substrate is understood, new burial sites were founded at various places in the North Tyrolean upper Inn Valley from ca. 1300 BC onwards.

Accordingly, they were interpreted as indicators of migration originating from the northern Alpine area. For the first time it will be possible through the analysis of stable isotopic ratios of strontium and lead in cremations to provide answers as to whether this phenomenon was due to immigration or acculturation, and also its duration.