First evidence for the forging of gold in an Early Bronze Age Site of Central Europe (2200–1800 BCE)

Title alternative


Evidence of gold processing in the fortified site of Bruszczewo (Poland) is the first testimony of the production of gold artefacts in a domestic Early Bronze Age site of Central Europe. This paper highlights the potential of macrolithic tool ensembles as a key element for the recognition of metallurgical work processes. Moreover, it presents an optimised methodological approach to tackle the application of stone tools in metallurgical production, based on technological characterisation, use-wear analysis, portable X-ray fluorescence, transmission electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Finally, the absence of gold sources in Central Europe raises the question about the origin of the metal, constituting an especially striking issue, as gold was a raw material of restricted access. As Bruszczewo was one of the few enclosed Early Bronze Age sites north of the Central European Mountain Range, the patterning of metal processing (including gold) sheds light on the mode of the production of metal artefacts, apparently restricted to central sites of power, which controlled the communication trails.




Bronze Age Goldworking, Bronze Age archaeology, Prehistoric technology, Bronze Age metalworking


Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 2023, Vol. 47, 103748.




Title Alternative

Rights Creative Commons

Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego