Compositional analyses on some Bronze Age axes from the East-Carpathians area

Anca Diana Popescu1,
Bogdan Constantinescu2,
Florin Constantin2,
1Institute of Archaeology "Vasile Pârvan" - Bucharest, România
2National Institute of Nuclear Physics and Engineering "Horia Hulubei" - Bucharest-Măgurele, România

The results of XRF analyses undertaken on 12 shaft-hole axes dated to Early and Middle Bronze Ages are presented. The shaft-hole axes, from the collection of the History Museum of Bacau, were found in the Middle Siret basin. The majority of the axes are single finds, devoid of their archaeological context; only the axe from Racatau was discovered in a settlement area. Taking into account the certain characteristics of the form, the present shaft-hole axes were attributed to different types: Corbasca, Patulele, Izvoarele, Monteoru, Filipeni, Marasti (see the types of shaft-hole axes established by Alexandru Vulpe, PBF IX/2, 1970). The axes in question are made of (low and high percent) arsenical copper, arsenical bronze and bronze (with a high content of tin, ca. 10-14%).

The elemental composition of the examined shaft-hole axes was compared with those of the axes resembling in form from other regions of Romania or outside its boundaries; the main aim of the present paper is to offer some remarks regarding the "core" area of the certain types of axes, the resource areas based upon the compositional patterns of these artifacts, and the social relations among the various communities or the elites of those times.