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date: 21 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines Iron Age cultural developments and population movements in the zone centred on the Oder and Vistula basins. Throughout the period, demand for Baltic amber promoted contacts with other parts of Europe, first seen in Italian imports and Hallstatt influences in the Lusatian culture. Much archaeological evidence for the various regional cultures is funerary (predominantly cremation cemeteries), allowing changes in social system to be discerned. After c.500 BC, increasing La Tène influence is apparent, with some areas experiencing Celtic settlement. In the Roman Iron Age, high-status burials along the ‘amber road’and prestige Roman goods indicate the emergence of a more hierarchical society, and ironworking reached near-industrial levels in the Holy Cross mountains. The chapter concludes by examining links between the archaeological record and documented population movements of the Migration period; the Wielbark culture of the lower Vistula region can be equated with the Goths.

Keywords: culture, cremation burial, barrow, amber trade, imports, migration, social structure, settlement, ironworking

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