Universiteit Leiden

nl en

'Ritual' deposition of eggs in the Bronze Age

A well-known feature of North-west European Bronze Age culture is the deposition of metal objects, notably swords, in swamps and rivers. Recent archaeological fieldwork seems to point out, that the Bronze Age societies also deposited eggs. In several archaeological excavations, eggs were found in a wide variety of contexts, namely in the corners of structures or covered by pottery shards.

Purposely hidden

"It almost seems as if these eggs were purposely hidden," Professor David Fontijn reflects on the findings. "If that is the case, then that might also give us some insight in the reason why metal objects were discarded. If you follow this argument, we could conclude that we only find the eggs and swords that were hidden extremely well, namely in rivers and swamps."

Traces of paint

On some eggs, traces of paint have been found, adding weight to the suggestion that the eggs had ritualistic meanings. “We mostly see geometric shapes. The colors have faded in time, but preliminary research points out that they must have been brightly colored once.”

Egged on

More research will need to be done before any certain conclusions can be made, but it is clear the European Prehistory department has been egged on by this new perspective. Voices have been raised to change the project’s name into Eggonomies of Destruction.

Television interview

On Easter Sunday a television interview with David Fontijn will be held on NPO3. See for more information the website of NPO.

This website uses cookies.  More information.