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Bronzefunde aus Rumänien II, (ed) Tudor Soroceanu
Biblioteca Muzeului Bistrita, Seria Historica 11; Accent, Cluj-Napoca, 2005; 501 pages, numerous illustrations, text in German and Romanian; ISBN 973-8445-81-7 (price not known)

This volume contains contributions to the publication and interpretation of Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age metalwork finds from Romania in their European context. There are three by the editor (who is based in Berlin) and fourteen others by colleagues from Romania, Germany and Ukraine. Texts are in German or Romanian language - a few bilingual, with abstracts in various languages, sometimes including French though excluding English. This does not mean, however, that the authors overlook British finds or literature.

Dr Soroceanu’s first article is a historical assessment of the contribution to the study of prehistoric metallurgy of an article published in 1913 (pp 15-46). His second deals with deposition of Late Bronze Age hoards of metal vessels (pp 387-428). This is based on a selective but wide-ranging catalogue that includes the recent find from Tamlaght in Ireland, Hattenknowe in Scotland, Broom in England and the important Rosnoën hoard with a cauldron from Saint-Ygeaux in Brittany. Four main patterns of deposition are distinguished and such aspects as the numbers of vessels and the presence of any structure around the hoard are discussed to identify the main elements for the interpretation of these deposits. This will be a valuable reference for discussion of finds new and old.

Dr Soroceanu is compiling the Prähistorische Bronzefunde volume on metal vessels from Romania and his third paper reconsiders the pair of Kurd buckets from Brâncovenesti in Translyvania (pp 429-76). Objects like these tend to stay undisturbed in their museum cases and rarely receive such thorough study. A detailed discussion concludes that the buckets are not local products of early Urnfield date, but instead late Urnfield/early Hallstatt vessels of east-Alpine origin; this allows other Romanian finds to be attributed to the same period. As the author points out (p 461 n 257) his redating of Brâncovenesti - known by its Hungarian name of Marosvécs in some British publications - could have implications for the chronology of insular buckets and we hope for publication during 2006 of Sabine Gerloff’s PBF volume on the British vessels for an up-to-date discussion of their origin. The volume concludes with a short metallurgical study of the Brâncovenesti buckets (pp 477-85).

Also of general interest is an article on the socketed hammers from Romania (pp 343-86) with a catalogue of sixty-five, including a few moulds and several examples of socketed axes reused as hammers. Other contributions deal with finds of hoards, metalworking material or collections of metalwork from Romania. Two German contributions, by Alix Hänsel and Svend Hansen, are simply Romanian translations of articles published elsewhere in German, but a third by Carola Metzner-Nebelsick (pp 317-42) summarises in Romanian (without an abstract in any language) her German publications on the chronological and cultural significance of Late Bronze and Early Iron Age hoards from Romania, including so-called ‘Thraco-Cimmerian’ material.

The first volume of Bronzefunde aus Rumänien was published in 1995 (T Soroceanu, ed, Bronzefunde aus Rumänien, Berlin, Volker Spiess, Prähistorische Archäologie in Südosteuropa 10) along similar lines, containing articles on about a dozen hoards or other finds and another by the editor on deposition of hoards and swords (pp 15-80). An index of the finds in both volumes appears in volume II (pp 487-500).

Brendan O’Connor,

Review Submitted: January 2006

The views expressed in this review are not necessarily those of the Society or the Reviews Editor.

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