11: Precursors 2 – Austria, Bratislava & Brno

This time the sampling trips practically followed the Danube river starting from Linz to Tull’n an der Donau, Vienna and Bratislava. Beyond that there were excursions to Wiener Neustadt, Asparn an der Zaya and Graz as well as Brno in Czechia. This area in the northern Alps again held many of the suggested precursors to the Sögel and Wohlde blades such as type Statzendorf, Haidershofen and Gamprin. Steadily more and more of these blades are added to the database and their analysis will soon tell whether the northern blades are related to their Central European cousins beyond their similarities in shape.

This time we were allowed to sample one of the much rarer Sögel precursors with a round hilt-plate from the Alpine region. Because they are so rare they are absolutely crucial for the project as otherwise there would still be a research gap for one of our main typologies. Beyond that we were able to include a unique trapezoid blade, possibly of Statzendorf type, that had the typical decoration that is also present on Sögel blades. Having a decorated trapezoid blade is still highly unusual as it is indicative of hybridisation between a trapezoid blade design and a decorative tradition that would otherwise be present on round hilt-plate blades. That is why the cooperation by museums regarding the study of precursors is absolutely vital. Therefore, we are again very grateful to all the museums that were willing to participate in our project