From Mont Viso to Slovakia: the two axeheads of Alpine jade from Golianovo - NMS Research Repository
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From Mont Viso to Slovakia: the two axeheads of Alpine jade from Golianovo

12 December 2011


Two fragments of large jadeitite axeheads were discovered in a Lengyel enclosure at Golianovo (Republic of Slovakia), close to Nitra. Spectroradiometric analysis and macroscopic characteristics indicate that, in all probability, these two artefacts — which are exceptional in this region of Europe — had come from the Neolithic quarries on Mont Viso, in the Italian Alps, some 950 km away as the crow flies.The two axehead fragments from Golianovo probably belong among the early Durrington type axeheads, which appear at the end of the 6th millennium BC. They were found associated with a large enclosure of the early Lengyel Culture (the Lužianky phase), dating to the beginning of the 5th millennium.Within a Europe that was divided between a ‘jade Europe’ in the west and a ‘copper Europe’ in the east, the Alpine axeheads from Golianovo constitute an important ‘route marker’ illustrating the circulation of socially valorised objects from northern Italy towards southeast Europe around 5000 BC. These early contacts are confirmed by the presence of axeheads made from Alpine jades in the enclosure at Kamegg and in the cemetery at Friebritz-Süd in LowerAustria, at Semerovce in Slovakia, and probably also in the cemetery at Alsónyék-Kanizsa in Hungary.


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