Images of birds, particularly waterfowl, were one of the most frequent iconographic themes explored by craftspeople working in bronze and clay during the European Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age. Bird-shaped and bird-ornamented clay vessels, rattles and figurines occur in many different regions across the vast swathe of the continent. While the ideas and the symbolism at the root of this widespread manifestation were at least broadly shared and had their origin in the Bronze Age belief system, the ways in which different communities adopted and expressed these ideas in clay varied from one region to another. The maps show the overall distribution of the ceramic bird-shaped objects dating to these periods: Map 1 – Middle Bronze Age to Early Iron Age bird-shaped ceramic vessels, protomes and figurines; Map 2 – Middle Bronze Age to Early Iron Age bird-shaped rattles in Europe.
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