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Unetice Culture (c. 2300-1600 BCE)

Quick Facts

  • Associated with the diffusion of Proto-Germanic and Proto-Celto-Italic speakers.
  • Emergence of chiefdoms. Long-distance trade in bronze, amber, faience and gold prestige goods.
  • Widespread use of bronze. Gold, copper and bronze objects include torcs, flat axes, halberds, flat triangular daggers, bracelets with spiral-ends, disk- and paddle-headed pins and curl rings.
  • Coarse pottery typically decorated with twisted cord impressions, and sometimes with other types of impressions or incisions.
  • The dead were inhumed in flat graves or in barrows/tumuli for richer burials. Corpses were accompanied by ceramic vessels, jewellery, personal items made of bronze or bone, and occasionally flint tools. Coffins were sometimes used.
Distribution of the Unetice Culture

Historical context of the Unetice culture

Map of early to middle Bronze Age cultures in Europe between 2500 and 2000 BCE - Eupedia

Genetic Analysis

Y-DNA & mtDNA

MtDNA samples from the East Bell Beaker (Proto-Unetice) and Unetice cultures
Hg R/HV H V J T1 T2 U2 U4 U5 U8 K I W X
East Bell Beaker (Proto-Unetice) (n=47) 1 20 0 1 2 2 1 3 9 0 4 1 3 0
% 2% 42.5% 0% 2% 4.5% 4.5% 2% 6.5% 19% 0% 8.5% 2% 6.5% 0%
Unetice (n=87) 2 18 3 6 2 7 7 2 13 2 9 8 4 4
% 2.5% 20.5% 3.5% 7% 2.5% 8% 8% 2.5% 15% 2.5% 10.5% 9% 4.5% 4.5%

The following mtDNA and Y-DNA samples were tested by Allentoft et al. (2015).

Sample Y-DNA mtDNA Location Date
RISE109 - U4 Wojkowice, Poland 1850 BCE
RISE139 - U2e1f1 Chociwel, Poland 2050 BCE
RISE145 - H6a1b Polwica, Poland 2100 BCE
RISE150 - U5a1b1 Przeclawice, Poland 1750 BCE
RISE154 - K1a4a1 Szczepankowice, Poland 1850 BCE
RISE577 - T2b Velke Prilepy, Czech Republic ?
RISE577 - K1b1a Moravska Nova Vez, Czech Republic ?

The following mtDNA and Y-DNA samples were tested by Haak et al. (2015).

Sample Y-DNA mtDNA Location Date
I0047 - V9 Halberstadt-Sonntagsfeld, Germany 1950 BCE
I0114 I2a2 I3a Esperstedt, Germany 2050 BCE
I0115 - U5a1i Esperstedt, Germany 1850 BCE
I0116 I2c2 W3a1 Esperstedt, Germany 2050 BCE
I0117 - I3a Esperstedt, Germany 2130 BCE
I0164 - U5b2a1b Quedlinburg VIII, Germany 1950 BCE
I0803 - H4a1a1 Eulau, Germany 2050 BCE
I0804 I2 H3 Eulau, Germany 2050 BCE

The following mtDNA and Y-DNA samples were tested by Adler, C.J. (2012), Lee et al. (2012), Brandt et al. (2013) and Brotherton et al. (2013). Some samples were reported as belonging to the Bell Beaker culture (see explanation in the Corded Ware section above).

Samples from Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

  • HV6
  • H (x7)
  • H2a1a3
  • H4a1a1a
  • H5 (x2)
  • H6a1b3
  • H7h
  • H11a
  • H82a
  • I (x2)
  • I1
  • I1a1 (x2)
  • I3a
  • K (x3)
  • K1a (x2)
  • K1a24a
  • K2
  • J (x2)
  • J1b1a1
  • J1c2e
  • J1c3f
  • J2b1a
  • T1
  • T1a
  • T2 (x2)
  • T2b (x3)
  • T2c
  • R
  • U2
  • U2e1
  • U2e1f (x2)
  • U2e2 (x2)
  • U4
  • U5
  • U5a (x2)
  • U5a1 (x3)
  • U5a1a'g
  • U5a2a
  • U5b1a'b
  • U5b2b3a1a
  • U8a1a
  • U8b1a1
  • V (x2)
  • W
  • W3a1 (x2)
  • X (x4)

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