Historical knowledge

Ritual feasts and drinking bouts

The exclusive golden bowls of the Bronze Age were probably used for ritual feasts or prestigious banquets. It is not clear what was drunk from the bowls. They may well have been used for alcoholic drinks. Such a drink is known from the grave of the Egtved Girl, but this is from a slightly older date. In her grave there was a bark bucket with the remains of a fermented drink brewed from wheat, cowberries or cranberries and honey. Perhaps it was a similar drink that was consumed from the valuable bowls. It must have been a special drink or occasion, since the golden cups were used.

Alcoholic drinks could lead to intoxication or trance, which might have been an important part of the rituals of the Bronze Age religion. When intoxicated a person could transcend the boundary between the everyday and the supernatural world. However, alcohol was not the only way people could achieve a trance-like state. Dance, music and lack of food, drink or sleep can also lead to such a state. Perhaps these means were also used in the ritual ceremonies of the Bronze Age.

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