Vol. 2020 (2022): Communicationes Archaeologicae Hungariae

The Essence of Power: A Middle Bronze Age Gold Armlet from Tápióbicske (Central Hungary)

Published 2022-03-03


  • gold armlets with crescent-shaped terminals, Carpathian Basin, Middle Bronze Age, Br A2–Br B1, Bilje

How to Cite

Tarbay, J. G. (2022). The Essence of Power: A Middle Bronze Age Gold Armlet from Tápióbicske (Central Hungary). Communicationes Archaeologicae Hungariae, 2020, 19–55. https://doi.org/10.54640/CAH.2020.19


The study discusses a new gold armlet from Tápióbicske (Pest County, HU), a unique masterpiece of the Carpathian Middle Bronze Age. This exceptional find belongs to the group of gold armlets with crescent-shaped terminals. Its best parallel is the Bilje (HR) gold armlet. The results of stylistic analysis of the patterns on the Tápióbicske gold armlet suggest that these sheet metal gold armlets may be associated with the gold and bronze products from the Br A2 (Hajdúsámson horizon) and Br B1 (Koszider horizon) periods. Pottery discovered during the field survey of the site also supports the Middle Bronze Age dating. It seems plausible that the find was manufactured and probably deposited around the time of the Koszider period (Br B1, 1600–1450 BC), based on the chronological range of parallels, especially gold ones and the fine analysis and comparison of the chased, and embossed patterns on the Tápióbicske gold armlet, as well as on the general tendency of gold object deposition during the Middle Bronze Age in the eastern part of the Carpathian Basin. Regarding the material of the armlet, its technological and stylistic character, along with its symbolical depictions, it is undoubtedly a special product intentionally made for a member of the Middle Bronze Age elite, probably at the highest level of the local hierarchy.