NORDIC BRONZE AGE BEGINNINGS Professor Helle Vandkilde, Aarhus University, Denmark The breakthrough of the Nordic Bronze Age (NBA) took place c.1600 BCE in NBA IB, which was also the period when Southern Scandinavia emerged as a cultural koiné in clear outline within Bronze Age Europe. This paper seeks to uncover some of the underlying incentives and historical pathways. Indigenous ore sources were largely ignored, arguably because of a strong cultural tradition for looking south for new materials and inspiration: Desire for bronze and gold objects and the associated metallurgy based on foreign metal were keys to this steady European linkage as well drivers in local change, no doubt, but do not stand isolated. Rich warrior assemblages take centre stage as they hold extraordinary weaponry decorated with, or accompanied by, cosmological symbols. Weapon forms and decoration pinpoint the Carpathian Basin, and secondly the Eurasian steppes, as crucial for the appearance of the NBA as a cultural force in its own right around 1600 BCE. The paper tentatively concludes that in this socio-cultural process of change new warrior ideals were sustained by the transmission of reformed ideas of the constitution of cosmos.