The lower reaches of the Daugava in the Mesolithic and Neolithic were sparsely populated until
the second half of the Early Bronze Age (1800–1100 BC). The situation began to change from
the 14th century BC, when the process of Neolithisation was over, and the local communities
switched completely to animal husbandry and agriculture. In terms of social and economic relations,
the area reached its highest level of development in the Late Bronze Age (1100–500 BC),
which continued, albeit with a downward trend, in the Earliest Iron Age (500–1 BC). The article
discusses the conditions that promoted the economic prosperity and social development of societies
in the lower reaches of the Daugava in the direction of differentiation. The most important
condition for this development was the involvement of lower Daugava societies in the long-distance
exchange network between Scandinavia and the Volga-Kama region, where the main object
of exchange was bronze, and the related focus on the processing of it in downstream centres.
These metal products, weapons and jewellery, and their limited availability, were elements in the
demonstration of social prestige. With the spread of local iron metallurgy in Eastern Europe and
Scandinavia, the long-distance exchange of bronze lost its former importance. Consequently, the
main bronze processing centres in the lower reaches of the Daugava also declined, and a collapse
occurred in the existing socio-economic system.