View Full Version : The Bell-Beaker Culture

Thursday, September 15th, 2005, 02:25 AM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ea/Beaker_culture.png/250px-Beaker_culture.png (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Beaker_culture.png) http://en.wikipedia.org/skins-1.5/common/images/magnify-clip.png (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Beaker_culture.png) approximate extent of the Beaker culture

The Beaker culture (also Bell-Beaker culture, Beaker people, or Beaker folk, German Glockenbecherkultur), ca. 2600 — 1900 BC, is the term for a widely but spottily scattered archaeological culture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeological_culture) of prehistoric (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehistory) western Europe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europe) starting in the late Neolithic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neolithic) (stone age (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_age)) running into the early bronze age (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronze_age).

Extent - Its remains have been found in what is now Portugal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portugal), Spain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spain), France (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/France) (excluding the central massif), Great Britain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Britain) and Ireland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ireland), the Low Countries (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_Countries), and Germany (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germany) between the Elbe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elbe) and Rhine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhine), with an extention along the upper Danube (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danube) into the Vienna basin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna_basin) (Austria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austria)), with Mediterranean (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mediterranean) outposts on Sardinia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sardinia) and Sicily (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sicily); there is less certain evidence for direct penetration in the east.
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Pottery - Beaker culture are defined by the common use of a pottery (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pottery) style -- a beaker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaker_%28archaeology%29) with a distinctive bell-shaped profile found across the western part of the Continent during the late 3rd millennium BC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3rd_millennium_BC). Some of these beakers are quite beautiful. The beakers seem to be associated with the consumption of mead (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mead) and are likely part of a larger prestige-oriented cultural package.
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B]Origin[/B] - The Beaker culture apparently derives from early Corded Ware culture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corded_Ware_culture) elements, with the Netherlands/Rhineland region as probably the most widely accepted site of origin, (James P. Mallory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JP_Mallory),EIEC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EIEC) p. 53). It is often suggested as a candidate for an early Indo-European culture.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/d/d9/Beakerculture.jpg/300px-Beakerculture.jpg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Beakerculture.jpg) http://en.wikipedia.org/skins-1.5/common/images/magnify-clip.png (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Beakerculture.jpg)

Beaker culture objects

In contrast to this, Marija Gimbutas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marija_Gimbutas) derived the Beakers from east central European cultures that became "Kurganized (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurgan)" by incursions of steppe tribes. Despite this, an eastern origin is not often sought, even by supporters of the Kurgan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurgan) hypothesis.
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Given the unusual form and fabric of Beaker pottery, and its abrupt appearance in the archaeological record, the traditional explanation for the Beaker culture has been to interpret it as a diffusion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffusionism) of one group of people across Europe. During the early twentieth century, Beaker pottery was seen as one element of a people who, through repeated waves of invasion, brought with them metal-working, crouched burials and round barrows (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Round_barrow), replacing an earlier Neolithic race of Europeans.
Vere Gordon Childe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vere_Gordon_Childe) wrote of the Beaker culture as:

Warlike invaders imbued with domineering habits and an appreciation of metal weapons and ornaments which inspired them to impose sufficient political unity on their new domain for some economic unification to follow There is no necessary correlation between an archaeological culture and an ethnic group (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_group) however, as there is no one-to-one correlation between the material culture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeological_culture) excavated by archaeologists and an ethnicity or society. Additionally, material culture and technological innovations can spread independently of population movement that is, through cultural diffusion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_diffusion) rather than demic diffusion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demic_diffusion).

Childe's view is now seen as being incorrect, its connections erroneous and based on limited knowledge, whilst its assumption of a Beaker invasion is considered an attempt to attribute numerous different cultural changes to one cause.

Many archaeologists now believe that the Beaker 'people' did not exist as a group, and that the beakers and other new artefacts (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artifact_%28archaeology%29) and practices found across Europe at the time that are attributed to the Beaker people are indicative of the development of particular manufacturing skills. This new knowledge may have come about through the influence of neighbouring peoples, rather than as a result of mass migrations (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_migration), knowledge that could spread independently of any population movement.

An example might be as part of a prestige cult related to the production and consumption of beer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer), or trading links such as those demonstrated by finds made along the sea-ways of Atlantic Europe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_Europe).

This non-invasionist theory was first propounded by Colin Burgess (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Colin_Burgess&action=edit) and Steve Shennan (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Steve_Shennan&action=edit) in the mid 1970s and it is now common to see the Beaker culture as a 'package' of knowledge adopted and adapted by the indigenous peoples of Europe to varying degrees.

I thought, aboriginal megalithic cultures should have been more emphasized when regarding the origins.

Reading the archives takes time. LBK, Childe's Danubean I, seems to be derived from Natufids. Probably agricultural terminology used to be semitic. Megalitihic Funnelbeaker culture, which had both natufid and paleolithic hunter gatherer properties and later was succeeded by globular amphora culture, a kurganized corded ware culture, seems to be a place for synthesis which contains all the necessary elements. Corded culture was not so widely kurganized. In fact, I cannot see any reason to assume that Yamnaya culture had left any more footprints than historical huns or avars, cemetaries of whom are still found in Czechoslavakia. Low vaulted europeans probably descend from european hunter gatherer groups.

Corded ware people seems to be derived eastern africa. Their long extremities still carry some sort equatorial properties. Therefore they probably spoke one of agglutinative african languages.

The low vaulted kurganids probably descend from the asiatic cromagnons, who are related with amerinds and clearly some part of ukraynians and who are ancestral to mongoloids. I seriouly doubt that they spoke any other language than a relative of amerindian. I may refer to fruitfull discussions about protoeuropids, for example malaysians ,who may be regarded as mediterraneans, are clearly protoeuropid.

Probably the original indoeuropean verbs were all strong and synthetic, despite the fact that it looks now that they are prefixed and suffixed. Then who brought Indoeuropean to india? It is probably through anatolia from the west and through north pontic steppes and pushing what is left from kurganids to eastwards untill altai mountains. I have no researches, yet, about what happens after kurganids in the north pontic steppes.