|Sheep at pasture (Michael Ely)|
1. We should see some published DNA from Saxony-Anhalt, Portugal and the UK. I'm still trying to get digs on what's out there. The Amesbury Archer and his 'son' were supposed to be tested according to Wessex Archaeology's webpage to determine their relationship. If you've got scoop, reply to this post. thx
2. University College London's Beaker People Project/Sheffield's Beaker Isotopic Project is now putting pen to paper on the results of the isotopic and possibly some? genetic analysis conducted on 285 Bell Beaker individuals of the British Islands, this in concert with Aberdeenshire's Beakers and Bodies Project. UCL's final report and several other outputs may be in store this year.
3. A paper out in the Spring will look at war related deaths in a Beaker cemetary in NE Iberia. Granted, an arrowhead between the eyes is probably not a grave offering, however re-consideration is being given to arrowhead 'offerings' around the body found in previously excavated graves throughout Europe. Re-evaluation has already re-categorized cause of death in a number of individuals. **This just in...surprising evidence that people buried with weapons may have led violent lives. More to follow**
4. Garrido-Pena 2014? makes reference to the presence of strict vegetarianism (using phosphate analysis) among a select portion of an Iberian Beaker population. A similar phenomenon is witnessed in final Bell Beaker and early Bonnanarro Cultures of Sardinia, vegetarian estimates are about 7.5%. (Luca Lai, 2008) I'd guess a similar percentage will be shown for the mentioned Iberian population.
I'd like to know 'who' was a strict vegetarian and why this avoidance.
5. Ciempozuelos has some apparent connection with the British Isles. Presented in September, hopefully we'll see this soon.
6. Also, from the Burgos conference, Peska Jaroslav gave a presentation Beaker metal workers from Moravia. **Updated 1/6** (To clarify here, he seeks to conduct chemical analysis of the bones and teeth to better understand the smith's processes. I had previous stated that this had already been done and briefed, but is rather in the beginning stage. It's possible to run with the ball quite a bit here. For example, you may be able to understand what age apprenticeship started, or if extraction was performed by smith's, what fuel was used for heat or if smith's were specialized.)
Here's an unrelated 2014 paper concerning osteological indications of arsenic poisoning. I noticed that in some descriptions of Early Bronze Age remains that "some men" have indications of osteoporosis and phosphate degradation usual for men of their young age.
One individual described by Samatha Walsh 2013, was a thirty-someone year old man, strongly built, but with osteoporosis of the spine typical of an older women? Another possibility is emasculation in the priesthood. I don't know if osteology can tell this from the skeleton of an adult male.
7. Dental plaque could be a big deal this year. LP alleles don't tell you if the individuals are actually lactose intolerant. Tooth plaque will add new questions, answers. In the entire human population, this question is uniquely pertinent for Chalcolithic/EBA Europeans. The universally accepted meme is that the sudden rise of European LP is due natural selection. I believe it is due to immigration of dairyists from Northern Africa. All my chips are on the table.
8. Prieto-Martinez and Salanova have another pan-European Beaker book coming out in the Spring. [here]
It looks to have some interesting chapters on changes in palynology, linguistic associations and the North Sea.
9. Animal DNA. For whatever reason, it seems easier to get yDNA from ancient chicken crap than a Bell Beaker warrior. There will certainly be studies out on the genetics of warm bloods, short-horns and woolly sheep. All are important to Beakerhood. In the case of Woolly Sheep, again we are starring down the barrel of a 3,000 B.C. date in which wool is sheared, spun and wove into hobbit clothes. The short-horn, I've already commented on, and the egger chicken as well. All of these probably originating in the mountains of Iran, originally.
10. Bell Beaker Procrastinator will try to get a few things off my plate. Yes, I look forward to stuff from myself.
With an already exciting year ahead, there will be surprises as well. I look forward to the news and papers ahead!