Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Three Quellengruppen - Even More Speculation

I don't have have the full 1974 thesis of Richard Harrison, but it may offer a favored interpretation of Beaker origins from the perspective of the upcoming paper.  The Harrison and Heyd 2007 paper on the Rhone Beakers is available on-line and I'll take that as a preview of Heyd's paper, which comes with his knowledge of the results.

This is all guesses, so don't hang your hat on anything mentioned here.  Plus there's a thousand of variations that could fit as well.  We'll all find out the hard facts soon enough.

Michael Hammer presentation
I suspect the data will show that the origins of the Bell Beakers do not fit with the diffusionist theory (single origin) or the dual theory (a binary between Iberian Maritime + Rhine Corded Beakers) or any theory that says Bell Beaker is basically nothing consolidated.

It must be that they are able to show three distinct ethnic source groups (Quellengruppen) that collided in the territory where three great rivers come into close proximity, these being the upper Rhone, the upper Rhine and the upper Danube.  (or a process involving the three, regardless of the geographic location)

Since Vucedol 2.0 extends past Prague, it's reasonable that a nation of its size was trading heavily with other groups in this European flea market to an even greater degree.  The confluence of cultures would have included cultural sources from Northern Italy, the lower Rhine and certainly those trading up the Tagus and across the Pyrenees.

As trade often intermixes more than objects and opens avenues to migration, it's possible the trade avenues, the trading outposts, or even the trading caste, came to be dominated by an emerging class of people with this mixed background.  The roots of L23* make a lot of sense in this regard, being in the Upper Rhone and then back to the Western Black Sea area.

Perhaps this is what they have discovered, one or several of the following:

1.  They are able to show in burials of the Vucedol Culture that its most expansive elements in the West are found the earliest representation of the Atlantic Modal Haplotype which came as a direct intermingling with Western Yamnaya. 

2.  This Vucedol 2.0 nation or its trading posts extended in a meaningful way further than Prague along the Danube to a point near the Upper Rhone and Rhine.  Perhaps within these trading families or cartels the highest status males (the metal workers) began to dominate these kin groups.

3.  The diffusionist and dual origins of the Beakers are proven or disproven.

4.  Maybe they are also able to demonstrate that the Wessex/Middle Rhine Group is more directly descended from the Yamno-Vucedol group.  They may show that some of the NE Scotland Beakers are R1a.

5.  They show a strange situation where the Maritime group results from another related process...I'll leave that alone for now, but will remind of the amphibious nature of the Beaker phenomenon from the beginning and the coastal defenses erected in Portugal.

Harrison 1974
Just throwing more mud pies at the wall today.  In some ways, this makes a lot of sense.  L23*, hyper-H, common ware and other things.  I'd be careful to understate the Iberian-ness of the Beaker phenomenon, since it is a driving force in the culture, and it may take a while (beyond this study) to fully understand its beginning.


  1. Yes intriguing
    But is Iberia really the "driving force" or merely the idea behind the Maritime Beaker ? Because the actual BB package appears in Iberia late on

    Have you read Salanova's chapter here on western beakers ?

    1. Well, it may be dependent on the interpretation of the essentials, and how they're ranked, but even here they emphasize (or at least have to this point) the early character essentials as developing in Iberia even though Iberia never really gets the full package as it is expressed elsewhere.
      I have read that, let me briefly read again and respond..

    2. Ok,
      The first issue is the distribution of Beaker pottery in Portugal which is suggestive to me that they are a rather distinct people that cluster together in small enclaves or in the Estuary area.
      But the issue is the 'influence' of the Tagus Estuary during this continental spread. Maybe in some ways it is like New York City which holds considerable influence over the United States but has little genetic impact? I don't know, but Lisbon is Western Europe's oldest developed area. Or it may have been equally important if the majority of the Beaker spread was water based?

      In this way, Oliver Lemercier's Greek Implantation Theory may have some sway, especially as he uses the lower Rhone as his example.

  2. So do you think Tagus is its own independent starting point, or an early landing spot of central-eastern Beaker folk from the Rhine ?

    1. I kind of envision the formation of a pan-European Beaker ethnicity like the formation of a Hispanic identity with two or more groups fusing sometimes in different places, getting somewhat similar results and with a slowly increasing notion of pan-national identity. And with several hundred years of intermixing actually solidify into an actual genealogical ethnic group.
      So the factors in the Tagus estuary may have been different than the Rhine, but I think Beakers would recognize other Beakers despite the regional differences. I think that can be demonstrated as well.

      OTOH, there are definitely intruders in the Iberian littorals which had very distant sea-borne trade contacts. And despite the attempt to turn the VNSP forts into fun and interesting places, the accumulation of wealth must have made the Portuguese coast a target of raiding, because clearly they are built for defense. It just so happens that Maritime Beakers are the inheritors of this.
      Given the Moroccan influence and something maybe a little like incrustated wares, possibly the Western Mediterranean had become a contest, but I doubt Maritime ware is something born innocently out of the VNSP.

    2. I wonder if this enclosures in Portugal can be compared to contemporary ones in Eastern Europe (Vucedol, or CT).

  3. Well, one thing is hopefully becoming clear to people. R1b has nothing to do with early Iberian BB.

    1. We'll see. Definitely not a dominant haplogroup of SW Europe, but early Maritime Beakers don't seem to have developed in a vacuum either.

    2. Maybe it'll depend on what and when we classify as "BB" :)

  4. You are all mad. Pure and undultered mad. Better just whatching game of thrones. :)

    1. Oh I'm sure I'm quite insane. But I'm also fairly astute

  5. OM is just mad now that we have R1b and steppe ancestry in Germany, while Spain is just plain Middle Neolithic I2. So much for North Africa, eh? I told you guys for two years that this would be the case. Maju is probably crying himself to sleep too.