"In our travels along the coast we saw several graves of white men, sailors or prospectors no doubt, buried by their companions miles from home, on the shores of the Behring Sea (Jones 1927:162)"So begins Melheim and Prescott's exploration into the "Anthropology of a Prospector". They argue "that readily exploitable ore sources may well have been one of the factors which attracted skilled metalworkers to the Scandinavian Peninsula, spurred by a drive to locate new sources of copper ore".
They have two premises, one "that copper was an intrinsic element in the dynamics of this period, and that prospecting was the single force of BBC expansion across Europe or even Scandinavia..."
|A Norse Beaker. From "Slettabo: Europe's northernmost Beaker" Precott (Kristiana Steen)|
Melheim and Prescott believe that it is crucial to understand the motive and model of migration to properly understand the Beaker Age. Why would the Beakers so quickly end up in so many vastly different ecozones? The engine of Beaker migration does not appear to have been population or ecological pressure, rather it appears to have been motivated by opportunism.
The "Anthropology of a Prospector" to be continued in the next post...
Melheim, Anne Lene & Prescott, Christopher (2016). Exploring New Territories – Expanding Frontiers: Bowmen and Prospectors on the Scandinavia Peninsula in the 3rd–2nd Millennia BC, In Anne Lene Melheim; Håkon Glørstad & Ann Zanette Tsigaridas Glørstad (ed.), Comparative Perspectives on Past Colonisation, Maritime Interaction and Cultural Integration. Equinox Publishing. ISBN 9781781790489. 10. [Link]
See also "Slettabo: Europe's northernmost beaker. The BBC in Norway - from black box to historical watershed"