Sunday, November 1, 2015

Dublin Archaeology Hosts Fitzpatrick* Beaker Seminar (Updated


Thanks to Jean for pointing out that I kept calling Andrew Fitzpatrick, Kirkpatrick.  What's bizarre is that I googled Andrew Fitzpatrick to find his book, then referenced it below as Kirkpatrick's book.
Call it dyslexia I guess!  Anyhow, it is Dr. Andrew Fitzpatrick.

"The Amesbury archer- Migration and Knowledge in the Copper Age"

The UCD blog has a report by Emily Glenn-Farrell of a seminar this last week by Andrew Fitzpatrick (15 Oct 2015).  Most everything is it is fairly straight down the middle, although some points are more controversial.

Fitzpatrick expressed some skepticism about the role of Northern Europe in the Beakerization of the Isles, instead emphasizing Spain and France.

He also mentioned that Beakers must have had peaceful relations with the natives, otherwise they wouldn't have had the mobilty and freedom to interact the way they did.

See UCD blog 

**Update 11/1**
I thought I'd add plug Andrew Fitzpatrick's book:

"The Amesbury Archer and the Boscombe Bowmen: Bell Beaker Burials at Boscombe Down, Amesbury and Wiltshire"

A lot of it is available FREE via the link, the entire book is $16.50


  1. I had the vague idea that the isotopic analysis gave more precise in its results, however it seems that the only thing that it can say is that the Amesbury Archer grew in a colder place than Wiltshire. That might be somewhere like Burgos, for example. OK, I know it is very counter-intuitive but in fact the Northern Iberian plateau is year-long slightly colder than Southern Britain for the simple reason that it is semi-continental climate and 700 m above sea level, sort of a mini-Tibet.

    Anyhow, I'm not positing any specific locality but, depending on the exact range of "colder" it could well be a wild array of places, naturally including mountain areas of all kind, not just the Alps but also Pyrenees and Cantabrian Mountains. And also highland plateaus like the North Iberian one.

    Some examples (yearly average low/high ºC):

    · Salisbury (ref.): 5.7/13.8
    · Burgos: 4.8/10.7
    · Soria: 4.9/11.0
    · Andorra la Vella: 5.4/9.6
    · Geneva: 6.2/10.5
    · Bern: 4.3/8.8
    · Zürich: 5.8/9.3
    · Innsbruck: 4.0/8.5

    So Bern and Innsbruck are coldest but Burgos and Soria are close behind in this, obviously incomplete, list.

    "Beakers must have had peaceful relations with the natives, otherwise they wouldn't have had the mobilty and freedom to interact the way they did".

    That's quite obvious.

    It'd be nice if some of those British "Beaker people" would donate their DNA to science.

    1. I updated the post with Kirkpatrick's book. The part where he discusses the isotopic evidence is in the free part.

      To your point, there was an older paper by Savory 1978 that argued for Mesetan or Portuguese influence in the Irish Channel, which kind of makes sense since this area seems to have been explored by Beakers earlier than other places in the Isles "Some Iberian Influences on the Copper Age Pottery of the Irish Channel Area"

    2. Hi Maju,
      The oxygen isotope analysis is more precise (at least as published in the book), with an origin between Scandinavia and Switzerland. Unlike strontium isotopes, the oxygen has an East-West trend. However, I have to say I have seen very little analytical justification for assuming that modern levels were the same as Neolithic ones, which is what we have to assume at present,

    3. Do you know of a good isotpic map of Europe? I've been searching for a good map and only found global ones, for example: (fig 3). But it's not precise enough (although it does not seem to follow your W-E pattern but one much more complicated, depending not just on rain but also the salinity of the seas that rain comes from).

  2. His name is Andrew Fitzpatrick.