Monday, October 26, 2015

Great or Lost Minds!

I almost fell out of my chair, when I read this:
"Bell Beakers have actually been compared to Coca-Cola as a well known symbol which helped to open up a continent of diverse but fairly self-contained communities [Fagan 1996]."  (Dopson, 2006)

I may have read Fagan (1996) at some point then forgot about it, but I honestly think I made a similar comparison independently at a later time(!?).
Coca-Cola also offers a way to understand the beaker pottery phenomenon in a number of ways:  Red background with white stylization, a highly recognizable motif that is both conservative and suggestive of certain cultural values.  You could call Coke emblematic of the "Coca Cola Culture" which suggests certain music, clothing and social values.

When people think of Coca-Cola, they don't think of polygamy, gulags, theocrats, goose-steppers or slums. 

Instead, a different social order comes to mind: monogamy, mobility, laissez-faire, prosperity.  Maybe that culture is viewed differently in some areas, but I think you can see how an object can exude certain cultural meaning.


  1. It'd cool if someone started a Beaker soft drink company. Soft drinks in plastic remakes of Beakers with deep colors(instead of faded ones found by archaeologist). I would buy that.

    1. Not bad!

      "Beaker cola, available in Colorado and Oregon"

      Just kidding, I honestly have considered Beaker Beer since I'm a sometimes Brewer and interested in old beers. I'll start brewing here in the week or two and will post my winter brews on the BB

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.