Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Beaker Year Wrap-up!

2015 is the year the "pots not people" pyrocumulus mushroom-cloud started expanding on the horizon.

Certainly people change over time, but genetic evidence is building that large folk movements are the usual catalyst for major social change.

That creates a lot problems, questions, where-froms and everything else.  Here's a few things I found interesting this year...

Things Beaker people did.

We learned that throughout the entire British Beaker period to the Late Bronze Age, mummification was a normal treatment for the dead.

Disabled Central European Beakers were assisted for long periods of time and received normal treatment in burial.

Beaker women with knives, daggers and male accoutrements in Central Iberia are examined in this paper.

In Central Europe, DNA showed that a Beaker diagnostic male grave was actually a woman, or at least what we interpret to be a warrior's burial.  There may be quite a few of these.

Surprisingly, it appears that a large amount of Beaker gold and copper was panned or fleeced from water, possibly through sluicing systems.  In my own wild ass hypothesization I proposed that chronic mercury poisoning could be from contaminated water supplies as a result of the amalgamation process used in hydraulic mining.

Leading mining was taking place in Western Britain as well.

A few new Beakers emerge

There was Marlborough Man (actually a kid) wearing an awesome amber necklace located near a henge.  A warrior's grave in Scotland near Loch Ness.  The Polish region closest to Belarus has turned up quite a number of Beaker artifacts and human remains.  Most interesting is the recurring, intentionally shattered and half missing pottery at this site.  Seems to have been a common practice around Europe.

I failed to cover the discoveries at Perdigoes this summer.  Partly because I have trouble understanding what it is, but also because it seemed that there might have been a full burial.  But you can see some of what Perdigoes is churning out...

Perdigoes Research Site 2015 [Link]

Monuments and things uncovered or analyzed

The Dartmoor Arc appears to be about as old or older than Stonehenge.  A Sicilian celestial megalithic site is analyzed,  Another logboat keel was discovered in Canterbury in deep mud.

A few favorite posts

The Smithy, Beakers in Hofestede' Paradigm, Corded Cultures deep genetic links, The Brachycephalic Problematic, Sailboats and Solarboats, How ceramic pottery came to the West.

Animal DNA

A few things about domestic pigs, and bees, and cattle,

People DNA

Of course this was the Mittle-Saale burials from the Haak paper and Bavarian and Czech burials from the Allentoft paper.  We now have the Ratlin burials, two Vučedol period men, basically a night and day situation.

We've learned that Beakers were indeed an ethnicity with a genetic profile that extends across Europe.      

Next up, 2016 and expectations for the year ahead.


  1. Hello,

    Greetings from Spain. I'm very interested in the possible connection between vasco-ibero-aquitanic languages, the bell beaker culture and R1b lineages. I just want to know how did you arrived to this conclusion:
    "We've learned that Beakers were indeed an ethnicity with a genetic profile that extends across Europe."
    Great blog by the way!

    1. Thank you.

      It was recently believed that there was little change in the genetics of Europeans since the Paleolithic. The last few years of genetic research have shown that a massive change did occur at the beginning of the Neolithic and again between the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age.

      Of course all modern Europeans are a mixture of these different ethnic groups, so the question of Basque for me is not of its origin, but why is became so isolated. In my mind, the Basque language is largely an artifact of the changes in Bronze Age maritime lanes that preferred open and fair waters to the treacherous Bay of Biscay and its surrounds. In other words, travelers went from Britain to Spain directly and avoided the coastal bay altogether. This also protected these people from outside influence, invasions.

      So Basque must have been spoken at least since the Early Bronze Age in the area where it is now spoken, although it may have been part of a widespread family in Western Europe at one time.

      The Bell Beakers have shown to be so far remarkably uniform in their male parentage from different parts of Europe. It is difficult to know how the Vasconic languages fit into this, but the answer may be partly an interaction between the Artenacian and Maritime Bell Beakers in Southern and Central France.

      As to the origins of the Basques specifically, I would guess that the Artenacian culture was over-run by Maritime Beakers (like every other culture in Europe) and Artenacia became increasingly Beakerized, paternally and culturally, but the Proto-Basques became culturally insulated, whereas the rest of Europe convulses with conquest and chaos in the Bronze and Iron Ages, becoming what it is today.