Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Badger Digs Up Beaker

The Wiltshire story here at the BBC.  Hat tip Mandy Chamberland.

Look at these tools!  They look this good after four thousand something years.  It appears a badger was making a mess of things on military property. 

Clearly it has copper patina but is unevenly distributed.  I'll guess this is arsenic bronze?

A very fine greenstone bracer.  This one is rather interesting in that it appears to have been repaired.  Like so many bracers it has a broken corner but this one appears to have been re-drilled to make it functional.  There are two arrowshaft straighteners, or rather shaft extruders (to make uniform shaft weight IMO).

I'll take a total wild crack at this and guess this is a Primary Series collard urn, being defined by Ian Longworth in his book "Collard Urns of the Bronze Age in Great Britain and Ireland" having ancestral elements with the Mortlake and Fengate styles of Peterborough Ware (herringbone and repetitive vertical short-line motifs and maybe a pudding texture on the exterior.)

Longworth notes:
"to some extent, absorption of ideas from that source [Beaker] had already begun to take place before the close of the Peterborough tradition.  Zoned decoration in the form of split heeringbone, for example, a recurrent motif on European/maritime Beakers... is already found on rare occasions on Mortlake Ware....."
And it continues.  Got a bit of track but I had to read that for myself.  I kind of hypothesized this was the case that Bell Beakers had meaningful contact with the hillbilly Peterborough folk and so there is a disproportionate influence compared to the Grooved tradition that give birth to some of the incredibly ugly potteries of EBA Britain and Ireland, expanding beyond its original domain.

You will note a final chapter in Longworth's book on the association with wool remains and collard urns.


  1. Yet another (overly exaggerated brachycephalic priestess?) beaker burial in the news. Thought Id pass this one along as well. Interested to hear your thoughts.

    1. Hello Mandy, I just posted it. Thanks for sending my way!