Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Economic Foundations of Social Supremacy to Beaker Groups (Guerra Doce and Von Lettow-Vorbeck, 2016)

"Analysis of the Economic Foundations Supporting the Social Supremacy of the Beaker Groups"

You can access the compendium which is open access from Archeopress [here]

These papers look at the monopolization of intercontinental and intracontinental trade that distinguish the Beaker Compelx in prehistory.  Beaker Incorporated, L.L.C. appears to have executed a "hostile takeover" of many local industries and trade routes throughout Europe.  I think you see this everywhere, from Poland to Perdigoes. 

Think of the 'Beaker package'.  All of its constituents (v-perforated buttons, amber whoring, daggers, etc) belonged to different and preceding cultures from around Europe, but the Bell Beaker integrated the materials because it controlled of all of it.  This is partly why I'm weary of a 'Beaker package' because distracts from the ideological and ethnic core of people, who liked stuff.

In the contribution over the salt trade by Doce, she makes reference to the argument of Van der Noort that the settlement patterns of Beakers are largely determined by nautical avenues, something that should be increasingly obvious.  Lermercier has described a similar pattern in Mediterranean France to which he calls the 'Greek Implantation Model' via maritime avenues.

I may continue with another post on stateless economies in the near future.  Aside from genetics and worldview, I think the economic question is in the top three concerns of the Beaker phenomenon to explore.

Here's a rundown the papers:

Foreword to the XVII UISPP Congress Proceedings Series Edition 
Luiz Oosterbeek

Elisa Guerra Doce and Corina Liesau von Lettow-Vorbeck

Graves of metallurgists in the Moravian Beaker Cultures
Jaroslav Peška

Bell Beaker funerary copper objects from the center of the Iberian Peninsula in the context of the Atlantic connections
Concepción Blasco Bosqued, Ignacio Montero and Raúl Flores Fernández

Bell Beaker connections along the Atlantic façade: the gold ornaments from Tablada del Rudrón, Burgos, Spain  Andrew P. Fitzpatrick, Germán Delibes de Castro, Elisa Guerra Doce
and Javier Velasco Vázquez

Prestige indicators and Bell Beaker ware at Valencina de la Concepción (Sevilla, Spain)
Ana Pajuelo Pando and Pedro M. López Aldana

Some prestige goods as evidence of interregional interactions in the funerary practices of the Bell Beaker groups of Central Iberia
Corina Liesau von Lettow-Vorbeck

Salt and Beakers in the third millennium BC
Elisa Guerra Doce

The role of flint arrowheads in Bell Beaker groups of the Central Iberian Peninsula
Patricia Ríos Mendoza

El Peñón de la Zorra (Villena, Alicante, Spain): change and continuity in settlement pattern during Bell Beaker
Gabriel García Atiénzar

Elements for the definition of the Bell Beaker horizon in the lower Ebro Valley: preliminary approaches
Anna Gómez, Patricia Ríos Mendoza, Marc Piera and Miquel Molist


  1. Nomads of the rivers and sea, it might seem

  2. BBB,
    Do you have yet an opinion as to where you would place the final culmination of BB elements, and their monopolization of this 'set' Eastern France/ west Alps ? Low Countries ?

    1. Well coming up with a set that is a true Beaker package is a bit ad hoc in my opinion. You could further subdivide the regions of Europe into maybe five or so where there is a certain diagnostic package but I think ideology, lithics and ancestry will prove a better measure.

      If you compare Cetina with Artenacian you can see a lot of similarity, but not necessarily within the definition of a proper BB. I consider it a moving target with successive urheimats, but the European adventure is more Iberian in its initial phases. North Central Europe after that.