29 Facts About Beaker culture


Bell Beaker culture is an archaeological culture named after the inverted-bell beaker drinking vessel used at the very beginning of the European Bronze Age.

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The Beaker culture was widely dispersed throughout Western Europe, being present in many regions of Iberia and stretching eastward to the Danubian plains, and northward to the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, and was present in the islands of Sicily and Sardinia and some small coastal areas in north-western Africa.

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Bell Beaker culture was partly preceded by and contemporaneous with the Corded Ware culture, and in north-central Europe preceded by the Funnelbeaker culture.

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Bell Beaker artefacts are not distributed across a contiguous area, as is usual for archaeological cultures, but are found in insular concentrations scattered across Europe.

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However, the Bell Beaker culture does appear to coalesce into a coherent archaeological culture in its later phase.

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Origin of the "Bell Beaker" artefacts has been traced to the early 3rd millennium, with early examples of the "maritime" Bell Beaker design having been found at the Tagus estuary in Portugal, radiocarbon dated to c the 28th century BC.

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The inspiration for the Maritime Bell Beaker culture is argued to have been the small and earlier Copoz beakers that have impressed decoration and which are found widely around the Tagus estuary in Portugal.

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Burial ritual which typified Bell Beaker culture sites appears to be intrusive to Western Europe, from Central Europe.

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Under the "pots, not people" theory, the Beaker culture is seen as a 'package' of knowledge and artefacts adopted and adapted by the indigenous peoples of Europe to varying degrees.

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James Mallory notes that the Beaker culture was associated with a hypothetical cluster of Indo-European dialects termed "North-West Indo-European, " a cluster which includes the Celtic, Italic, Germanic and Balto-Slavic branches.

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The study found that the Bell Beakers and people of the Unetice culture had less ancestry from the Yamnaya culture than from the earlier Corded Ware culture.

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Study published in Nature in February 2018 confirmed that Bell Beaker culture males carried almost exclusively R1b, but the very first ones had no Steppe autosomes or R at all.

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Bell Beaker culture people took advantage of transport by sea and rivers, creating a cultural spread extending from Ireland to the Carpathian Basin and south along the Atlantic coast and along the Rhone valley to Portugal, North Africa, and Sicily, even penetrating northern and central Italy.

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The new international trade routes opened by the Beaker people became firmly established and the culture was succeeded by a number of Bronze Age cultures, among them the Unetice culture in Central Europe, the Elp culture and Hilversum culture in the Netherlands, the Atlantic Bronze Age in the British Isles and the Atlantic coast of Europe, and by the Nordic Bronze Age, a culture of Scandinavia and northernmost Germany–Poland.

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One non-local Bell Beaker culture sherd belonging to the upper part of a beaker with a curved neck and thin walls, was found at the bedrock base of this second phase.

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The lack or presence of Bell Beaker elements is the basis for the division of Los Millares and Vila Nova cultures into two periods: I and II.

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Bell Beaker culture pottery has been found in Mallorca and Formentera, but has not been observed in Menorca or Ibiza.

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Bell Beaker culture settlements are still little known, and have proved remarkably difficult for archaeologists to identify.

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Bell Beaker culture related material has now been uncovered in a line from the Baltic Sea down to the Adriatic and the Ionian Sea, including the modern states comprising Belarus, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Albania, North Macedonia and parts of Greece.

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Late Copper Age is regarded as a continuous Beaker culture system connecting the Upper Rhine valley to the western edge of the Carpathian Basin.

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Also the typical Beaker culture wristguards seem to have entered Ireland by cultural diffusion only, after the first intrusions, and unlike English and Continental Beaker culture burials never made it to the graves.

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However, indications of their use of stream sediment copper, low in traces of lead and arsenic, and Beaker culture finds connected to mining and metalworking at Ross Island, County Kerry, provide an escape to such doubts.

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The Irish Beaker culture period is characterised by the earliness of Beaker culture intrusions, by isolation and by influences and surviving traditions of autochthons.

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Beaker culture introduces the practice of burial in single graves, suggesting an Earlier Bronze Age social organisation of family groups.

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Graves with Beaker culture artefacts have been discovered in the Brescia area, like that of Ca' di Marco, while in central Italy, bell-shaped glasses were found in the tomb of Fosso Conicchio .

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Beaker culture was introduced in Sicily from Sardinia and spread mainly in the north-west and south-west of the island.

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The Danish Beaker culture period was characterised by the manufacture of lanceolate flint daggers, described as a completely new material form without local antecedents in flint and clearly related to the style of daggers circulating elsewhere in Beaker culture dominated Europe.

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Presumably Beaker culture spread from here to the remainder of Denmark, and to other regions in Scandinavia and northern Germany as well.

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The local fine-ware pottery of Beaker culture derivation reveal links with other Beaker culture regions in western Europe, most specifically the Veluwe group at the Lower Rhine.

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