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Dramatization of the arrival of the Beaker people

Normally a conference or a talk related to the Bell Beakers and their spread across Western Europe would involve a few presentation slides with pictures of beakers and shaded maps, and result in the production of a scholarly compendium such as The Bell Beaker Transition in Europe: Mobility and local evolution during the 3rd millennium BC. From the description on Amazon in relation to this book:

Could the circulation of objects or ideas and the mobility of artisans explain the unprecedented uniformity of the material culture observed throughout the whole of Europe? The 17 papers presented here offer a range of new and different perspectives on the Beaker phenomenon across Europe. The focus is not on Bell Beaker pottery but on social groups (craft specialists, warriors, chiefs, extended or nuclear families), using technological studies and physical anthropology to understand mobility patterns during the 3rd millennium BC. Chronological evolution is used to reconstruct the rhythm of Bell Beaker diffusion and the environmental background that could explain this mobility and the socioeconomic changes observed during this period of transition toward Bronze Age societies. The chapters are mainly organized geographically, covering Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean shores and the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula, includes some areas that are traditionally studied and well known, such as France, the British Isles or Central Europe, but also others that have so far been considered peripheral, such as Norway, Denmark or Galicia. This journey not only offers a complex and diverse image of Bell Beaker societies but also of a supra-regional structure that articulated a new type of society on an unprecedented scale.

Pretty dry. But thankfully in lieu of PowerPoint slides some researchers have gotten more clever, and in light of new findings I present a short film depicting the Bell Beaker arrival in what became Britain. Pretty quick turnaround, no?

Related: The Bronze Age Demographic Transformation Of Britain.


3 thoughts on “Dramatization of the arrival of the Beaker people

  1. The fact that the village apparently contains only one woman and child shows that the Neolithics were clearly in decline before the invaders appeared…

  2. Dear razib, If I understand it correctly, the short version of what probably happened, according to the latest evidence, is not dissimilar to my hypothesis of what probably happened in Mesopotamia roughly a thousand years earlier, namely the military conquest and subjugation of widely-established horticultural societies by mobile foreign ethnicities, in this case the Bell Beaker peoples: In other words, it is about the birth and spread over Europe of new aristocratic forms of class society in which small military nobilities ruled over and exploited large peasant majorities, forms which continued to exist in Europe up until the emergence of modern industrial democracies. Is this the basic idea?

  3. I’m confused. I kept expecting the horsemen to dismount and give a friendly pottery demonstration.

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