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Thread: How and where did R1b get into the Bell Beaker folks?

  1. #11
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    Here are interesting recent papers on the spread of metallurgy by Benjamin Roberts who has the reverse view of the origin of metallurgy in Iberia i.e. that it must have been diffusion/migration rather than independent invention

    http://www.academia.edu/378209/Migra...etal_in_Europe

    http://www.academia.edu/371361/Creat...Western_Europe
    Last edited by alan; 05-02-2013 at 11:46 PM.

  2. #12
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    The relevance of all of this is whether a model showing R1b moving into a H moving out of Iberia in the copper age is on solid ground. If Roberts is correct then maybe it is. If the proposal that copper working was an independent invention in Iberia and unrelated to other European traditions is correct then this is clearly a problem for such a model.
    Last edited by alan; 05-02-2013 at 11:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alan View Post
    Another interesting recent paper on the spread of metallurgy. This chap has the reverse view of the origin of metallurgy in Iberia i.e. that it must have been diffusion rather than independent invention...
    I just don't see how it was an independent invention in Iberia. Even if it developed uniquely the timing and other elements of eastern originated items just makes it too much of a coincidence to be independent in origin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alan View Post
    Having read the first paper ... it does make a case that Iberian copper working may have essentially been a native development.
    It attempts to do so, but with striking illogicality. The authors point out that the early features of copper-working (found where it is earliest i.e. in the Near East) are missing in Iberia, where metallurgy arrives much later in a fully-fledged form. Is this evidence of native development in Iberia? Of course not. It is evidence of the reverse.

    Where we see a long period of development from scratch and experimentation in any craft, we can assume it arose there. Where a highly-specialised craft suddenly appears in sophisticated form in place A, having been apparent in place B long before, the logical conclusion is not that it arose all by itself in place A.

    But thanks for both papers Alan. They have been added to my collection.

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    I am very skeptical about the idea of an independent invention, especially if it happened just as copper working was arriving in France - just too much of a coincidence. I agree with jean that the lack of focus on ornaments over weapons and tools seems to me an artifact of late arrival and was part of the general pattern of the new wave of metallurgical traditions that swept west from 3500BC onwards after the more ornament obsessed Carpatho-Balkan traditions had fallen away.

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    Copper is relatively soft without arsenic or tin added, so it wasn't ideal for axes etc in pure form. One can see why ornamental use would strike people first. A wider range of uses might become more popular when copper sources that happened to have arsenic mixed in was noticed to yield a tougher product.
    Last edited by Jean M; 05-03-2013 at 12:39 AM.

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    Is this map a fair representation? I find it noteworthy that it also depicts what some of the papers say about metallurgy moving from Maykop into the Pontic Steppes. Metallurgy just doesn't look like something that spread all over Europe from the Steppes.

    In retrospect, it seems a little odd that Anthony titled his book with the "The Horse The Wheel The Language". He says these people were "Bronze Age riders" but he isn't really emphasizing that the steppes people brought metallurgy to Europe. I know the word for "ore" is in the base PIE lexicon but maybe the PIE homeland is a little more gray around the edges or wider than Anthony may think .... and could include people who were bi-lingual like a pre-supra-regional group might be. By supra-regional I mean a group like the Bell Beaker folks which were a pan-European phenomenon.



    What's the justification for not the conventional Renfrew/Anthony type PIE homeland not reaching further south and west around the Black Sea?
    Last edited by Mikewww; 05-03-2013 at 07:35 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikewww View Post
    Is this map a fair representation? I find it noteworthy that it also depicts what some of the papers say about metallurgy moving from Maykop into the Pontic Steppes. Metallurgy just doesn't look like something that spread all over Europe from the Steppes.

    In retrospect, it seems a little odd that Anthony titled his book with the "The Horse The Wheel The Language". He says these people were "Bronze Age riders" but he isn't really emphasizing that the steppes people brought metallurgy to Europe. I know the word for "ore" is in the base PIE lexicon but maybe the PIE homeland is a little more gray around the edges or wider than Anthony may think .... and could include people who were bi-lingual like a pre-supra-regional group might be. By supra-regional I mean a group like the Bell Beaker folks which were a pan-European phenomenon.



    What's the justification for not the conventional Renfrew/Anthony type PIE homeland not reaching further south and west around the Black Sea?
    I think it accepted that the steppes recieved its first actual mining and in-situ metallurgical tradition from the CMP tradition which is dated as commencing several centuries earlier in the Maykop and other cultures to their south. In fact as far as I am aware the latest dating tends to also place Kurgans and general social complexity in that region before the steppes.

    I dont think it is any coincidence at all that the appearance of CMP in the steppes (apparently primarily heading to the Urals sources, Kargaly etc) is at exactly the same time that Yamnaya and Afanansievo cultures take off and social complexity appears on the steppes. I suspect (and apparently several scholars far more expert than my dabblings outside my comfort zone) that this metallurgy was a major driver in the changes. I dont think it is a coincidence that Yamnaya rises in the Ural/Volga zone just at this time. I also personally think metallurgy may have been a major factor in why Afansievo apparently headed towards another major metal ore area at the east end of the steppes. Anthony and many scholars tend to concentrate on the mobile pastoralism aspect but could a major driver in this move to mobility have been the wealth of metals and the wish to control the sources and trade routes that had newly appeared on the steppes? Tha vast distances and steppes landscape involved would have made exploitation of steppe metal sources very difficult without mobile pastoralism.

    Prior to this the steppes had simply been peripheral recipients of Carpatho-Balkan metals passed to them via Cucut-Tryp middlemen. From everything I have read, scholars believe that the sudden appearance of CMP traditions of metal and mining in the Urals was so similar to the older CMP tradtions of the Caucasus that it must have involved at least some people moving into the steppes. By that I dont mean a major element but an important one. I do suspect that L23 and/or M73 may have been the minority lineages that were involved in the bringing of the metallurgical revolution to the steppes from points south although clearly I cannot prove that.

    I am not going to extend this speculation into the linguistic sphere but I would say this - the extension of the CMP, kurgans and social complexity into the steppes may have been an important contributor into trasnforming the steppes cultures into what we think of as classic PIE society as opposed to the less hierarchical and simpler societies in that area before that. It may not have brought the language but it would seem to me to have been very important in creating the PIE society. I think concepts like that are better than some R1a primordialism approaches (I am thinking of other websites) that look at everything in PIE society as simply developing on the steppes without crediting important outside influences and other groups.

    Regarding Anthony not crediting the spread of CMP and other post-Carpatho-Balkans metallurgical groups, I think that is pretty well in line with what most scholars seem to say or, to be more accurate, it seems this issue is simply not usually discussed. However, once the CMP on the steppes was established the steppe peoples could have been responsible for its spreading into SOME areas. I have really struggled to get enough information on what experts (this is a very niche field) say about CMP on the western shore of the steppes and just beyond in areas like Bulgaria etc where the Carpatho-Balkan traditions (this was their heartland) and networks had collapsed. Those areas of course saw really early steppe intrusions (Suvorovo etc) that pre-date the extension of CMP metallurgy to steppe groups. They (and the climate) seem to have killed the Carpatho-Balkans tradition and its important to note that they did this before the CMP had extended into the steppes (in fact I dont think it existed anywhere at this stage). From memory they were basically extremely metal poor. In areas like that it may well be that CMP metallurgical traditions were probably brought by later steppe groups like Yamnaya.

    However, as far as I am aware the spread of the new wave of metallurgy west (which seems to me to be similar to the CMP) seem in Remedello etc seems to have been independent of steppe groups and perhaps a century or two ahead of even the entry of CMP into the steppes creation of Yamnaya and related cultures. To me the common denomentor is not steppe groups but rather CMP and the new metallurgical groups further west. Groups like Remedello around the time that a new wave of metallurgy and mining spread west appear to have already been creating a new type of society a little ahead of the arrival of CMP in the steppes or the development of Yamnaya etc.

    Anyway, I know this appears to be very off-topic for this thread but it does ultimately lead to the question of the origin and nature of the pre-beaker copper age groups along the Alps, Liguria and ultimately Iberia in the period 3500-3000BC and then the beaker phenomenon itself.

    One thing I think stands out in my recent reading of recent papers on all of this is that the pre-beaker copper age groups in the west c. 3500-3000BC did lack some of the major characteristics of the beaker phenomenon. Several papers I have read do contrast the localised nature of those groups and their more closed aspect with the border-smashing aspect of the beaker culture which seemed to create a pan-European code.

    One thing the paper on Iberian copper working posted above does raise (even if its idea that copper was an independent invention in Iberia seems unlikely) is that the copper cultures of Iberia that seem to have been present for 2 or 3 centuries before beakers had a very different approach, settlement pattern and set up to the beaker culture. That is something that needs to be discussed further IMO. The paper raises the issue that copper in immediate pre-beaker Iberia was exploited in a different way and seen in a different way.

    One simple explanation that strikes me is simply that at-source where it was easily obtained copper may have lacked value or interest and hierachies simply could not be built on something that was ubiquitous. The value of items was down to exoticness and hierachies were built on control of difficult to obtain materials. It is noticeable even in beaker times that ore source areas like Iberia, NW France, Ireland, Wales etc lack the individualistic burial traditions that far-from-source (middlemen?) areas like the Lower Rhine, England etc had. Perhaps that is a natural contrast that occurs where at-source hierachy is hard to build while at distance from source middle men can get rich. Think the lack of value of gold in south America that the conquestadors found. Or the British phrase 'carrying coals to Newcastle'.

    To give a more specific example it is thought by many that the rich graves of the beaker and post-beaker phase of Wessex (and indeed the wealth to build the later stages of stonehenge) was down to the local elites positioned on the area between the Thames to the east and the Severan and Avon to the west acting as middlemen controlling the flow of materials from Ireland and Wales in the west and passing them on to the Thames and probably passing other materials in the opposite direction too.

    The importance of this observation is that it seems likely that hierachical societal structure did not arise at raw material source points but at important nodes away from them. This means to me that these nodes at distance from source are likely to be where the beaker society (rather than the pots) with its elites etc arose.
    Last edited by alan; 05-03-2013 at 10:38 AM.

  9. #19
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    No-one is arguing that metallurgy began on the European steppe. It simply travelled east and west from there because people happened to be travelling from there after they had acquired metallurgy, and at a time when they had a monopoly of the craft in most (not all) of the territory they entered. In Europe the earlier Balkan metallurgy had collapsed before it had a chance to spread over the whole continent. The Afansievo people seem to have introduced metallurgy to East Asia. At one time it was thought to be an independent invention there. See Xiang Wan, Early Development of Bronze Metallurgy in Eastern Eurasia, Sino-Platonic Papers, Number 213 (August, 2011)

    It is a useful map Mike. I see that it is from WikiMedia, and the source is M. Otte, Vers la Préhistoire (2007). Here is one from Ben Roberts:

    Coppersmelting.jpg

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan View Post
    One thing the paper on Iberian copper working posted above does raise ... is that the copper cultures of Iberia that seem to have been present for 2 or 3 centuries before beakers had a very different approach, settlement pattern and set up to the beaker culture.
    Really? Perhaps I didn't get far enough into the paper to encounter that idea. What convinced me that the initial copper-working arrivals were the same people who made the earliest BB was the sequence at Zambujal. Bell Beaker is found in the same citadel created by the copper-workers, without any other sign of cultural break. Copper goes on being worked in the same way.

    Of course there was a later influx of Bell Beaker into NE Iberia from Central Europe via France, that seems to have brought the round-headed type and some new types of object. By "Bell Beaker culture", do you mean Late Bell Beaker as found in southern Britain? Or early Bell Beaker as found at Zambujal?

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