Bell Beakers Today: Pottery, People, Culture, Symbols in Prehistoric Europe
. 2001, 2 volumes, 736pp. black and white illustrations, HB. These two volumes present over sixty contributions, from and international colloquium held in Trento, Italy, in 1998, which provide an invaluable overview of the Bell Beaker culture and recent developments in scholarship. The papers cover sites and discoveries in Spain and Portugal, Italy and Sicily, France, the Netherlands, Britain and Ireland, eastern and central Europe, as well as more thematic discussions of, for example, radiocarbon dating, metallurgy, society and culture, European contacts, technology, tools, gender and burial rituals. The majority of the papers are in English, although most European languages are represented along with English abstracts. One of the most puzzling archaeological phenomena of prehistoric Europe is the widespread appearance of a specific form of ceramic vessel, a decorated, thin-walled, handleless drinking cup known as a bell beaker, throughout western and central continental Europe and the British Isles during the second half of the third millennium B.C. The bell beakers were often found in male burials that also included archer's wrist guards of polished stone, V-perforated buttons (with two holes drilled from one side at an angle until they converged to form a single V-shaped channel), and copper daggers. Archaeologists refer to this phenomenon as the "Bell Beaker complex" or, more efficiently, simply as "Bell Beakers." The earliest form of Bell Beaker called the Maritime Bell Beaker probably originated in the vibrant copper-using communities of the Tagus estuary in Portugal around 2800 - 2700 BC and spread from there to many parts of western Europe. An overview of all available sources from southern Germany concluded that the Bell Beaker Culture was a new and independent culture in that area, contemporary with the Corded Ware Culture.This conclusion was supported by a review of radiocarbon dates for Bell Beaker across Europe, which showed that the earliest dates for Bell Beaker were 2900 BC in Iberia. This makes the style contemporary with Corded Ware, but beginning in a different region of Europe. Bell Beaker has been suggested as a candidate for an early Indo-European culture, more specifically, an ancestral proto-Celtic. Despite the date this work came out in 2006.
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Keywords: Archaeology, Glockenbecherkultur Prehistory, Europe Weblists