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View Full Version : Did the Bell Beaker Culture evolve into the Celts?



Albion
01-31-2012, 04:36 PM
Note: Please read the posts before voting in the poll, please.

Bell Beaker culture

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ea/Beaker_culture.png
Bell Beaker

http://www.buildinghistory.org/distantpast/images/CeltsItalics.png
Celts


David Anthony traced the movement of Pre-Proto-Italo-Celtic people up the Danube as far as the Hungarian Plain (Carpathian Basin) by their kurgans. Then we start to see the Bell Beaker Culture spreading over a swathe of Europe. This culture is recognised by its characteristic pottery, shaped like an inverted bell. Bell Beaker ware is found as far east as Poland, as far south as Northern Morocco, as far north as Scotland, northern Denmark, and even the southern tip of Norway. Archaeologists have found the distinctive beaker so useful in identifying the culture that rather too much emphasis has been placed upon it.


There are far more important aspects to this culture than its pottery. It forms part of a wave across Europe which brought the plough, wheeled vehicles, woolly sheep - the whole Secondary Products Revolution, together with metallurgy and horse power . Some aspects of this revolution had already spread in the late Neolithic, but it was in the 3rd millennium BC that the full impact of the transformation was felt.


The most widespread early type of Bell Beaker pottery, known as All Over Corded (AOC), is decorated with impressions made with cord. That similarity to Corded Ware, together with the similarity of burial custom, and the fact that the two cultures overlap geographically, led to the assumption that Bell Beaker developed from Corded Ware. It is now recognised that the two are contemporary. Carbon-14 has dated the earliest Bell Beaker sites to c.2,900 BC.7 On archaeological evidence alone the Beaker culture arrived in much of Europe with immigrants. Isotope, craniometric and inherited dental trait studies also show the Beaker folk as incomers in most places.

By the time that Classical authors began to note the Celts, over 2,000 years later, they were spread over much of Europe west of the Rhine and in pockets east of it. Some lived in the Alps and northern Italy, while Italic-speakers were in Central Italy. This coincides fairly well with the spread of the Bell Beaker Culture. In between the periods when archaeologists can see the new, intrusive Beaker culture arrive and historians begin to see the Celts and Italics, there is a long continuity from Bronze to Iron Age cultures apparent in the archaeology in many places. So the finger points at the Beaker people as the carriers of this branch of the Indo-European languages. Their evident mobility and the comparative uniformity of their culture over the whole Celtic area makes them the most likely bearers of the new language. The idea that the Celts first arrived in the British Isles and Iberia in the Iron Age used to be popular, but has been abandoned, because archaeological evidence of Celtic Iron Age arrivals covers too limited an area to explain the full spread of Celtic languages.



Copper-workers may have arrived in Iberia with a small company of migrants, to be gradually reinforced by others seeking pastures new. Carved stone anthropomorphic stelae mark the trail of these copper-workers, so let us call them the Stelae People. An early splinter group from the Proto-Italo-Celtic parent would help to explain why the Celtic of Iberia had such an archaic structure, retaining Italic elements. A similarly mixed language was spoken by the Ligures in what is now Northern-Western Italy and South-Eastern France. There is tantalisingly little evidence for Ligurian, but it appears primarily Celtic and Italic.

http://www.buildinghistory.org/distantpast/images/StelaePeople.jpg
Distribution of Stelae


The earliest anthropomorphic stelae have been found in Yamnaya burial mounds in Ukraine. They are particularly associated with one sub-culture, known as the Kemi Oba Culture, centred on Crimea, which was influenced by the neighbouring Maikop Culture. Similar stelae are found at Bell Beaker sites in the Swiss and Italian Alps, and in the Italian regions of Lunigiana and Trento-Alto-Adige, southern France and Iberia. Other examples are scattered as far afield as Malta and the Channel Isles. These figures are curiously stylised and slab-like, quite different from earlier and later depictions of the human form. Males are generally given tools or weapons. Females often have necklaces. The stelae probably recorded honoured ancestors.

Further reading... (http://www.buildinghistory.org/distantpast/bellbeaker.shtml)

Albion
01-31-2012, 04:40 PM
From the earliest days of linguistics, authors have taken Caesar's word for it and identified Gaulish as Celtic. Thus similar languages, such as those once spoken in the British Isles and parts of Iberia and the Alps, could be placed in the Celtic family. Ligurian appears to have been a mixture of Celtic and Italic. As we see, contemporaries varied in whether to label the Ligurians as Celts or not. Strabo weighed up the matter as well as anyone, saying that while the Ligurians of the Alps belong to a different people from the neighbouring Celts, they are similar in their mode of life. Whatever label we put on them, we may see the Ligures as the descendants of the southern Bell Beaker creators. North of the Alps the eastern Bell Beaker group was succeeded by Iron Age cultures which spread over Gaul, the Rhineland and northern Alps, and spawned inscriptions in Celtic languages once in contact with literacy. The distribution of Celtic place-names in ancient times is another helpful clue to their whereabouts.

http://www.buildinghistory.org/distantpast/images/Celticplace-names.jpg
The frequency of Celtic place names coincides well with the Bell Beaker culture


As the Stelae People struck out westwards, we can picture the mother group of Proto-Italo-Celtic-speakers gradually moving further up the Danube from the Carpathian Basin and eventually developing the form of Celtic spoken in Gaul. If the Stelae People had created trade routes across Europe from the Carpathian Basin as far as Portugal, we can see how Bell Beaker ware could have been developed in Portugal and yet crop up in Hungary. A Bell Beaker site on Csepel Island in the Danube proved to be remarkably early for eastern Bell Beaker. It has given its name to about 60 sites of the Bell Beaker Csepel group, clustered around Budapest. Hungary has no other Bell Beaker. Anthropologically and culturally the isolated Csepel group appears an intrusion into the Baden Culture, so its origin was something of a mystery. Now a study of inherited forms of teeth links the Bell Beaker folk of Csepel to those of Western Switzerland,while the latter in their turn cluster with Bell Beaker Southern group in Iberia and Southern France

From Hungary the Bell Beaker style of pottery travelled up the Danube and down the Rhine. The people who carried it may have been seen by the Southern Bell Beaker group as distant cousins - part of the clan. If the pottery was made by women, it may have been spread partly by marriage. Marc Vander Linden has suggested that the search for marriage partners outside the home group created a constant local mobility between the scattered Bell Beaker settlements.


The Celts of the British Isles


The Bell Beaker Culture brought the Bronze Age to the British Isles. To be more exact, Beaker folk initially brought the Copper Age around 2,450 BC, homing in on the copper belts of Ireland and Wales. They left their characteristic beakers at a copper-mine on Ross Island, in Lough Leane, County Kerry. To judge by chemical composition, copper from Ireland was traded into Britain, along with gold from the Mourne Mountains. The incomers boosted what had been a dwindling population of farmers, and created a thriving society*. From around 2,200 BC Bell Beaker interest in Britain intensified as Cornwall was discovered to be a prime source for tin, the rare and precious component of true bronze. This resource gave the British Isles a head start in Europe in making bronze.

*Early farmers may have practised mainly arable agriculture. Crops which could be grown in Northern Europe were limited after the climate began to cool.
The Beaker people may have introduced lactose tolerance and pastoral farming which would have allowed farmers to thrive again. I shall create another post for this.


For decades a vision of prehistoric population continuity shaped a view of Bell Beaker in the British Isles as a purely cultural phenomenon. The discovery of the Amesbury Archer near Stonehenge forced a reconsideration. This man lived around 2,350 BC and was buried with Beaker pots and wrist guards. His gold hair binders are the earliest gold objects found in Britain. Tests were carried out on the Archer’s teeth and bones. They show that he came from Central Europe, near the Alps. The copper of his knives was also from the Continent (Northern Spain and Western France). Significantly, he was also buried with a cushion stone, used by metal-workers.


So what language did the Bell Beaker folk bring to the British Isles? Why were two types of Celtic spoken there by the time we have any records? Gaelic seems the older form. We can picture the first Beaker arrivals speaking an archaic form of Celtic that evolved over the millennia into Gaelic. By contrast the Brittonic (or Brythonic) language of Britain was closely related to Gaulish, spoken across the Channel by the Roman period. That suggests that Britain received more or heavier waves of Celtic migration than did Ireland, continuing into the Iron Age. This fits the archaeological picture.

Further reading... (http://www.buildinghistory.org/distantpast/bellbeaker.shtml)


Related posts
Three waves of Celtic migration to Britain (http://www.theapricity.com/forum/showthread.php?p=684517#post684517)

Albion
01-31-2012, 08:19 PM
Note: Before reading this it is important to understand that nothing is set in stone as to the origins of haplogroups in Europe yet, it is something of a work in progress. New evidence can affect theories about haplogroups, and such can be seen with the two theories about the origins of R1b in Western Europe.



I propose that the Bell Beaker culture was an indirect descendant of the Megalithic cultures of Europe, but one which was under intense influence from the east bringing in new features to the material culture.

http://www.eupedia.com/images/content/early_bronze_age_europe.gif
Early bronze age Europe - R1b as a minority within the Bell Beaker Culture

http://img802.imageshack.us/img802/1854/67bellbeakerdivergence.jpg
R1b becomes more predominant as the culture progresses

http://img543.imageshack.us/img543/5585/98latebronzeage.jpg
As the bronze age progresses into the Iron Age the R1b haplogroup had by then become predominant in Western Europe (the area shaded red)



The newer theories about the origins of R1b in Western Europe suggest that it arrived at roughly the time when the Bell Beaker culture was being practised.
The migration of R1b people into the Bell Beaker areas probably brought with it the Celto-Italic languages which would develop into Celtic in the West, as well as a more pastoral system of agriculture.
I believe the spread of R1b peoples to have been gradual throughout the culture, but it is clear that the Beaker Culture had very good contact between the different areas where it was practised. This would have aided any new settlers, especially people practising a better form of agriculture (it was in the Bell Beaker period that the failing agriculture of Britain "saved" by the Bell Beaker culture as mentioned earlier.)
By the development of the Unetice (2300-1600 BCE), Tumulus (1600-1200 BCE), Urnfield (1300-1200 BCE) and Hallstatt (1200-750) cultures which had diverged from the main Bell Beaker, R1b had spread through the Bell Beaker culture and would have been on the way to becoming the majority of the population.
These cultures largely developed out of the Beaker Culture and are seen as predecessors' to the Celtic culture.

R1b could have been a minority type amongst the Beaker Culture for a time, but gradually become predominant for a number of reasons (some listed in below), but was probably responsible for spreading Celtic languages throughout the Bell Beaker culture.



Historians and archeologists have long argued whether the Indo-European migration was a massive invasion, or rather a cultural diffusion of language and technology spread only by a small number of incomers. The answer could well be "neither". Proponents of the diffusion theory would have us think that R1b is native to Western Europe, and R1a alone represent the Indo-Europeans. The problem is that haplogroup R did arise in Central Asia, and R2 is still restricted to Central and South Asia, while R1a and the older subclades of R1b are also found in Central Asia. The age of R1b subclades in Europe coincide with the Bronze-Age. R1b must consequently have replaced most of the native Y-DNA lineages in Europe from the Bronze-Age onwards.

However, a massive migration and nearly complete anihilation of the Paleolithic population can hardly be envisaged. Western Europeans do look quite different in Ireland, Holland, Aquitaine or Portugal, despite being all regions where R1b is dominant. Autosomal DNA studies have confirmed that the Western European population is far from homogeneous. A lot of maternal lineages (mtDNA) also appear to be of Paleolithic origin (e.g. H1, H3, U5 or V) based on ancient DNA tests. What a lot of people forget is that there is also no need of a large-scale exodus for patrilineal lineages to be replaced fairly quickly. Here is why.


Polygamy. Unlike women, men are not limited in the number of children they can procreate. Men with power typically have more children. This was all the truer in primitive societies, where polygamy was often the norm for chieftains and kings.
Status & Power. Equipped with Bronze weapons and horses, the Indo-Europeans would have easily subjugated the Neolithic farmers and with even greater ease Europe's last hunter-gatherers.If they did not exterminate the indigenous men, the newcomers would have become the new ruling class, with a multitude of local kings, chieftains and noblemen (Bronze-Age Celts and Germans lived in small village communities with a chief, each part of a small tribe headed by a king) with higher reproductive opportunities than average.
Gender imbalance. Invading armies normally have far more men than women. Men must therefore find women in the conquered population. Wars are waged by men, and the losers suffer heavier casualties, leaving more women available to the winners.
Aggressive warfare. The Indo-Europeans were a warlike people with a strong heroic code emphasising courage and military prowess. Their superior technology (metal weapons, wheeled vehicles and warhorses) and attitude to life would have allowed them to slaughter any population that did not have organised armies with metal weapons (i.e. anybody except the Middle-Eastern civilizations).
Genetic predisposition to conceive boys. The main role of the Y-chromosome in man's body is to create sperm. Haplogroups are determined based on mutations differentiating Y-chromosomes. Each mutation is liable to affect sperm production and sperm motility. Preliminary research has already established a link between certain haplogroups and increased or reduced sperm motility. The higher the motility, the higher the chances of conceiving a boy. It is absolutely possible that R1b could confer a bias toward more male offspring. Even a slightly higher percentage of male births would significantly contribute to the replacement of other lineages with the accumulation effect building up over a few millennia. Not all R1b subclades might have this boy bias. The bias only exist in relation to other haplogroups found in a same population. It is very possible that R1b subclades of Western Europe had a significant advantage compared to other haplogroups.


Replacement of patrilineal lineages following this model quickly becomes exponential. Imagine 100 Indo-European men conquering a tribe of 1000 indigenous Europeans (a ratio of 1:10). War casualties have resulted in a higher proportion of women in the conquered population. Let's say that the surviving population is composed of 700 women and 300 men. Let's suppose that the victorious Indo-European men end up having twice as many children reaching adulthood as the men of the vanquished tribe. There is a number of reason for that. The winners would take more wives, or take concubines, or even rape women of the vanquished tribe. Their higher status would garantee them greater wealth and therefore better nutrition for their offspring, increasing the chances of reaching adulthood and procreating themselves. An offspring ratio of 2 to 1 for men is actually a conservative estimate, as it is totally conceivable that Bronze-Age sensibilities would have resulted in killing most of the men on the losing side, and raping their women (as attested by the Old Testament). Even so, it would only take a few generations for the winning Y-DNA lineages to become the majority. For instance, if the first generation of Indo-Europeans had two surviving sons per man, against only one per indigenous man, the number of Indo-European paternal lineages would pass to 200 individuals at the second generation, 400 at the third, 800 at the fourth and 1600 at the fifth, and so on. During that time indigenous lineages would only stagnate at 300 individuals for each generation.
Based on such a scenario, the R1b lineages would have quickly overwhelmed the local lineages. Even if the Indo-European conquerors had only slightly more children than the local men, R1b lineages would become dominant within a few centuries. Celtic culture lasted for over 1000 years in Continental Europe before the Roman conquest putting an end to the priviledges of the chieftains and nobility. This is more than enough time for R1b lineages to reach 50 to 80% of the population.

The present-day R1b frequency forms a gradient from the Atlantic fringe of Europe (highest percentage) to Central and Eastern Europe (lowest), the rises again in the Anatolian homeland. This is almost certainly because agriculture was better established in Eastern, then Central Europe, with higher densities of population, leaving R1b invadors more outnumbered than in the West. Besides, other Indo-Europeans of the Corded Ware culture (R1a) had already advanced from modern Russia and Ukraine as far west as Germany and Scandinavia. It would be difficult for R1b people to rival with their R1a cousins who shared similar technology and culture. The Pre-Celto-Germanic R1b would therefore have been forced to settled further west, first around the Alps, then overtaking the then sparsely populated Western Europe.

From Europedia




Alternatively R1b could have been native to Western Europe if you believe the older theory. This would have meant that improvements in agriculture and IE languages would have arrived through contact from the east instead of a important migration.

(I'am presented with evidence against this and that is why this theory appears as not much more than a footnote.)

By the time of the Celts

By the Celtic period R1b had come to predominate and was further spread by Celtic migrations in Western Europe.
R1b wasn't the only haplogroup amongst the Celts but was almost certainly the major one.

Sylvanus
01-31-2012, 09:05 PM
LOLWUT? The keltz were the La-Tène culture. Probably. The bones cannot speak and the genes nor. However the original kelts were rather more Nordids and lesser Alpinids mixed people and the Bell Beaker people was a brachy- and mesocephal mixed people with Corded-Mediterranid elements.

Well, the luckless celto-germans were here R1b, there R1a, yonder I1. I am expecting the theory of the paleolithic aryanz with Y HG J or other. :rofl:

Theories, theoires, theories. Prehistory one of the greatest pseudo-science what build more and more theories in the found of other theoiries.

Albion
01-31-2012, 09:25 PM
LOLWUT? The keltz were the La-Tène culture. Probably. The bones cannot speak and the genes nor. However the original kelts were rather more Nordids and lesser Alpinids mixed people and the Bell Beaker people was a brachy- and mesocephal mixed people with Corded-Mediterranid elements.


Did you even read any of it or are you just making assumptions?
Pseudo-science? I think all these generic European sub-races are a better example of that. Most writers about them disagreed and most modern posters still do and it isn't accepted or studied by any main stream scientists unlike archeology and genetics. Since when are the latter two pseudo-science?
Where did I mention Aryans or imply anything about them. IE origins in the Pontic Steppe is a mainstream theory and the Mesolithic continuity theory is looking ever less credible by the day as the evidence builds. It appears that many of the old works dismissed in modern times as "migrationist rubbish" may have actually been right.
This concerns Celts and shows my interest in them and their predecessors'. I don't see how that equates to some Germanic superiority thread to you.



Well, the luckless celto-germans were here R1b, there R1a, yonder I1. I am expecting the theory of the paleolithic aryanz with Y HG J or other. :rofl:

No, it doesn't quite work that way. Germanics developed from Corded Ware, from R1a and R1b peoples coming into contact with I1. What is so difficult about that?
Although I haven't discussed it in this thread, the Germanics show themselves to be a hybrid culture rather than some "Aryan" master-race.
Germanic languages contain a pre-Indo-European substratum amounting to more than 1/3 of the language, Germanic mythology has traits unlike others in Europe and as mentioned, there's the genes to consider too.


Theories, theoires, theories. Prehistory one of the greatest pseudo-science what build more and more theories in the found of other theoiries.

Dismiss it all you like, but until you bother to even read or think about it I refuse to give a fuck about what you think.
I have actually bothered to do some research. Some of it may be proven wrong, but most of what I have written there (apart from haplogroups) is pretty solid and has plenty of evidence.
Haplogroups on the other hand are open to interpretation because we don't know as much as we'd like to about them yet.

rhiannon
02-01-2012, 08:08 AM
This thread shows some promise. I am very interested to find out more about this as well, seeing as it has direct impact on my own ancestry:)

Argyll
02-01-2012, 10:02 PM
The Celts descended from the, and the megalithic people as well. The Celts didn't just pop up out of know where. The La Tene culture is much more late, when considering earlier Celtic finds.

I am very interested in this thread too. Albion, mate, you know how to make some very promising threads :)

Catrau
02-01-2012, 10:42 PM
[QUOTE=Albion;684431]http://www.buildinghistory.org/distantpast/images/Celticplace-names.jpg
The frequency of Celtic place names coincides well with the Bell Beaker culture

Very nice thread Albion, almost an article.
I have my own ideas about Celts focusing my homeland and of course, there is a bit of speculation about all this but in this case you defend well you theory and you must be applauded for that. I'll have to read it again.
About some of your maps, just a few words in what my homeland concerns. I'll say that, yes, as we can see in your maps there is some doubt about the "Celtiness" of Lusitani, some think they may be an older people of unknown origin but there were peoples living here for ever, in the valley of my hometown's river are Neanderthal caves with 50k years... but one thing is for sure, we know they spoke a Celtic language, it's written in Latin alphabet in the rocks of the worship places, so if they weren't Celts, they were “Celticised” for sure and in central Portugal and Spanish Extremadura (homeland for the Lusitani) there are many of Celtic names.

Albion
02-02-2012, 01:54 PM
The Celts descended from the, and the megalithic people as well. The Celts didn't just pop up out of know where. The La Tene culture is much more late, when considering earlier Celtic finds.

I am very interested in this thread too. Albion, mate, you know how to make some very promising threads :)

I'm not proposing they just came out of nowhere, I'm proposing that a part of the genetics may have come from further east. Look at the map and find R1b. Celts have legends saying how they set off from Troy, R1b could have crossed the Caucasus Mountains from the Ukrainian Steppe and continued through Anatolia to Europe, just passed it.

As for the Megalithic culture, the Bell Beaker partially formed from it. Stonehenge was still being built during the Bell Beaker period.

The Bell Beaker then evolved into a few regionally distinct cultures, some of these would become the Hallstatt and La Tene which have been identified with Celts.
Whilst cultural elements spread from these areas, much of the original Bell Beaker (and ultimately, Megalithic) culture was retained and formed the Celtic peoples.
Celtic languages could have been spoken before the Hallstatt or La Tene cultures, right back in the Bronze Age with the Bell Beaker culture.


About some of your maps, just a few words in what my homeland concerns. I'll say that, yes, as we can see in your maps there is some doubt about the "Celtiness" of Lusitani, some think they may be an older people of unknown origin but there were peoples living here for ever, in the valley of my hometown's river are Neanderthal caves with 50k years... but one thing is for sure, we know they spoke a Celtic language, it's written in Latin alphabet in the rocks of the worship places, so if they weren't Celts, they were “Celticised” for sure and in central Portugal and Spanish Extremadura (homeland for the Lusitani) there are many of Celtic names.

I see them as Celts, but a very old settlement of them:


Copper-workers may have arrived in Iberia with a small company of migrants, to be gradually reinforced by others seeking pastures new. Carved stone anthropomorphic stelae mark the trail of these copper-workers, so let us call them the Stelae People. An early splinter group from the Proto-Italo-Celtic parent would help to explain why the Celtic of Iberia had such an archaic structure, retaining Italic elements. A similarly mixed language was spoken by the Ligures in what is now Northern-Western Italy and South-Eastern France. There is tantalisingly little evidence for Ligurian, but it appears primarily Celtic and Italic.

Wulfhere
02-02-2012, 04:07 PM
The archaeologist Colin Renfrew has long argued that the Indo-European languages of Europe were introduced by the first Neolithic settlers, and evolved in situ into their various branches, including Celtic. Thus is very much at odds with the so-called "Kurgan hypothesis", which sees the original Neolithic settlers, including the megalith builders, as not speaking an Indo-European language, the latter being introduced much later by invaders from the east. My own view is that Renfrew is correct, even though his opinion is in a minority amongst academics.

In this scenario, the non-Indo-European pockets, such as Basque and Etruscan, represent survivals of the Mesolithic languages of Western Europe, rather than the Neolithic ones.

Argyll
02-02-2012, 05:32 PM
I'm not proposing they just came out of nowhere, I'm proposing that a part of the genetics may have come from further east. Look at the map and find R1b. Celts have legends saying how they set off from Troy, R1b could have crossed the Caucasus Mountains from the Ukrainian Steppe and continued through Anatolia to Europe, just passed it.

As for the Megalithic culture, the Bell Beaker partially formed from it. Stonehenge was still being built during the Bell Beaker period.

The Bell Beaker then evolved into a few regionally distinct cultures, some of these would become the Hallstatt and La Tene which have been identified with Celts.
Whilst cultural elements spread from these areas, much of the original Bell Beaker (and ultimately, Megalithic) culture was retained and formed the Celtic peoples.
Celtic languages could have been spoken before the Hallstatt or La Tene cultures, right back in the Bronze Age with the Bell Beaker culture.


I wan't saying anything negative to you, Albion :) I was saying that towards those who act as if the Celts were already what we see them as.

Albion
02-02-2012, 07:59 PM
The archaeologist Colin Renfrew has long argued that the Indo-European languages of Europe were introduced by the first Neolithic settlers, and evolved in situ into their various branches, including Celtic. Thus is very much at odds with the so-called "Kurgan hypothesis", which sees the original Neolithic settlers, including the megalith builders, as not speaking an Indo-European language, the latter being introduced much later by invaders from the east. My own view is that Renfrew is correct, even though his opinion is in a minority amongst academics.

In this scenario, the non-Indo-European pockets, such as Basque and Etruscan, represent survivals of the Mesolithic languages of Western Europe, rather than the Neolithic ones.

I highlighted that in my post about genetic., I've stated that the Celtic languages could have been introduced with influences and migrants from the east who brought R1b and the cultural changes which turned the Megalithic to the Bell Beaker.


I wan't saying anything negative to you, Albion

Yeah, I just clarified things a bit.


I was saying that towards those who act as if the Celts were already what we see them as.

Yes, the Celts were very different from their ancestors since they had a long time to develop. It is clear though that many elements of it are very ancient.

Germanic culture is the same. Although very new to most of Europe, in its homeland (Denmark and surrounding area) it has existed for a very long time indeed, possibly going back to the Corded Ware Culture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corded_Ware_culture) which occupied Northern Europe at the same time as the Beaker Culture occupied the west of it. It may ultimately go back further, I think the Ertebolle Culture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erteb%C3%B8lle_culture) which existed at a similar time to the building of the Megaliths may be its origin, but I haven't looked into it much yet.

It is clear that something did happen in the old Megalithic Culture though and across all of Europe. Agriculture (mostly arable at the time, introduced with the Megaliths) was failing. Ireland was doing worse than Britain.
We see that the old stone age cultures gradually found out about metal and a few other things such as the use of horses and wheeled vehicles. Warfare appeared more widespread, new forms of agriculture and many changes happened.
It is quite clear that something major was happening at this time, cultures across Europe were changing and the Megalithic gradually gave way to the Bell Beaker culture as Stonehenge was built. One of the greatest and one of the last stone circles.
Under early agriculture the stature of people greatly decreased because it was a poor grain-based diet. Stature and health of people improved in the Bell Beaker, perhaps as a result of the introduction of dairy farming, lactose tolerance and pastoralism (which provided more protein without one having to slaughter the livestock to get it from meat).

Both Germanic and Celtic cultures are related to some extent, but the original proto-Germanics were probably closer related to Slavs and Balts, with Celts related more to Italics IMO.
That is vastly different today though where Germanics and Celts have mixed so much that the distinctions have blurred.

Although I haven't discussed it much here, these large cultures such as the Bell Beaker and Celtic did have regional variants.
In the modern Germanics we have three main "geo-cultural" groups - Scandinavians, Continental West Germanics (Germans, Dutch, etc) and "Anglo-Saxons". All show differences, but also similarities and the latter (Anglo-Saxons) is far more removed from the others due a number of factors, including the Celto-Germanic origins of its population.
Anyway, with the Bell Beaker, Megalithic and Corded Ware it was no different - regional differences have and always will exist. Sometimes these lead to new cultures in their own right.

I'am no expert on this period in history though, it is a hard period to study but I try my hardest.

Wulfhere
02-02-2012, 10:12 PM
A theory explaining why the Germanic languages appear to contain a large number of non-IE words is the Germanic substrate hypothesis, which proposes that a non-IE population existed in the area before IE speakers arrived, with whom they merged. This may cast doubt on Renfrew's ideas but the Germanic substrate hypothesis has itself fallen from favour in recent years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanic_substrate_hypothesis

Osweo
02-02-2012, 11:05 PM
This cracked me up in one of the articles quoted;

The incomers boosted what had been a dwindling population of farmers, and created a thriving society*
I can't believe they didn't say 'vibrant', too! :puke: Good old immigrants, eh!

I read Soviet books quite a lot, and chuckle at the odd gratuitous Marx or Engels quote that the author slips in to keep the censors happy, and our own modern writing has EXACTLY the same feel to it! :D :tsk:

Ahem...
As I see it, Celtic speech in Britain, Gaul, Iberia, the Upper Danube and Padania, as attested in onomastica and toponymy, is SOO identical, that we need to posit a diffusion of language in a period quite recent to that of the first Classical writers. I see the Bell Beaker phenomenon as predating this, and perhaps the peculiar nature of Lusitanian in western Iberia is an indication that we should be looking for an older cousin of Celto-Italic. :chin: Interesting that Celtic might not have been THE first IE language spoken on this island, eh?

I see Celtic as accompanying a new idea that expanded and was rapidly taken up following a social crisis in the West. I think the Beaker thing is a bit early though.

Albion
02-03-2012, 12:02 AM
A theory explaining why the Germanic languages appear to contain a large number of non-IE words is the Germanic substrate hypothesis, which proposes that a non-IE population existed in the area before IE speakers arrived, with whom they merged. This may cast doubt on Renfrew's ideas but the Germanic substrate hypothesis has itself fallen from favour in recent years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanic_substrate_hypothesis

I've thought about this a few times, it can be one of a few theories:


That Basque could have been part of a now forgotten language family spoken over much of Europe. Some point to it as having left words in insular Celtic languages and maybe Germanic.
The Finnic theory. I very much doubt this, Finnic haplogroups aren;t common outside of NE Europe, they're beyond rare.
Afro-Asiatic - this proposes that the substratums / superstratums in European languages could be from former Afro-Asiatic languages presumed to have been spoken in Europe. Proponents argue that haplogroup I split of from IJ in the Middle East and that the Megalithic technology could have been carried around the coast of Europe by people originally from the Middle East (this is apparently why there is small amounts of J and E3B1 around Europe).


I'm not sure what I believe at the moment. Out of all of them I'd like to believe in the Basque theory, but I've read a few things against it. I'd better stay neutral for now.

But whatever the superstratum in Germanic and substratum in Celtic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goidelic_substrate_hypothesis), it is pretty obvious that it likely originates with the earlier cultures.
The fact that Celtic languages display a few cognates with Basque lends nicely to my theory about the Bell Beaker and how it became IE speaking from an original non-IE speaking predecessor (Megalithic).

This guy has put a lot into his Finnic theory (http://www.paabo.ca/uirala/index.html) but I need convincing. It's a nice theory, but I don't see much evidence yet, especially since Finnics have forever been beyond rare outside of NE Europe and Siberia.



I can't believe they didn't say 'vibrant', too! Good old immigrants, eh!

:thumbs up


Ahem...
As I see it, Celtic speech in Britain, Gaul, Iberia, the Upper Danube and Padania, as attested in onomastica and toponymy, is SOO identical, that we need to posit a diffusion of language in a period quite recent to that of the first Classical writers. I see the Bell Beaker phenomenon as predating this, and perhaps the peculiar nature of Lusitanian in western Iberia is an indication that we should be looking for an older cousin of Celto-Italic.

Yes, this would point to an older language but it is not to say that we aren't looking for some archaic form of Celtic.


Interesting that Celtic might not have been THE first IE language spoken on this island, eh?

I believe a Celtic language was the first and before that a non-IE language. I covered it a bit here (http://www.theapricity.com/forum/showthread.php?p=684517#post684517), but it's largely hypothetical of course.


I see Celtic as accompanying a new idea that expanded and was rapidly taken up following a social crisis in the West.

Probably. Climatic problems led to all sorts of stuff going on in early Scandinavia, I'll look into it.
There's a good website about climatic history in Britain here (http://booty.org.uk/booty.weather/climate/histclimat.htm), and it goes into details back to 4000BC on this page. (http://booty.org.uk/booty.weather/climate/4000_100BC.htm) The Cymbrian flood at the bottom is fascinating.

Anyway, I'll look into it tomorrow.



I think the Beaker thing is a bit early though.

Perhaps, but there's a lot of continuity from Bell Beaker to Celtic. Bell Beaker gave us the cultures which would develop into Celtic and maybe I'm pushing it back a bit far, but I do see correlations.

awyr dywyll
11-03-2012, 07:52 AM
[LIST=1]

Where did I mention Aryans or imply anything about them. IE origins in the Pontic Steppe is a mainstream theory and the Mesolithic continuity theory is looking ever less credible by the day as the evidence builds. It appears that many of the old works dismissed in modern times as "migrationist rubbish" may have actually been right.


Anatolian hypothesis looks mor realistic. First IE speaking people arrived to Europe among the Neolithic settlers

awyr dywyll
11-03-2012, 11:36 AM
I highlighted that in my post about genetic., I've stated that the Celtic languages could have been introduced with influences and migrants from the east who brought R1b and the cultural changes which turned the Megalithic to the Bell Beaker.


Actually Bell Beaker Culture originated in Iberia and Western Mediterranean.The earliest archaeological traces of this culture found there. So this culture expanded to the east from west. And more likely that these people spoke Italo-Celtic language or even already separated Proto-Italic and Proto-Celtic. Moreover, there's no evidence that Bell Beakers were alien incomers in south-west of Europe. They came from the local Neolithic cultures and possibly were the product of mixing of the Neolithic and Mesolithic populations