I wonder if new people coming into an area peacefully might settle in the less desireable areas, like low lands, or high lands, because the best land had already been taken. There they could multiply till such time they could spread further.
That was the contention of the late and greatly missed Ian Shepherd with regard to the apparent congruity between the earliest beakers in Scotland and the early appearance of metalworking in certain key localities.
I can't run down an online reference to his ideas, so hope you don't mind me copying out a chunk from his pamphlet produced for the interested general public, "Powerful Pots: Beakers in north-east prehistory" (1986) (ISBN 0 9511411 0 4).
After pointing out the scattered and sparse distribution of local early beakers, All-Over-Ornamented ( and All-Over-Cord-decorated), having their origin in the lower Rhine basin and ultimately the Protruding-Foot tradition, and a noticeable and well-debated change in the skeletal type associated with such burials and the artefacts deposited with them, which "all point to an intrusive ethnic element in much of the earlier phases of the beaker phenomenon", he adds "It is probable that the skills of metalworking were introduced to Britain by the makers of "middle style" beakers" (using Humphrey Case's 3-phase definitions throughout, dated I know, but as good as any of the intricate and gnarly schemata produced before or since). Goldwork appears (Amesbury Archer type ear?/hair? rings from Morayshire and elsewhere in N Scotland), decorated disks, lunulae, and Cu-As alloys with the odd bit of tin-bronze, in the form of thin-butted axes, jet and amber jewelry.
"In the north-east of Scotland, as elsewhere in Britain, beakers appeared in a society that was already showing signs of change and disruption. They implanted best where there were men ready to exploit them against established power."
"It is also significant that echoes of the pattern noted in Wessex in which the earliest beaker burials avoid (or were excluded from? ;glentane)
the major ritual enclosures (Thorpe and Richards 1984, 79) can be seen in Grampian. The Garioch (agricultural breadbasket of NE Scotland ;glentane
) is almost devoid of early beakers and evidence of metalworking, whereas areas peripheral to the Neolithic heartland, and in particular east and west Buchan, not only have more evidence of early beaker activity but also have substantial evidence of the earliest metalworking."
"It would appear that although the initial contacts made in Grampian by the beaker metal-workers from the lower Rhine and Holland in particular were by way of nearly all the main rivers, the Deveron, the Ugie, the Ythan, the Dee and the Don, as the last-named led straight to the Neolithic power-centres, beakers were not encouraged in the Garioch."
Goes on to show how the links skipped round the solid farming core areas, in a trajectory ending in Ireland's copper sources. The recent findings at Upper Largie, unarguably intrusive or rather satellite ("Dutch") beaker burial, and "Yorkshire" polypod bowl, at the Ireland-bound end of the Great Glen, within a vast "native" Neolithic complex, tend to bear this out.
"Control of access to such high status goods as metalwork and fine pottery ( and perhaps more importantly the 'rocket-fuel' mead they seem to have contained? It'd get my vote :) ;glentane
) would have led to the development of a prestige goods economy in the hands of several grandees - not too fancifully, 'the Big Men of Buchan' - who could have risen in status in opposition to the adjacent, older ritual
(my bold; g
) authority of the Garioch."
The early metalwork types and the ceramics all point seductively to the Netherlands. I could bore you rigid with a list if you like. :)
Oh, and, because I'm a horrible old man who likes to stir, I have a vague recall that there's a distinct R-U106 peak in this very part of NE Scotland, which was kicked all up and down the park in discussions on the defunct DNAForums, with everyone from Maglemose hunters (cf. Starr Carr) to mediaeval Flemings (local "Norman" aristocracy and their homies) being mustered to fill the ranks. Just sayin' ..
(oh there you go, it's risen from the grave again .. just noticed this thread
For balance, here's a more recent treatment of early metal in Scotland, which points to all corners of the map, as opposed to the Lower Rhine and the Netherlands exclusively.http://independent.academia.edu/BOConnor/Papers/1292032/The_earliest_Scottish_metalwork_since_Coles
It's not you, is it?
Hey, you got 12 at DYS393 too. Cool (4YWRX).