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Author Topic: Beaker Folk Finds: Skulls, Reconstructions, Artifacts, etc.  (Read 8546 times)
rms2
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« on: May 28, 2012, 07:05:52 AM »

Given the amount of interest in the Beaker Folk since the ancient R1b results from the Beaker site in Kromsdorf, Germany, detailed in Lee, et al, I thought I would create a thread in which we could post links to various Beaker articles, images, etc., with emphasis on photos of Beaker skulls, reconstructions, and artifacts.

I came across one I had not heard of before, the Brymbo Man, a Beaker male found in Brymbo, near Wrexham, in NE Wales, dated to about 1600 BC. The link shows his skull and its reconstruction.

If you check the other pages at that site, you will discover further details. For example, Brymbo Man was about 35 years old when he died. He was 173cm tall (5-8; pretty tall for the Bronze Age) and had a stocky or powerful build.

The Amesbury Archer was, of course, about 700 years older than the Brymbo Man.

It would be nice if we could get some ancient y-dna from more finds like these!
« Last Edit: May 28, 2012, 07:08:39 AM by rms2 » Logged

rms2
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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2012, 07:16:29 AM »

Given the amount of interest in the Beaker Folk since the ancient R1b results from the Beaker site in Kromsdorf, Germany, detailed in Lee, et al, I thought I would create a thread in which we could post links to various Beaker articles, images, etc., with emphasis on photos of Beaker skulls, reconstructions, and artifacts.

I came across one I had not heard of before, the Brymbo Man, a Beaker male found in Brymbo, near Wrexham, in NE Wales, dated to about 1600 BC. The link shows his skull and its reconstruction.

If you check the other pages at that site, you will discover further details. For example, Brymbo Man was about 35 years old when he died. He was 173cm tall (5-8; pretty tall for the Bronze Age) and had a stocky or powerful build.

The Amesbury Archer was, of course, about 700 years older than the Brymbo Man.

It would be nice if we could get some ancient y-dna from more finds like these!


Check out this recreation of a BBC radio report from the 1950s on the discovery of Brymbo Man.

Cool!
« Last Edit: May 28, 2012, 07:17:59 AM by rms2 » Logged

rms2
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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2012, 08:37:58 AM »

I know the study by archaeologists from University College Dublin on the Beaker phenomenon in Ireland has been mentioned here before, but I thought I would post this image of a poster advertising the project. It has a map of some of the Irish Beaker finds.

This stuff dates from 2007. Does anyone know how much progress has been made or if any publications have been released?
« Last Edit: May 28, 2012, 08:39:13 AM by rms2 » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2012, 08:58:46 AM »

I know the study by archaeologists from University College Dublin on the Beaker phenomenon in Ireland has been mentioned here before, but I thought I would post this image of a poster advertising the project. It has a map of some of the Irish Beaker finds.

This stuff dates from 2007. Does anyone know how much progress has been made or if any publications have been released?

Well, I just sent an email off to Neil Carlin of University College Dublin, who is listed on the poster at the link above as the contact person for the university's Beaker project.

I asked him for an update and if there are any plans to dna test any Beaker remains.

We'll see if I get an answer.
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rms2
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« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2012, 09:17:41 AM »

I know the study by archaeologists from University College Dublin on the Beaker phenomenon in Ireland has been mentioned here before, but I thought I would post this image of a poster advertising the project. It has a map of some of the Irish Beaker finds.

This stuff dates from 2007. Does anyone know how much progress has been made or if any publications have been released?

Well, I just sent an email off to Neil Carlin of University College Dublin, who is listed on the poster at the link above as the contact person for the university's Beaker project.

I asked him for an update and if there are any plans to dna test any Beaker remains.

We'll see if I get an answer.

My email to Mr. Carlin bounced, but, undeterred, I sent another to the contact email for research projects.

We'll see . . .
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Jean M
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2012, 11:04:57 AM »

I know the study by archaeologists from University College Dublin on the Beaker phenomenon in Ireland has been mentioned here before, but I thought I would post this image of a poster advertising the project. It has a map of some of the Irish Beaker finds.

This stuff dates from 2007. Does anyone know how much progress has been made or if any publications have been released?

A summary of his conclusion that Beaker settlement is widespread in Ireland can be found in Neil Carlin, Some findings from a study of Beaker settlement in Leinster, Proceedings of the Association of Young Irish Archaeologists: Annual Conference 2006, ed. K. Cleary and G. McCarthy (2006), pp. 13-27.

It was online. Can't find it now. But there is a copy in the Mini-Library. 
« Last Edit: May 28, 2012, 11:07:58 AM by Jean M » Logged
Jean M
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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2012, 11:11:29 AM »

Neil Carlin and his supervisor have a paper in the forthcoming Is there a British Chalcolithic? People, place and polity in the later 3rd millennium for which I have paid my money.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2012, 11:11:55 AM by Jean M » Logged
rms2
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« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2012, 12:19:15 PM »


I know the study by archaeologists from University College Dublin on the Beaker phenomenon in Ireland has been mentioned here before, but I thought I would post this image of a poster advertising the project. It has a map of some of the Irish Beaker finds.

This stuff dates from 2007. Does anyone know how much progress has been made or if any publications have been released?

A summary of his conclusion that Beaker settlement is widespread in Ireland can be found in Neil Carlin, Some findings from a study of Beaker settlement in Leinster, Proceedings of the Association of Young Irish Archaeologists: Annual Conference 2006, ed. K. Cleary and G. McCarthy (2006), pp. 13-27.

It was online. Can't find it now. But there is a copy in the Mini-Library. [/size]

Thanks, Jean. I hadn't read that one.

It was interesting for two main reasons: 1) that, as you mentioned, Beaker settlements were widespread in Ireland, and 2) Beaker settlements there indicate a preference for riverine and coastal locations.
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alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2012, 07:35:36 PM »

Given the amount of interest in the Beaker Folk since the ancient R1b results from the Beaker site in Kromsdorf, Germany, detailed in Lee, et al, I thought I would create a thread in which we could post links to various Beaker articles, images, etc., with emphasis on photos of Beaker skulls, reconstructions, and artifacts.

I came across one I had not heard of before, the Brymbo Man, a Beaker male found in Brymbo, near Wrexham, in NE Wales, dated to about 1600 BC. The link shows his skull and its reconstruction.

If you check the other pages at that site, you will discover further details. For example, Brymbo Man was about 35 years old when he died. He was 173cm tall (5-8; pretty tall for the Bronze Age) and had a stocky or powerful build.

The Amesbury Archer was, of course, about 700 years older than the Brymbo Man.

It would be nice if we could get some ancient y-dna from more finds like these!

lol.  Great minds think alike.  I went googling for a facial reconstruction of a beaker man a few days and read about that guy too.
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alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2012, 07:49:28 PM »

Yeah there was at least a couple of things by Carlin on the web.  He seems to be the main man for beaker in Ireland at the moment.  I have definately posted a couple of things by him on DNA sites in the past year or so. I know that some beaker was found at works on a new road at Newry Co.Down in SE Ulster.  Here is part of the summary

The pits in Group B were similarly aligned in a circular arrangement, with an entrance in the west. The artefacts from the pits included burnt and unburnt flint, prehistoric pottery and burnt bone. The average dimensions for the pits in this group were 0.6m in length, 0.5m in width and 0.25m in depth. Two pits to the north of the site produced fragments of prehistoric pottery, with characteristic Beaker decoration evident on the surface
« Last Edit: May 28, 2012, 08:02:34 PM by alan trowel hands. » Logged
JeanL
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« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2012, 08:28:14 PM »

Are there any plans for potential aDNA testing from the British Islands, if so, what potential candidates(i.e. Archeological sites) could be start to look into? We know that there is the Red Lady of Paviland for the Upper Paleolithic and Cheddar Man for Mesolithic, so any Y-DNA testing on them would certainly be very interesting. I actually do not know a lot about British or Irish prehistory, so I wonder what are potential sites for aDNA testing where male remains are known to exist?
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Jean M
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« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2012, 05:17:50 AM »

The Red Lady was tested years ago by Bryan Sykes, but in a way that did nothing to guard against contamination. So although he wrote his usual confident rubbish about it at the time, he has been wise enough to drop that particular CRS claim subsequently, admitting that he did not clone the DNA.

His results from Gough's Cave were written up in such an unsatisfactory way that all we have from him are another unreliable CRS (older than Cheddar Man) and his claim in his popular book Seven Daughters of Eve that Cheddar Man was mtDNA U. I had to take the 16192T, 16270T (U5) result for Cheddar Man from ISOGG, because I can't see anywhere that Sykes actually published it.

Things are even worse for Ireland. The mtDNA U5 reported from Glencurran Cave for Blood of the Irish doesn't seem to be written up anywhere. That is the only aDNA from Ireland so far.

There is more ancient mtDNA from Britain for later periods, but no Y-DNA. See my table: http://www.buildinghistory.org/distantpast/ancientdna.shtml .
« Last Edit: May 29, 2012, 06:24:08 AM by Jean M » Logged
Arch Y.
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« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2012, 01:50:12 PM »

Do we know if Bell Beakers had dogs? Just curious.
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rms2
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« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2012, 09:18:06 PM »

I really do wish someone would get it over with and get some y-dna from Paleolithic and Mesolithic remains in Iberia. Let's get that out of the way so we can move on.

I also wish we could get some y-dna from Neolithic people in the British Isles and from Beaker Folk. Let's get that out of the way, too.

It seems to me L21 gets neglected, but it certainly should not be neglected in any study of aDNA in the British Isles, since it is pretty obviously the most common y haplogroup there.
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JeanL
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« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2012, 11:02:08 PM »

I really do wish someone would get it over with and get some y-dna from Paleolithic and Mesolithic remains in Iberia. Let's get that out of the way so we can move on.

A possibility could be the two men found in the Mesolithic settlement of Brana-Arintero dated to 5890-5710 BC.

Here is an article in Spanish about it:

Los hombres mesolíticos de la Braña-Arintero (Valdelugueros, León): el hallazgo, situación, aspectos arqueo-antropológicos, cronología y contexto cultural
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Arch Y.
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« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2012, 11:07:18 PM »

I really do wish someone would get it over with and get some y-dna from Paleolithic and Mesolithic remains in Iberia. Let's get that out of the way so we can move on.

I also wish we could get some y-dna from Neolithic people in the British Isles and from Beaker Folk. Let's get that out of the way, too.

It seems to me L21 gets neglected, but it certainly should not be neglected in any study of aDNA in the British Isles, since it is pretty obviously the most common y haplogroup there.

The big problem is cremation. Look at Stonehenge and the Avebury Circle. What a mess trying to reconstruct that assortment of bones. Maybe the only saving grace for Iberia would be the drier climate better preserving the remains. However, this would be a problem for areas like Green Spain where the humidity levels are higher.  Our only hope would be to find some peat bogs in Iberia where remains were placed into and kept preserved. I don't see much hope for finding anything; but I hope that I'm wrong.

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rms2
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« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2012, 05:23:59 PM »

Does anyone here have the book, The Amesbury Archer and the Boscombe Bowmen: Early Bell Beaker burials at Boscombe Down, Amesbury, Wiltshire, Great Britain: Excavations at Boscombe Down, volume 1, by Dr. Andrew Fitzpatrick?

I see it's cheaper at Amazon: The Amesbury Archer and the Boscombe Bowmen: Early Bell Beaker burials at Boscombe Down, Amesbury, Wiltshire, Great Britain: Excavations at Boscombe Down, volume 1.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2012, 05:27:46 PM by rms2 » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2012, 01:21:46 PM »

On one of these Beaker-related threads a couple of us got into a brief discussion of the cephalic index and measuring skulls. Well, I finally got hold of a set of calipers and measured my own skull. To get the cephalic index, you measure your skull at the widest part and again at the longest part and divide the width by the length. Then multiply by 100.

I got a cephalic index for myself of about 76 (it was actually 75.789, to be precise). That puts me in the mesocephalic or mesaticephalic range, which is kind of what I expected: Cephalic Index.

I am not sure my skull measurement is ultra-accurate, since I did the measuring by myself, without any help, and with a hardware store set of calipers.

But it was fun to do. :-)
« Last Edit: June 24, 2012, 01:22:19 PM by rms2 » Logged

OConnor
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« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2012, 02:01:49 PM »

did you have to make any allowance for flesh on your skull?
Or are we thin-skinned enough to get a skull measurement ??
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rms2
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« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2012, 02:03:50 PM »

did you have to make any allowance for flesh on your skull?
Or are we thin-skinned enough to get a skull measurement ??

I pressed the calipers pretty painfully close to the skull, but what matters anyway is the proportion of width to length and not the actual dimensions.
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« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2012, 05:19:07 PM »

Speaking of measurements, I was able to obtain an anthropology book from one of the local universities.  It is Indo-European Origins: The Anthropological Evidence by John V. Day(2001).  In it, there is a long chapter on the cranioskeletal evidence from the neolithic to the bronze age in Eurasia.  The measurements for many cultures are available including Baden, Boiian, Gumelnita, Beaker, Corded, Anatolian, Armenian, Steppe, etc.

Anyway, several Beaker populations are compared with Yamnaya.  I've included the cranial and upper facial indices below which I think provide the most encompassing impression of head form from the measurements available.  Although, the upper facial indices look similiar, the Yamnaya and other steppe types have distinctly broader zygomatic arches (cheekbones).  Facially, Beakers are more like the previous neolithic people.

Yamnaya (Ukraine) n=92
CI- 72.6, UFI- 52.5

Beaker (Czech Rep.) n=36
80.3, 52.2
Beaker (West Germany) n=19
81.9, 52.4
Beaker (Eastern Europe, presumably Hungary and Poland?) n=32
81.3, 54
Beaker (Spain) n=12
80.2, 56.7

It is interesting that brachycephalic skulls are rare until the late neolithic and only then do they become a sizeable minority.  It is only with Beaker that 'roundheads' predominant across a large geographic area.  Some earlier cultures that approach or cluster loosely with Beaker are TRB, Starcevo-Cris, Globular Amphora, and Baden.  However, these are still by dominated by 'long-head' types.  The brachycephalic types are a minority which moves the cranial index for the samples up.
 
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alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2012, 06:28:25 PM »

Speaking of measurements, I was able to obtain an anthropology book from one of the local universities.  It is Indo-European Origins: The Anthropological Evidence by John V. Day(2001).  In it, there is a long chapter on the cranioskeletal evidence from the neolithic to the bronze age in Eurasia.  The measurements for many cultures are available including Baden, Boiian, Gumelnita, Beaker, Corded, Anatolian, Armenian, Steppe, etc.

Anyway, several Beaker populations are compared with Yamnaya.  I've included the cranial and upper facial indices below which I think provide the most encompassing impression of head form from the measurements available.  Although, the upper facial indices look similiar, the Yamnaya and other steppe types have distinctly broader zygomatic arches (cheekbones).  Facially, Beakers are more like the previous neolithic people.

Yamnaya (Ukraine) n=92
CI- 72.6, UFI- 52.5

Beaker (Czech Rep.) n=36
80.3, 52.2
Beaker (West Germany) n=19
81.9, 52.4
Beaker (Eastern Europe, presumably Hungary and Poland?) n=32
81.3, 54
Beaker (Spain) n=12
80.2, 56.7

It is interesting that brachycephalic skulls are rare until the late neolithic and only then do they become a sizeable minority.  It is only with Beaker that 'roundheads' predominant across a large geographic area.  Some earlier cultures that approach or cluster loosely with Beaker are TRB, Starcevo-Cris, Globular Amphora, and Baden.  However, these are still by dominated by 'long-head' types.  The brachycephalic types are a minority which moves the cranial index for the samples up.
 

I once read that facial development is dictated by the skull shape and that the two basic types are dolichomorphoc (a more narrow thrust forward face) and brachymorphic (a wider more flattish face).  Dinaric (which seems to be the closest to beaker) is an oddity but it is essentially a dolichomorphic face and skull that is actually not that wide for some reason is flattened at the back which gives it the brachycephalic index reading.  However, I also read that the brachycephalic element is a minority anyway in beaker and the majority were mesocephalic. 

You also have to ask yourself why did the corded ware people also seem to not resemble Yamnaya.  Makes me wonder what modern populations most resemble the Yamnanya peoples.  I dont think any people in Europe sound like they really fit the type.     
« Last Edit: June 24, 2012, 06:41:16 PM by alan trowel hands. » Logged
Jdean
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« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2012, 06:36:34 PM »

did you have to make any allowance for flesh on your skull?
Or are we thin-skinned enough to get a skull measurement ??

I think you would have to be a real fat head for that to be an issue :)
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alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2012, 06:44:28 PM »

did you have to make any allowance for flesh on your skull?
Or are we thin-skinned enough to get a skull measurement ??

I think you would have to be a real fat head for that to be an issue :)

Well you can hardly de-flesh people before you measure them.  Not too many volunteers for head boiling!  Yeah if the skull part of your head is fat then  its really time to cut back on the fast food. 
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« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2012, 08:12:31 PM »

I once read that facial development is dictated by the skull shape and that the two basic types are dolichomorphoc (a more narrow thrust forward face) and brachymorphic (a wider more flattish face).  Dinaric (which seems to be the closest to beaker) is an oddity but it is essentially a dolichomorphic face and skull that is actually not that wide for some reason is flattened at the back which gives it the brachycephalic index reading.  However, I also read that the brachycephalic element is a minority anyway in beaker and the majority were mesocephalic.  

You also have to ask yourself why did the corded ware people also seem to not resemble Yamnaya.  Makes me wonder what modern populations most resemble the Yamnanya peoples.  I dont think any people in Europe sound like they really fit the type.    

Some cranial and facial bones are up to 40% heritable in a study I read from Dienekes' site but can also change rather rapidly in only a few hundred years.  With Beaker, I think something else is driving this physical type.  It has little precedent and spreads over a large area very quickly.  Lactase persistence might explain the increased stature and robusticity, but I don't think it influences head breadth.  Although, many weightlifters today tend not to have narrow heads.  The above mentioned book has Anatolian samples from the Neolithic and Bronze ages.  Only the Hittites look similiar, but they are too late.  Everything else is dolichocephalic for the most part.  

According to Coon(1939), the Beaker were mostly mesocephalic in their eastern range.  Since then though, there have been more graves discovered and sampled to get this 2001 data.  Out of 14 dimensions/indexes, the above Yamnaya and Beakers only overlap on 6.  Compared with the Baden sample of a similiar time-frame who overlap on 8.  I'm not saying Beaker emerged from Baden, only that the physical type has some precedent in the earlier late neolithic people rather than the steppe.

Corded-ware in this book seem to be intermediate between gracile neolithics and steppe people.   They share with the steppe people, in contrast to the gracile, mediterranean types longer heads (and wider faces) which gives them a similiar cranial index.  
« Last Edit: June 24, 2012, 08:17:26 PM by MHammers » Logged

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