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Author Topic: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?  (Read 8678 times)
alan trowel hands.
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« on: September 27, 2012, 03:18:47 PM »

The bell beaker phase must have been an amazing period of adventure and travel that would have been unprecidented on scale.  I wonder if the Celtic mythological myths with their emphasis on travel, boat journeys to strange lands and the race of gods was based on the beaker period and its aftermath being seen as a golden era.  It is also interesting that one of the very top Celtic gods, Lug/Lugh was known as the 'master of all arts' and other major gods also have a tendency to relate to crafts, skills, knowledge, the sea etc.   I personally think it owes something to the copper/bronze age society and doesnt very well fit the rather marginal Iron Age in Ireland.  I think there is a lot in Celtic and Irish mythology that looks back to a golden age which probably lay with the beaker period and the subsequent Bronze Age.  This may have seemed like a golden age that had been lost by the time of the Iron Age when the basis of elites wealth in many cases turned more to land than trade and was more parochial.  
« Last Edit: September 29, 2012, 04:42:53 PM by alan trowel hands. » Logged
alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2012, 03:52:58 PM »

I would add that the evidence of the Celtic social structures etc has always indicated that the Celts had a very large learned, sacred and skills professional element in their society.  It just seems different from Germanic emphasis in early references to their society and their mythology which seems to be very based on raw martial aspects.  I think this sort of Germanic social structure was created during the periods of their migrations and was based on opportunity, spoils and rewards.  Very militaristic.  The Celtic peoples always seems to havee had a rather different structure and outlook.  I believe people get the wrong idea about the Celts based on the violent outpourings and clashes in the late centuries BC which really probably marked their decline and collapse rather than their zenith.  The Celts had long been settled in temperate Europes best lands and although martial I do not believe that this was what the social structure was geared towards.  I dont think they were a martial people per se and they did not have a society and social structure that was basically geared for war like Germanic society seems to have evolved.  The Celts seem to have invested far more of their society's resources in learned, sacred/religous and craft classes.  I admire them for that.  

I also wonder if the roots of this distinction goes right back to the copper age and the contrast in the beaker culture and the Corded Ware and related groups to the east.  Its almost as though there was a different idealogy.  I think in many ways the beaker people are a one-off group or lineage who developed a unique philosophy that in many ways diverged from typical IE societies.  As I posted before, beakers roots may be very hard to find if beaker is intimately connected with the R1b explosion in western Europe.  It may be a new phenomenon created by a single line.  BTW I am not saying this didnt have pre-beaker roots.  Something along the lines Jean was highlighting about apparently similar pre-beaker groups may be the origins.  Alternatively the origin of the R1b/beaker explosion could have been a single family who were located in such a place that they combined central European ideas with early Beaker ideas coming along from the west and developing the full beaker package.  Both possibilities are not ruled out by the evidence.  

Whatever happened they were something special.  As I posted before, this small group really established themselves but in the beaker period itself this could not have been by numbers or purely martial means.  That would be absurd IF it is linked to R1b.  As I posted before, the choice of weapon, archery, indicates to me that it was self defense perfect for small groups planting niches among existing populations.  It is suggestive that there was either pragmatism or a rejection of raw IE 'heroic' fighting methods  or maybe a bit of both.  Cirumstances may have created ethos.  I feel that these roots in the beaker circumstance and ethos is echoed in the nature of later Celtic society and mythology.  
« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 03:55:11 PM by alan trowel hands. » Logged
eochaidh
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2012, 09:25:44 PM »

Unfortunately, I believe posters have mocked this topic out of existence. It's a shame, because legends often hold a grain a truth. Yet, the Irish legends don't seem to be allowed that consideration.

When it comes to the areas of the Celts, only writings from the Romans and Greeks are accepted. If an Irishman wrote it, you might just as well "pitch it to the devil", as my Mom would have said.
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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2012, 02:31:48 AM »

Here are a number of areas worth exploring:

1) Religious infrastructure: Megalithic monuments, Newgrange, Knowth, Stonehenge, Morbihan, Carnac, Tagus, Scara Brae, Galacia, Evora, Gobelki Tepe, Bell Beaker aDNA found in a Megalithic context
2) Druid strongholds: Mona, Anglesea, Erne, Carnutes, Caesar understood the power of the Druids in Celtic society and proceeded to eliminate them
3) Bull worship, Anatolia, Catahayuk, Balkens, Mycean, Minoan, Cyprus, Iberian, Halstatt, Gaelic, Tain Bo Culaigh
4) Origin Myths, Book of Invasions, Iberia, Galecia, Scythia, Troy, Deluge myths
5) Deposition sites: Thames, Shannon, Erne, Swords, Sacred Rivers, Bog Bodies
6) Brewing, Halstatt, Hochdorf, RHyfelwyr, Atlantic wine trade, Mead, Bell Beaker drinking vessels

There arev
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Mike Walsh
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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2012, 09:26:37 AM »

Unfortunately, I believe posters have mocked this topic out of existence. It's a shame, because legends often hold a grain a truth. Yet, the Irish legends don't seem to be allowed that consideration.

When it comes to the areas of the Celts, only writings from the Romans and Greeks are accepted. If an Irishman wrote it, you might just as well "pitch it to the devil", as my Mom would have said.

I disagree with your characterization of the ubiquitous but unidentified "posters," but it matters little.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2012, 09:38:43 AM by Mikewww » Logged

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eochaidh
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« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2012, 10:22:23 AM »

Unfortunately, I believe posters have mocked this topic out of existence. It's a shame, because legends often hold a grain a truth. Yet, the Irish legends don't seem to be allowed that consideration.

When it comes to the areas of the Celts, only writings from the Romans and Greeks are accepted. If an Irishman wrote it, you might just as well "pitch it to the devil", as my Mom would have said.

I disagree with your characterization of the ubiquitous but unidentified "posters," but it matters little.

Yea, you're right, it was probably only one poster one time. If I were to identify that poster it could be taken as a personal attack, so I'll refrain.

Well, now that we've cleared that up and we find that Irish legends are accepted, without mockery, as having a grain of truth, let the discussion begin!

What are your views, Mike?
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eochaidh
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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2012, 11:04:08 AM »

I think that Balkans played a part in Irish genetics and culture during the Bell Beaker period. Mostly in cattle (bull worship) and metal working.

Some have interpreted Irish Legends as connecting the Fir Bolg with the Balkans and even some have postulated that the Fir Bolg (men of the bags) represents metal workers and their bellows.

I think that much of the J2 found along the Atlantic Fringe is from the Balkans as well as some R1b. This migration could also account for higher "Caucasian" (West Asian) scores in the autosomal test of Cornish testers.
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« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2012, 11:12:10 AM »

Regarding The Tain, could this story of a massive war between two regions be interpretated as the island being very regional at the time?
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« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2012, 12:14:45 PM »

It's just in Bryan Sykes book he made a point that stood out to me that a tale of a war such as that might be an indication of differences/divisions going way back.
Perhaps I read too much into it.
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Jean M
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« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2012, 02:43:53 PM »

Unfortunately, I believe posters have mocked this topic out of existence.

I suspect you are thinking of me, but there is a big difference between medieval Irish literature and the Lebor Gabála Érenn which I discuss as Milesian myth. The latter seems to be nothing but a "learned fiction." By contrast stories such as the Cattle Raid of Cooley are regarded by many scholars as preserving elements of pre-Christian Celtic life. Cú Chulainn's chariot is fascinating for a start.
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eochaidh
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« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2012, 03:03:56 PM »

I think the Lebor Gabala Erenn (Book of Invasions) is a reconstruction of ancient legends to give the Milesians an acceptable origin. Still, I think it was based on oral tradition and that there is a grain a truth, no matter how small, to the legends. My feeling is that an island people are very interested in the origin of new arrivals. Plus, I believe there was constantly movement out of Ireland in the form of trade, so the Irish of the Beaker Period were very familiar with the lands new arrivals were migrating from.

In simple terms, I do not believe the Book of Invasions was made up out of thin air. I believe it was a reconstruction of ancients legends which held some truth to them.
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Mike Walsh
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« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2012, 03:13:47 PM »

Unfortunately, I believe posters have mocked this topic out of existence. It's a shame, because legends often hold a grain a truth. Yet, the Irish legends don't seem to be allowed that consideration.

When it comes to the areas of the Celts, only writings from the Romans and Greeks are accepted. If an Irishman wrote it, you might just as well "pitch it to the devil", as my Mom would have said.

I disagree with your characterization of the ubiquitous but unidentified "posters," but it matters little.

Yea, you're right, it was probably only one poster one time. If I were to identify that poster it could be taken as a personal attack, so I'll refrain.

Well, now that we've cleared that up and we find that Irish legends are accepted, without mockery, as having a grain of truth, let the discussion begin!

What are your views, Mike?

I think they are fascinating reading. I am probably swayed but my initial population genetics readings (Sykes, Oppenheimer), but I think undocumented legends, stories and folklore are definitely worth investigating. I don't accept undocumented information as fact but it is certainly better than no information. If a story aligns with linguistic, climatic, genetic or archeological information... its pretty exciting!  I wouldn't use stories and legends as a baseline for an hypothesis, but they could provide explanatory information, or at least clues.

To answer directly, I would never say they are all true nor all false.  All is a very precise word and there could be a grain of truth in a lot of things.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2012, 03:15:32 PM by Mikewww » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2012, 10:44:15 PM »

When dealing with legends that have origins in oral traditons you can find phrases, lines,repititions, structures etc that appear in very unexpected places. E.g in the Iliad Hector's spear is discribed as 'thick as a weavers beam' the exact same wording is used to discribe Goliath's in the bible. Most of these myths were rendered into poetry and music. It's probable that say in a verse chorus structure the verse could be a specific spoken narrative and the chorus a sung pre-set piece/theme like a leit motif.  In Irish you say a song. It's killing me to say this but think Rap and dance music. In Christian times this had been turned into written poetry or prose this is the point where the most is lost.
Another thing is how close the Celtic, Germanic and less so the Greek and Roman are espesially in the centeral 12 dieties. If you remove the Milesians from Irish   mythology it starts to line up better with the Germanic myths.  
I find the various versions of the spear of Lugh intresting. I think these little phrases etc can tell us a lot if they can be pinned down.

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« Last Edit: September 29, 2012, 05:38:25 AM by rms2 » Logged
Jean M
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« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2012, 04:52:28 AM »

I think the Lebor Gabala Erenn (Book of Invasions) is a reconstruction of ancient legends to give the Milesians an acceptable origin.

The Book of Invasions shows no sign of being based on ancient legends and every sign of being cobbled together by someone versed in Christian writings in Latin. The very name Míl Espáine is simply an Irish version of the Latin miles Hispaniae (soldier of Spain). The earliest surviving version of the tale appears in the 8th-century Historia Brittonum. It simply claims that three sons of a Spanish soldier arrived in Ireland with thirty ships.   A mass of fake genealogy was grafted onto the scheme. In the Lebor Gabála Érenn, his sons Éber and Erimón divide the kingship of Ireland between them. Éber, presented as the founding father of the Eóghanachta, takes the southern half, while Erimón takes the north. This division supplants an earlier concept of Ireland being divided into five parts. So it was probably cooked up in the 8th century AD to give a respectably ancient ancestry to the newly dominant dynasties of the Uí Néill and Eóghanachta, who had risen to prominence in the north and south respectively.

The tale attempts to fit the Gaels into a biblical setting. Iafeth [Japheth] is pictured as the patriarch of the nations of "Asia Minor, Armenia, Media, the People of Scythia; and of him are the inhabitants of all Europe." This was standard thinking for Christian writers of the time, following the Jewish historian Josephus (37-c.100 AD) and Isidore of Seville (c.560-635). It also borrows from the early Christian writer Orosius. It was he who claimed that from the southern promontory of Ireland one could see far-off Brigantia, a city of Gallaecia (North-West Spain). Which is nonsense. Other early Christian writers are also drawn on.

Woven into all this are genuine Irish names. The Fir Domnann and Fig Bolg can be recognised as groups possibly arriving from Britain quite late in the pre-Christian era. So some idea of these people as foreign might have been retained, though no knowledge of when they came, of from where. The story of their origins is rubbish. The idea that they lived in Ireland before the Gaelic-speakers is vaguely interesting, as it may preserve some idea of the taking by the Gaelic-speaking Uí Néill of parts of Ireland which had been settled (quite late) by people from Britain speaking P-Celtic. So that might be the much-misunderstood grain of truth in the midst of all the chaff.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2012, 05:31:05 AM by Jean M » Logged
Heber
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« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2012, 05:33:03 AM »

Here is what Cunliffe has to say about the Book of Invasions in his new book Britain Begins.
I appreciate the respect and balance that Cunliffe brings to the subject he is writing about, surely the sign of a great scholar and writer.

"The recurring reference to Spain as the origin of the Irish invaders may simply be a mistaken belief on the part of the monks who composed the text that the Latin name for Ireland, Hibernia, was derived from 'Iberia'. However, given the archaeological evidence which demonstrates long term contacts along the Atlantic seaways in the prehistoric period, it may just be that the early oral traditions used by the monks preserved echos of folk memories going back far in time. While folk traditions cannot be taken as evidence for past events, they should not be dismissed as entirely irrelevant."

http://tinyurl.com/8jvpkhd
« Last Edit: October 03, 2012, 12:04:58 PM by Heber » Logged

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Jean M
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« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2012, 05:51:51 AM »

Sorry Heber, but much as I admire Barry Cunliffe, I don't agree with him on this one. I don't think that the Irish of 900 AD had the smallest clue that their ancestors arrived in Ireland 2450 BC, or where exactly they came from. Oral history is seldom accurate beyond three generations.

It is in fact quite possible that some of the Bell Beaker incomers came along the Atlantic route. There are some clues to just that. But I wouldn't waste time trying to squeeze something out of The Book of Invasions as evidence. If there is anything in there that reflects genuine history, it is likely to be much closer in time to the origin of the The Book of Invasions i.e. the period of the Uí Néill and Eóghanachta ascendency.

The bulk of R1b in Ireland is L21, which suggests that descendants of BB coming up the Rhine ended up predominating in Ireland by whatever means. For all we know that could reflect quite a lot of later movement as much as initial Copper Age arrival.

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Heber
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« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2012, 06:10:11 AM »

Sorry Heber, but much as I admire Barry Cunliffe, I don't agree with him on this one. I don't think that the Irish of 900 AD had the smallest clue that their ancestors arrived in Ireland 2450 BC, or where exactly they came from. Oral history is seldom accurate beyond three generations.

It is in fact quite possible that some of the Bell Beaker incomers came along the Atlantic route. There are some clues to just that. But I wouldn't waste time trying to squeeze something out of The Book of Invasions as evidence. If there is anything in there that reflects genuine history, it is likely to be much closer in time to the origin of the The Book of Invasions i.e. the period of the Uí Néill and Eóghanachta ascendency.

The bulk of R1b in Ireland is L21, which suggests that descendants of BB coming up the Rhine ended up predominating in Ireland by whatever means. For all we know that could reflect quite a lot of later movement as much as initial Copper Age arrival.



Jean,
Cunliffe is not just talking about a few Bell Beakers. In his book he describes extensive exchanges from the Mesolithic, Neolithic, Megalithic, Copper, Bronze and even Iron Ages along the Arlantic Facade.
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Jean M
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« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2012, 06:33:30 AM »

@ Heber

Yes I know. Prof. Cunliffe has promoted his vision of contact along the Atlantic over a long period in book after book, starting with Facing the Ocean: The Atlantic and Its Peoples, 8000 BC to AD 1500  (2001). As a matter of fact I heard him lecture on the topic in Bristol before that book appeared.

So of course he likes the idea that the Irish preserved in myth some idea of links along the Atlantic seaboard. There were indeed such links, and I feel that he has done us all a service in pointing this out, as a counter-weight to the narrative of influences northwards via central Europe. Sometimes the latter tale is told as though it is the only one. Both are relevant.

« Last Edit: September 29, 2012, 06:40:02 AM by Jean M » Logged
Heber
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« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2012, 07:25:28 AM »

Sorry Heber, but much as I admire Barry Cunliffe, I don't agree with him on this one. I don't think that the Irish of 900 AD had the smallest clue that their ancestors arrived in Ireland 2450 BC, or where exactly they came from. Oral history is seldom accurate beyond three generations.

It is in fact quite possible that some of the Bell Beaker incomers came along the Atlantic route. There are some clues to just that. But I wouldn't waste time trying to squeeze something out of The Book of Invasions as evidence. If there is anything in there that reflects genuine history, it is likely to be much closer in time to the origin of the The Book of Invasions i.e. the period of the Uí Néill and Eóghanachta ascendency.

The bulk of R1b in Ireland is L21, which suggests that descendants of BB coming up the Rhine ended up predominating in Ireland by whatever means. For all we know that could reflect quite a lot of later movement as much as initial Copper Age arrival.



Jean,
Cunliffe is not just talking about a few Bell Beakers. In his book he describes extensive exchanges from the Mesolithic, Neolithic, Megalithic, Copper, Bronze and even Iron Ages along the Arlantic Facade.

@Jean,

Here are a few examples of the Atlantic Facade network.

http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763837986/
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763837988/
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763850315/
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763837998/
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763179592/
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763837994/
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763850284/
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763850296/
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763850936/
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763850430/
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763838007/
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763838001/


Yes, I agree the bulk of L21 is in Ireland. However I dont think it came down the Rhine with Corded Ware.
Busby has shown the the highest frequencies for M269, L51, L11, P312, L21, M222 are found in Ireland.
The next highest frequencies for relevant defining mutations are found in Iberia and along the Atlantic Facade.

http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763811258/
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763708372/
« Last Edit: September 29, 2012, 08:09:40 AM by Heber » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2012, 07:45:47 AM »

In defense of the humble Irish Monk, who is much malaigned on these boards varioiusly accused of "cobbling together" worthless documents, I would point out that the Irish monastic schools taught the sacral languages of Greek, Hebrew, and Latin; as well as astronomy, genealogy, ancient Irish orals sagas, classical philosophies of Plato, Aristotle, Homer, Cato, and Augustine. As Celtic Monks and later monks of the Order of Saint Benedict these Irish scholars were the social architects of the Germanic intelligentsia of Europe; and their illustrious monasteries evolved as the proto-towns of Europe ’s great cities. A large part of the great manuscripts preserved in the Medieval libraries of Europe bear the celtic script used by the monks. If it was not for their efforts we would not have the Aristotal, Plato, Virgil, Ovid, Pythagoras and many of the classical works we have today. If anyone had access to the corpus of western knowledge between the 8th and 13th C it was the Irish monks. It is not correct to say the Irish did not know where they came from in 900. Genealogy was a core part of Celtic culture.
Here is a small selection of their achievements:

http://pinterest.com/gerardcorcoran/celtic-monastic-movement/


« Last Edit: September 29, 2012, 08:18:08 AM by Heber » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2012, 08:17:54 AM »

Heber - No insult was intended to Irish monks! The whole problem of the Lebor Gabála Érenn is that its author was deeply familiar with the Bible and early Christian writers in Latin. Within the Church, scholarship was bound up with literacy. Churchmen looking for the history of a people tried to find answers in books. But of course Europe was illiterate until writing briefly reached a few places in the Mediterranean c. 2100 BC, only to vanish once more in the long Greek Dark Ages. Light dawns once more with Homer and stays on pretty continuously through the Greek and Roman Empires. This is long, long, long after the Bell Beaker people reached the British Isles. No amount of learned burrowing around in the Classics could tell any Irish monk how the Celts arrived in Ireland, because the Classical Greeks and Romans had not the faintest idea.

The instinct then of a Christian scholar of any nation would be to search the Bible, which seems to explain the origins of all mankind back to Noah. Later authors expanded on the tale from Genesis to give an ancestry of specific European peoples back to Japheth.  If we take Japheth to represent the Indo-Europeans, this is not bad thinking for the time. But we don't need to take it literally today.  

The Lebor Gabála Érenn falls into a category of medieval work that we can find examples of throughout Europe. It is no better and no worse. It is typical. I have been far ruder about Geoffrey of Monmouth, I assure you.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2012, 08:58:58 AM by Jean M » Logged
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« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2012, 08:31:31 AM »

@Jean,

As you know, there is a paper regarding isles BB groups in "Bell Beakers Today". However, the paper mostly groups the different local styles and makes almost no attempts to link the isles BB groups to continental regional groups. As such, it has always been difficult for me to quantify N. France BB influences from Rhine BB influences. Do you know of any papers that deal specifically with BB flows from the continent and into the isles?
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« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2012, 08:41:47 AM »

Busby has shown the the highest frequencies for M269, L51, L11, P312, L21, M222 are found in Ireland. The next highest frequencies for relevant defining mutations are found in Iberia and along the Atlantic Facade.

I am talking about L21 and its subclades specifically, not M269. We all know that M269 washed all over Western Europe pooling in density as it hit the barrier of the Atlantic. But there is a distinct difference between the countries richest in L21 and subclades (the British Isles and Brittany) and those richest in R1b1a2a1a1b1 (DF27), the fairly newly discovered SNP directly under P312. Richard Rocca found Iberian samples from the 1000 Genomes Project show 44.4% DF27.

There is some L21 in Iberia, as we should expect from Gauls settling there in the Iron Age and some Britons settling there, but it is not a match for Ireland.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2012, 08:56:30 AM by Jean M » Logged
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« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2012, 08:55:46 AM »

@Jean,

As you know, there is a paper regarding isles BB groups in "Bell Beakers Today". However, the paper mostly groups the different local styles and makes almost no attempts to link the isles BB groups to continental regional groups. As such, it has always been difficult for me to quantify N. France BB influences from Rhine BB influences. Do you know of any papers that deal specifically with BB flows from the continent and into the isles?

The data is spread around. Alison Sheridan, Towards a fuller, more nuanced narrative of Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age Britain 2500-1500 BC, Bronze Age Review, vol. 1 (November 2008), pp. 57-78 covers the Dutch style beakers at Upper Largie, Argyll & Bute. The material at Ross Island, Country Kerry, by contrast looks more like it came from the Atlantic, maybe Brittany or thereabouts. The Amesbury Archer looks like he came from near the Alps.

One clue is the two main styles of wrist-bracer. The only type found among the Early or Southern Bell Beakers are narrow with two holes. Broader, four-holed types predominate in Central Europe. England and Scotland lean heavily towards elaborate four-hole types, while Ireland has almost exclusively two-holed types. Now two-holed types are also found in Central Europe. But still I think there is a suggestion here of some early BB in Ireland coming up the Atlantic route, though their descendants may have been swamped at some point by those coming up the other route.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2012, 08:57:15 AM by Jean M » Logged
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« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2012, 10:40:25 AM »

@Jean,

As you know, there is a paper regarding isles BB groups in "Bell Beakers Today". However, the paper mostly groups the different local styles and makes almost no attempts to link the isles BB groups to continental regional groups. As such, it has always been difficult for me to quantify N. France BB influences from Rhine BB influences. Do you know of any papers that deal specifically with BB flows from the continent and into the isles?

The data is spread around. Alison Sheridan, Towards a fuller, more nuanced narrative of Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age Britain 2500-1500 BC, Bronze Age Review, vol. 1 (November 2008), pp. 57-78 covers the Dutch style beakers at Upper Largie, Argyll & Bute. The material at Ross Island, Country Kerry, by contrast looks more like it came from the Atlantic, maybe Brittany or thereabouts. The Amesbury Archer looks like he came from near the Alps.

One clue is the two main styles of wrist-bracer. The only type found among the Early or Southern Bell Beakers are narrow with two holes. Broader, four-holed types predominate in Central Europe. England and Scotland lean heavily towards elaborate four-hole types, while Ireland has almost exclusively two-holed types. Now two-holed types are also found in Central Europe. But still I think there is a suggestion here of some early BB in Ireland coming up the Atlantic route, though their descendants may have been swamped at some point by those coming up the other route.

Regarding Ross Island, here is a quote from Cunliffe,  "Celtic from the West" supporting the Atlantic Facade network:

"The earliest form of Bell Beaker - the so called Maritime Bell Beaker - probably originated in the vibrant copper using community of Tagus estuary around 2800 - 2700 BC and spread from there to many parts of Western Europe. As the map (Fig 1.8) shows the initial movements were maritime...
The earliest copper production took place in the Tagus region and spread from there to the other areas. The earliest copper production in Ireland identified at Ross Island in the period 2400-2200, was associated with early Beaker Pottery (O'Brian 2004, 451-78). Here the local sulpharside ores were smelted to produce the first copper axes  used in Britain and Ireland.  The same technologies were used in the Tagus region and in the west and south west of France. The evidence is sufficient to support the suggestion that the initial spread of the Maritime Bell Beakers along the Atlantic and into the Meditteranean, using the sea routes that had long been in operation, was directly associated with the quest for copper and other raw materials."

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« Last Edit: September 29, 2012, 10:43:21 AM by Heber » Logged

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