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Title: Swiss Bell Beaker population dynamics: eastern or southern influences?
Post by: JeanL on June 16, 2012, 01:30:34 PM
Not exactly an R1b paper, but since the recent discovery of a link between Bell Beaker and R1b-M269, I thought it would be interesting to get some literature on the Bell Beakers sites around Europe, and it includes an analysis of dental morphology.

*rms2 feel free to move it elsewhere if you feel it is more appropriate, I don't know where else to post it though.

Swiss Bell Beaker population dynamics: eastern or southern influences? (http://

Quote from:

The Bell Beaker complex is defined, above all, by a ceramic style widespread across Europe during the 3rd millennium BC. Its particularly large geographic distribution has provoked different interpretations: a unique population invading Europe, the long-distance exchange of prestige goods, and the absence of a real Bell Beaker population with only the diffusion of its cultural components. For Switzerland, the Bell Beaker period would have developed following influences varying in significance from both the Mediterranean region and Central Europe.

Bioanthropology makes it possible to test the first of these hypotheses, which proposes the diffusion of a culture by population displacement. Here, the choice was made to analyze dental nonmetrics. Our previous research on dental nonmetrics supports the idea, for Switzerland, of a certain harmony in Middle Neolithic populations, and the mobility or a moderate population contribution beginning in the Final Neolithic and continuing more intensely during the Bell Beaker period. The aim here is to identify the provenance of the population contribution at the end of the western Swiss Neolithic, and more specifically during the Bell Beaker period. To do so, we have compared the dental morphology of Swiss pre-Bell Beaker, Bell Beaker, and post-Bell Beaker populations with that of contemporaneous populations found not only in the eastern sphere (Czech Republic and Hungary), but also in the southern sphere (southern France and northern Spain). We are now able to demonstrate that the axis for external population influences at the end of the western Swiss Neolithic is clearly southern.

Title: Re: Swiss Bell Beaker population dynamics: eastern or southern influences?
Post by: princenuadha on June 16, 2012, 05:09:26 PM
Keep in mind, that paper looked at western Switzerland. In an earlier paper from the same author, I think, it was suggested that western Switzerland recieved more influence from the western sphere and eastern Switzerland recieved more influence from the eastern sphere.

Title: Re: Swiss Bell Beaker population dynamics: eastern or southern influences?
Post by: JeanL on June 16, 2012, 07:30:01 PM
Earlier Thesis published by the same author:

Europe during the third millennium BC and Bell Beaker Culture phenomenon: Peopling history through dental non-metric traits study (

Northern Spain:

The Iberian Peninsula is a significant region for understanding the Bell Beaker phenomenon. The Bell Beaker developed during the first half of the third millennium BC, during the recent phase of the Chalcolithic and coexisted with it until the emergence of the Early Bronze age. Archaeological data suggest that the emergence of the Bell Beaker was associated with societal transformations at the end of the Neolithic by the exchange of socially valuable goods. From an anthropological point of view, no element suggest a renewal or displacement of populations at the origins of the Bell Beaker, however, studies have not specifically addressed this issue and concern primarily the effects of environment on individuals. The sample here consists of around 180 individuals and 14 sites from Northern Spain. The samples are attributed to the Final Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Bell Beaker.


Regional Analysis:

The involvement of local populations in the emergence of the Bell Beaker varies according to region (Fig.3). It is only in northern Spain and Bohemia that strict links between the Bell Beaker occupation and local occupations exist (Fig.4 and 5).

For the other three regions, external population influences played a role in the origin of the Bell Beaker occupation, but their contribution also varies. Complete population renewal—or at least a highly significant exogenous impact – is unambiguous for southern France and Hungary. In effect, Bell Beaker populations are clearly distinguished from local populations in these two regions (Fig.6 and 7)

As for Switzerland, however, shows a local regional population disturbed by partial population renewal or the integration of exogenous individuals(Fig.8). Such a situation in the Swiss region seems to have already been present, although less intensively, during the Neolithic.


Bell Beaker through Europe: Dental morphology has demonstrated two population spheres present in the territory studies (Fig.10). The entities are clearly distinct: we thus have the western Bell Beakers and the eastern Bell Beakers, which we respectively term Bell Beakers and Beakers. The western Bell Beakers are quite similar and the Swiss populations can be strongly linked to their morphology. They form a highly uniform group. The eastern Bell Beakers show a certain cohesion that seems however to have been less isolated.

A discussion on population dynamics

Based on these results, it is possible to propose a diffusion model for the Bell Beaker phenomenon. The emergence of the Bell Beaker culture in the western sphere resulted from the displacement of individuals from the Iberian Peninsula into Europe. The biological impact was recorded to at least Switzerland, and possibly also to Hungary.  Thus, the Bell Beakers small groups of individuals equipped with their material culture know—how—formed the basis for Bell Beaker diffusion in this region of the phenomenon. The situation in the eastern sphere is more complex. Dental data suggest evolution within a single society. Nevertheless, women—Corded Ware and Bell Beaker—were differentiated from the local populations, probably resulting from societies practicing exogamy. Thus, to understand the modalities for the establishment of the Bell Beaker phenomenon we must dissociate the diffusion of western elements from the exogamic diffusion of women in the eastern domain into two points in time (Fig.11 and 12). On the basis of currently available radiocarbon dates suggesting a southwest—northeast gradient for the expansion of the Bell Beaker, we propose the following:

Phase 1: Migration of groups of Bell Beaker individuals from the Iberian Peninsula toward the east, while the eastern domain is still occupied by the Corded Ware culture.

Phase 2: Part of the Corded Ware on the edge of the phenomenon was individualized and adopted, by borrowing, some of the western Bell Beaker traditions. Diffusion of this new society—the Beakers—continued toward the east. At the same time, certain eastern elements were diffused toward the west.


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Figure 11&12:

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Title: Re: Swiss Bell Beaker population dynamics: eastern or southern influences?
Post by: princenuadha on June 16, 2012, 10:00:25 PM
Ahhh, you're right; Switzerland showed stronger links to the western sphere. I was thinking of her preliminary description of Switzerland, which talks about an east-west divide, and not her actual results.

Now that I think about it, Switzerland might have only been weakly impacted by BB demic diffusion, which wouldn't be inconsistent with the paper. If the neolithic Swiss were similar to the western Bell Beakers, then the Swiss would appear "western" despite a low level of demic diffusion from both the west and the east.

That's just a guess, but it would explain the archeology and the bioanthropology.