Bell Beaker Complex

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Current Archaeology 346

Between the end of the Roman occupation of Britain and the Norman Conquest, England changed beyond recognition. Rival Anglo-Saxon kingdoms vied for primacy, but also produced objects of astonishing artistry including, after Christianity returned to these shores, ostentatiously ornate manuscripts. Our cover story traces the evolution of England through these written and material clues. If […]

Beaker-from-Bathgate,-West-Lothian.-CREDIT_-National-Museums-Scotland

Prehistoric pop culture: Deciphering the DNA of the Bell Beaker Complex

More than 4,500 years ago, a hugely popular cultural phenomenon – today known as the Bell Beaker Complex – captured the prehistoric imagination, flourishing across much of Europe. Archaeologists are still deliberating over how this Complex, first identified in the 19th century, developed so quickly and effectively. Now the largest ancient DNA study to-date has shed revolutionary new light on the question, with surprising implications for our understanding of ancient populations – particularly that of Britain, which seems to have undergone an almost complete genetic turnover in just a few centuries.

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Current Archaeology 338

Over 4,500 years ago, the Bell Beaker phenomenon swept across much of Europe. The resulting changes to burial practices and technology are clear in the archaeological record, but the origins of these ideas were obscure. Now ancient DNA analysis has revolutionised this picture –and revealed that the impact on the make-up of Britain’s population was […]