Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Beaker Year Wrap-up!

2015 is the year the "pots not people" pyrocumulus mushroom-cloud started expanding on the horizon.

Certainly people change over time, but genetic evidence is building that large folk movements are the usual catalyst for major social change.

That creates a lot problems, questions, where-froms and everything else.  Here's a few things I found interesting this year...

Things Beaker people did.

We learned that throughout the entire British Beaker period to the Late Bronze Age, mummification was a normal treatment for the dead.

Disabled Central European Beakers were assisted for long periods of time and received normal treatment in burial.

Beaker women with knives, daggers and male accoutrements in Central Iberia are examined in this paper.

In Central Europe, DNA showed that a Beaker diagnostic male grave was actually a woman, or at least what we interpret to be a warrior's burial.  There may be quite a few of these.

Surprisingly, it appears that a large amount of Beaker gold and copper was panned or fleeced from water, possibly through sluicing systems.  In my own wild ass hypothesization I proposed that chronic mercury poisoning could be from contaminated water supplies as a result of the amalgamation process used in hydraulic mining.

Leading mining was taking place in Western Britain as well.

A few new Beakers emerge

There was Marlborough Man (actually a kid) wearing an awesome amber necklace located near a henge.  A warrior's grave in Scotland near Loch Ness.  The Polish region closest to Belarus has turned up quite a number of Beaker artifacts and human remains.  Most interesting is the recurring, intentionally shattered and half missing pottery at this site.  Seems to have been a common practice around Europe.

I failed to cover the discoveries at Perdigoes this summer.  Partly because I have trouble understanding what it is, but also because it seemed that there might have been a full burial.  But you can see some of what Perdigoes is churning out...

Perdigoes Research Site 2015 [Link]

Monuments and things uncovered or analyzed

The Dartmoor Arc appears to be about as old or older than Stonehenge.  A Sicilian celestial megalithic site is analyzed,  Another logboat keel was discovered in Canterbury in deep mud.

A few favorite posts

The Smithy, Beakers in Hofestede' Paradigm, Corded Cultures deep genetic links, The Brachycephalic Problematic, Sailboats and Solarboats, How ceramic pottery came to the West.

Animal DNA

A few things about domestic pigs, and bees, and cattle,

People DNA

Of course this was the Mittle-Saale burials from the Haak paper and Bavarian and Czech burials from the Allentoft paper.  We now have the Ratlin burials, two Vučedol period men, basically a night and day situation.

We've learned that Beakers were indeed an ethnicity with a genetic profile that extends across Europe.      

Next up, 2016 and expectations for the year ahead.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Rathlin Burials (Cassidy et al, 2015)

For all intents and purposes, a 'Bronze Age Food Vessel burial' on either side of the Irish Sea is essentially a Beaker burial*.  So now with this new paper on the first ancient genomes of Ireland we have three more Beaker men to throw on the pile of diagnostic Beaker men, of whom are to this point uniformly R1b, in stark constrast to the previous ages (still not proven at this point).

If you want to know a little more about these men, check out some of the material from Brian Sloan from Queens College [here].  I'm not a hundred percent sure these are the exact men that were tested, but I believe these three men are from the glebe-land of the local parish.  This guy below might be one of them.  Also, Sloan's page [here]

A Rathlin Food Vessel Burial (Sloan, 2006)
In any case, if you read this blog then you're probably are reading the blogs in the sidebar, so I won't rehash those discussions (but I'd stay tuned in since this is one of a number of papers that will be looking at the Atlantic Neolithic, the Isles in particular)

Much of Ireland and half of Britain was underneath a large ice cube during most of the Paleolithic, receding slowly to oak stands and natural clearings.  Aside from fishing, the number and size of mammals in the Isles is and was very limited and this in turn limited population strength and density of the hunters.

That changed when the baby machine of the Neolithic invited itself into the Isles.  This interaction really is best understood using fourth grade math.  The farmers could generate food, certainly babies and live in larger, protected communities.

The important thing about the farmer food machine is that labor is proportional to food production. It's an economy of scale.  More babies = more food.  Each new worker reduces the individual burden of security, management or harvesting, thus freeing up more time to do other things (like making babies) or building things.  This is kind of a backwards to the Mesolithic economic person/food ratio. Numerically, farmers dominated Ireland.

Finally, the amphibious Bell Beaker phenomenon runs up nearly every beach of the Isles.  The old cultures don't die out either; rather, they seem to be grafted into larger social systems with Beaker culture being the dominant force leading to the regular Bronze Age.  The food vessel tradition is a good example of two cultures fusing.

See also [Eurogenes], [Dienekes], [Razib], and [Dispatches]

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Winter Solstice 4:49 GMT

Funny that I'd check solstice time against my local time, and because I have impeccable timing it so happens to be that exact moment.  Score again.

It's the time of year for weirdos with tambourines to be pissing on and carving their names into ancient megaliths.  In fairness, it's probably true to purpose anyway.

Anyhow, the Telegraph UK has a quick trivia guide to solstice day [here].

Speaking of which, if you scroll down in the Telegraph article, there is indeed a weirdo with a tambourine!  Score yet again!

Similarity Matrix and mtdna Math (Revesz, 2015)

The conclusions here aren't really new, just another way to get there.

Everyone understands the data is fragmentary and their is bias in the selection of diagnostic remains.  No real surprises, but here its quantified in a way that's a little more stark.

A Computational Model of the Spread of Ancient Human Populations Based on Mitochondrial DNA Samples, Peter Z. Revesz (2015)

Chronology, Innovation and Memory (Müller, Hinz, Ullrich 2015)

Let me condense this down to a sentence:

Within the Rhine-Main-Neckar regional group of the Bell Beakers, it is rigorously demonstrated that there is a stylistic cycle, periods of variation followed by a more conservative periods.

This may seem a little dense or not that interesting, but hang with me for a moment...

Here, Beaker pottery seems to have an ebb and flow pattern in stylistic variation:
"What triggered BB communities to develop pottery styles in such a cyclic rhythm, which involved the creation of innovative styles..."
"We suggest that the construction and creation of new design systems and their function for individuals and societies is influenced by the nature of memory, in particular social memory in non-literate societies. (Forty and Kuchler 1999)"

If I understand the conclusions of Muller, Hinz and Ullrich correctly, they seem to rightly point to social memory and cyclical nature of human society.  They go further and reference what practical, realistic social memory means in a non-literate society.  From this, they seem to suggest that linear, cultural transmission becomes jumbled past a certain number of generations and this is the cause of the punctuated periods of variation in Rhine-Main-Nectar pottery.
"In a recent study, Whittle came up with 100-200 years duration for memory transmission in non-literate societies (Whittle et al. 2011, 911-914) as some type of real social memory in contrast to 'mythical time'."
"To sum up, approximately 4-8 generations of more or less unchanged memory transmission seem to guarantee the prerequisites for the transmission of ideological basics within an unaltered societal background."
I take a slightly different view on what this means for the Beaker society.  Rather than social chaos and the limits of faithful cultural transmission, I would interpret this as a normal ebb and flow of any society, literate or illiterate. 

It's a difficult case to make that durable materials are subject to the limits of social memory when they are in fact, durable.  This means that he who makes a spear point different from his father does so, knowingly.  (because he is a bratty teenager that doesn't want to listen)

So how does this apply to a modern person? 

In the English-speaking world, given names are cyclical on a 100 year to 150 year basis.  It makes sense that younger generations want their own stylistic expression and identity, but also borrow from and pay homage to their family and heritage.  After a while, old-fashioned names loose their oldness and become sexy and attractive once again.  Some names, like some pottery design features, will be more enduring because of a religious nature.

If you are to believe the Strauss-Howe Generational Cycle of American history (the structure of which is not unique to America), then we have completed the third turning, or unraveling phase, in which institutions have been deeply distrusted (the media, the government, the church) and have now splashed into the fourth turning of crisis and survival, a period of increasing nationalism that may climax in a decade or two.  Then the first turning begins.

Everything is cyclical.  Hope to see more from this book soon...

Taken from this from this book [The Bell Beaker Transition in Europe.  Prieto-Martinez, Salanova 2015]

The full article can been seen [here]

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Linguistic Roots of Europe (Mailhammer, Venemen, Nierfeld, Olsen, 2015)

Here's a short preview of an interesting compendium.  The first two articles can be previewed for free:

Link to the book [here]

Archaeologist Marc Vander Linden's article, "An Impossible Dialog", looks at the interface between archaeology and linguistics within the scope of the Indo-European question.  He juxtaposes two radical views, the archaeology-centric position of Colin Renfrew and a more linguistic-centric position of Marija Gimbutas.   Both theories have flaws and he shows why, in Renfew's case, the dismissive approach to linguistics was a major liability for his Anatolian theory.

Vander Linden suggests comparative philology is the bridge between the two as he sees embedding relicts of an older cultural system, sometimes archaeologically visible.  I'd add that comparative mythology could be bolted on to this as well.  I think there is mountain of physical material to reconstruct Bell Beaker religion and that can tell us more about their origins, social structures, world view, etc.

Robert Mailhammer examines linguistic diversity of Europe before the emergence of Indo-Euorpean, specifically he looks at the old European hydronymy, plausibly pre-European.  

Mailhammer is concerned with two questions in which he models after Australian languages. 
1)  Linguistic diversity in pre-IE Europe to which is sees a more uniform linguistic landscape
2)  Nature of those pre-IE languages in which Basque may provide a loose proxy.

Some discussion is given to Proto-Uralic in the Eastern European Sub-Neolithic.  (Previously, I've commented on a genetic/cultural shift ultimately stemming from the Baikal region [here].  Also, Proto-Uralic's closest genetic relative may be from the Yukaghir language; so it also makes sense that the Pit-Comb ware of the Karelia folks would be similar to that of this same location.)  Petri Kallio continues in the next chapter with the earliest languages in Northeastern Euorpe, making it clear that Uralic pre-dates any IE language.  Unfortunately, that's the preview. Hopefully we'll see more soon.

The Linguistic Roots of Euorpe (2015) Museum Tusculanum Press

LMU-Symposium im Jahr der Geisteswissenschaften am 03. Dezember 2007 [here]

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Twilight of Enclosures (Valera, 2015)

This is from a group of papers from a German conference about what you might call the Copper Age collapse, explosion, whatever.  None endorse any theory, but rather discuss changes taking place around Europe at this time.

Antonio Valera lays out this narrative in a way that is a little more understandable than I've seen previously.  The period in question for simplicity's sake nominally begins sometime at the end of the Middle Neolithic in which a great acceleration in economic complexity, social inequality, and monumentalism begin in the region.

This process peaks in the Chalcolithic with some of Europe's first stone fortresses and intense, long-distance trade, but then it is rather abruptly followed by a strange period of monumental silence.  Since this paper is still not yet available, I'll condense to what I think is the most important take-aways below.

Outeiro Alto Sinuous Ditched Enclosure
Across Portugal, but especially in the Alentejo region (the southern third of the country), there is a great concentration of ditched enclosures that become increasingly large and complex.  From the earliest Neolithic they are thought to have been originally foundations for celestially aligned palisades as you would find across Central Europe, but the purpose of these ditches become less clear as enclosures become larger and more numerous, especially when the ditches are quickly infilled with little evidence of timber posts.

As the ditched enclosures become larger they are at some point joined by walled enclosures [here1]
[here2] in the 3rd millennium.  These stone forts are perched on high terrain and have every strategic indication of fortification, both having defensive features and favorable terrain but also a considerable amount of projection on the landscape.  (The builders of these forts were not Beakers or not yet Beakers.)  (Again me: another interesting relationship between the walled enclosures and the large, ditched enclosures of Alentejo, appears to be the fact that copper used in the large forts like Zambujal appear to have come from the Alentejo region)  ((more wild ass speculation))

Things begin changing around the time in which Bell Beaker culture emerges, although it is not clear that it is Bell Beaker that is the reason for these changes.  (It's possible societal collapse preceded the Beaker phenomenon)  Up to this point as Valera describes, much of the structures in the landscape are positive in nature... large monumental structures for burial, for living, for defense, all large, all imposing on the landscape.  You may expect this type of behavior from people continually establishing their entitlement to the land in which they live.

They had many iconographic displays of people, creatures and plants, sometimes in a more schematic format, but other times more naturalistic.  However this society, as understood, comes to an end.  As the monuments fall into disrepair, no others will be built.  The positive tombs and forts in the landscape are replaced by negative structures.. pit graves, cairns, hypogea.  Sometimes a megalith is re-used as a grave for a Beaker person, and even less so is a fort or ditched enclosure maintained for a while, but nothing new is built, and for the most part these great fortresses collapse.  Hillbilly Bell Beakers build huts on the ruins and throw their beer cans in the front yard.  (your's truly)

It is during this period that Valera describes as being almost iconoclastic, rejecting the naturalism and iconography of the megalithic-chalcolithic tradition for a more subtle geometric art, but a continued taste for loud, gaudy materialism.

Why all the ditches?

The purpose of a desert kite is so simple it's stupid.  It could be ditches and cross ditches just keep retarded goats from climbing fences.  Ditches are still to this day one of the simplest and most effective defensive obstacles.  But if these were the case then why did it stop?

"Social change in the late 3rd millennium BC in Portugal: the twilight of enclosures" Valera, Antonio (published 2015)  "2200 BC - A climatic breakdown as a cause for the collapse of the old world?"  Landesamt fur Denkmalpflege und Archaeologie Sachsen-Anhalt:  Mitteldeutscher Archaologentag. 

Beaker Beer

Been doing some brewing the last few weeks.  I broke down and did the last two beers with malt extracts, but still have a lot malted barely to go.

This is some of about sixty pounds I malted last year.  Some of it was over-malted because I wasn't turning it enough, but most of it came out pretty decent. 

I think I have some basic malts down.  My crystal malt is crystalline, pale is pale and I have some darker malts that are close.
I'll never use this method again.  Rather than using a mash tun, I tried this ridiculous idea using liter jars to control the mash temperature.  Instead of doing this once, I did this three different times.  I guess the first time didn't suck enough.  Good grief.  Now I'm looking at building a real-deal mash tun, one where I don't have to work and where I can get some re-circulation and good sparge.
Rather than use a conventional wort chiller, I made this jockey box(?) type of thing on a recommendation.  So basically 5 gallons of wort goes from 200F to around 60F in just a few minutes and all I have to do is open the valve on the kettle.
And below, I'm done bottling except for maybe small experimental beers.   Everything else goes in a keg.

Finally, I noticed the juniper trees where I live are full of ripe berries of the semi-edible sort.  I plan on filling a bag or freeze drying some to try do some old world gruit beer or many Finnish sahti later in the year.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Corded Ware Cultures Actually Related? (Semenov, Bulat, 2015)

Previously I hypothesized that ceramic pottery technology was part of a package brought by immigrants from the Baikal region sometime before the end of the PPNB and that these people, to the West at least, were members of the R1 paragroup (also Q).

This paper discusses a possible genetic relationship and deep ancestry of the Corded Ware cultures. 

Corded-style pottery can also be found in the Americas and South Asia, which sounds nuts that they would be somehow related but makes total sense since we are dealing with Holocene depopulation of the Trans-Baikal area at about the same time.  Semenov and Bulat make a case for the Americas, however there's several paths that I see that can get us there.

It's unlikely IMO, that R1a or Q had any significant input into Japan before the Kofun Period (as the authors suggest for the cording style around 3k B.C.  Also high quality Jomon pottery at that point was already around 7,000 years old or more.  But it's also possible there was insignificant communication or gene-flow between the continent and Japan at that early time and maybe that explains some of the stylization.  They make this latter case.

I suspect another interesting story beyond the scope of this paper will be the changes that were happening in the Euphrates and Zargos region around the same time (R1b largely IMO).  It's pretty clear to some that the ethnic composition and social structure changed, not evolved, around this time in certain communities.  I can't comment more, however I put it out there for discussion, argument, kindling, whatever.

Again, 'Desert Island Gold Watch'.

Possible North-Eastern Connections of the R1a1-populations of Corded Ware Culture According to the Archaeologic and Paleogenetic Data, Alexander S. Semeno, Vladimir V. Bulat   Russian Journal of Biological Research, 2015, Vol. (5), Is. 3 [Link]

Our new work considers the problems of paleogenetics, archeology and antropology connected with origins of Corded Ware culture and early migration of Y-DNA R1 carriers. This work considers the Second Corded Ware Center on the Far East and Yakutia and its connection with the Eastern European one. Authors examine the hypothesis that the two Corded Ware cultures have the common source.
Keywords: R1a1, Mesolithic, Yuzni Oleni Ostrov, paleogenetics, paleolinguistics, subclades, Yakutia, Na-Dene.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Unetice Isotopes (Knipper et al, 2015) *Update*

Unetice had at one time been viewed as a chronological development of the Early Bronze Age, basically evolving out of some tentacle or bastard child of the Bell Beaker movement.  However, in a [recent post], Stockhammer et al showed that Unetice stuff is earlier, advanced and alien to its western reaches, which somewhat jives IMO with the 'so-far' DNA (100% I2 Y-dna of elite burials, as opposed to Bell Beaker 100% R1b of diagnostic burials)

I believe Eurogenes has the several genomes somewhere midway between Beakers and Corded folks, which also makes sense if a small number of elites had originally come from Slovenia or thereabouts.  I think sensing this for a while, the authors of this paper are trying to pick through certain grave diagnostic categories and identify immigrant groups.

Unetice Pit Grave [University of Wroclaw]


Now having read it (thanks to Davidski, see link in comments section) I can condense this, although it is a fairly readable and short paper.

The majority of Unetice graves are single, crouched burials in a cemetery.  The deviant graves are sometimes two or several people piled in a grave.  Archaeologists have debated and seek to better understand why some people were grouped in settlement pits.  Are they foreigners, slaves, people who are in someway rejected.  Or possibly, did ordinary Uneticians sometimes prefer these types of burial arrangements?

Fig. 4. Images of the investigated human skeletal remains in situ. A): Karsdorf, Feature 3835; B): Esperstedt, Feature 6128;
C): Esperstedt, Feature 6130; D): Pl€otzkau, Feature 31; E): Pl€otzkau, Feature 30; F): Pl€otzkau, Feature 28; G): Leau, Feature 3001; H): R€ocken, Feature 370; I): R€ocken, Feature 163; J): Serbitz, Clipping of Feature 142 (Photographs: LDA Sachsen-Anhalt and LFA Sachsen). [Color figure can be viewed in the online issue, which is available at]
The results seem to indicate that the people buried in settlement pits had a similar diet as the majority, there also being no evidence of violence against them.  From the paper:
There is no indication that being of non-local origin was a major reason for being entombed deviating from the majority of the contemporaneous population.
There is no indication that the inhumations in settlement pits represent a distinct part of the Early Bronze Age society, which stood out by a higher or lower percentage
of nonlocal individuals or contrasting dietary habits including the consumption of larger or smaller shares of animal-derived food or aquatic resources in comparison to normative single burials
In fact, almost all individuals regardless of location or burial seem to be locally born and bred.  Since few of the individuals in this study had the diagnostics of elite Unetice burials, that might be expected. 

The Unetice story may develop into a scale comparable to the Norman caste of England.  By and large, the overwhelming majority of the population is essentially Saxon-Celtic, but a tiny group of sophisticates dominate trade and religion for several hundred years.

Knipper, C., Fragata, M., Nicklisch, N., Siebert, A., Szécsényi-Nagy, A., Hubensack, V., Metzner-Nebelsick, C., Meller, H. and Alt, K. W. (2015), A distinct section of the early bronze age society? Stable isotope investigations of burials in settlement pits and multiple inhumations of the Únětice culture in central germany. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol.. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.22892 [Link]



Inhumations in so-called settlement pits and multiple interments are subordinate burial practices of the Early Bronze Age Únětice culture in central Germany (2200–1700/1650 BC). The majority of the Únětice population was entombed as single inhumations in rectangular grave pits with a normative position of the body. The goal of the study was to test archaeological hypotheses that the deviant burials may represent socially distinct or nonlocal individuals.

Materials and Methods

The study comprised up to two teeth and one bone each of 74 human individuals from eight sites and faunal comparative samples. The inhumations included regular, deviant burials in so-called settlement or storage pits, and multiple burials. We investigated radiogenic strontium isotope compositions of tooth enamel (87Sr/86Sr) and light stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen of bone collagen (δ13C, δ15N) aiming at the disclosure of residential changes and dietary patterns.


Site-specific strontium isotope data ranges mirror different geological properties including calcareous bedrock, loess, and glacial till. Independent from burial types, they disclose low portions of nonlocal individuals of up to some 20% at the individual sites. The light stable isotope ratios of burials in settlement pits and rectangular graves overlap widely and indicate highly similar dietary habits.


The analytical results let to conclude that inhumations in settlement pits and multiple burials were two of the manifold burial practices of the Early Bronze Age. The selection criteria of the individuals for the different forms of inhumation remained undisclosed. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Long Distance Trade from El Portalon (Alday et al, 2015)

Figure S11. Different views of the button shaped like a spindle with a transversal perforation represented in Figure 7(f). It is
similar in shape to the V-perforated tortoiseshell buttons found in some other sites from French Atlantic facade and Northern
Iberian Meseta. Made out of bone. Scale is 1 cm.

This paper covers really two chunks of the history of Portalon; the Early Neolithic and a later period containing Beaker associated materials, these time frames being when materials are sufficiently available.  The materials are laid out on a regional scale by item showing that this place was far from isolated.

It's probably worth keeping this in mind as genetic studies progress.  You'll remember that there is now an individual from Portlon from the LN that is R1b and this is less than 100 miles (as the crow flies) from a similar pastoralist of El Torcs from the EN.

From the paper:
At this time in Europe the sociocultural context encourages supra-regional relationships (the Bell Beaker culture is a good example), and the great value of the metals and the need to locate outcrops are another incentives. Furthermore, it is highly suggestive to relate these cultural dynamics to the latest hypotheses derived from genetic studies, which highlight the importance of post-Neolithic demographic processes and the current characterization of the gene pool of recent Europeans (Brandt et al., 2013; Kind, 2010; Ricaut et al., 2012). In this situation, where local and foreign products are mixed (as is the case of El Portalón), it is difficult to recognize whether the ideas, objects or persons (or a combination of the three) are involved. And we should alsoremember the complexity of the funerary world at this time (reusing dolmens, building burial mounds, digging graves and using caves). The complexity of these rituals and the richness and variety of grave goods help us to understand the awl made from a human bone founded at El Portalón, a symbolic element in a time of great social development.

Figure S9. Prismatic V-perforated buttons from El Portalón; (a) and (b) also represented in Figure 7(a) and Figure 7(b) respectively.  Scale is 5 cm. (a) ATP 01-10; (b) ATP 01- 11; (c) CM 5380; (d) ATP 07-10; (e) ATP 07-11.
Alday, A. et al. (2015). Proofs of Long-Distance Relations between Central Europe and Inland Iberian Peninsula during Neolithic and Bronze Age. Evidences from the Material Culture of the Site of El Portalón (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain). Advances in Anthropology, 5, 294-323.

El Portalón of Cueva Mayor is one of the present-day entrances to the Cueva Mayor-Cueva del Silo karst system located in the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain). It is an important archaeological site with extended Holocene occupation which has been subjected to a number of excavations since the nineteen seventies. From its significant collection of bone and antler industry, for this work, we have chosen artefacts indicating local production and others evidencing contact between this part of the Iberian Peninsula and other areas of the Mediterranean Basin. Wishing to emphasise this symbiotic relationship, we have likewise presented a special collection of Neolithic Boquique
pottery. The data confirm that, far from being occasional, the relationship of the groups
living in the area around the Atapuerca Mountains continues unbroken for several cultural episodes.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Impaired Beakers from Cemetery in Kolín (Brzobohatá, Šumberová, Likovský, 2015)

This is a paper that appeared in Archeologické rozhledy. The scientists look at three Beakers who required long-term care by others. They are an archer, another probable man and a woman with a congenital deformity.

Several months ago there was a paper about a child with Downs Syndrome from an early French burial of the Medieval period. His burial was no different from any of the others and obviously he had been taken care of, and at least in death, was considered a full participant in society.

Different societies treat the lame, crippled, sick and incompetent in different ways. While they may be cared for, maybe they are rejected by society or their treatment in death requires they be buried in a separate location. Disabled Beakers at Kolín appear to have had the same treatment as others.

Fig. 5. Kolín, section II-3, F. 4073, detail of the right hand with the finger ring (Bison bone?).

(4071*) This man was buried with archery equipment and pottery. It's interesting that he'd be buried with a bow since the authors exclude the possibility that he would have been able to shoot it given his physical state.

This individual was a man, about 20-39 years old according to the teeth, or 30-50 based on the pubic bones, had permanent damage as a result of at least two separate incidents. One was a serious fracture to his right arm, an oblique fracture of the right ulna through the radial notch (I'm curious if this individual was weak-sided or left-handed shooter as I've considered this type of injury as a shock injury to a bowman's shooting arm?) If that didn't set him back, he also had another injury that hobbled him for a length of time.

(4073*) This individual, the young 18-20, flat-headed (uncertain gender) seen above, appears to have been the victim of tuberculosis. It's more probable that this individual was a young man and that the left half of his body was severely stunted during development by TB, making gender identification impossible without DNA (hint). In any case there was thinning of the long bones and general weakness. Given the deformation of the hip, this person would have been required help moving.

(4104*) This was a younger woman (20-30) buried with pottery. It appears she has a congenital abnormality of the left hip, leg and part of the spine. She would have been immobile and would have required care her entire life.

(4211) A non-disabled person, but an interesting grave nonetheless. Pottery and apparently, had a horse and stag sacrificed as a grave offering if I understand correctly. (?) (This has been previously suggested an indicator of a Diana-like cult for a similar EBA grave in Ireland. (?)

Discussion follows with the authors citing other examples from other studies, a few from the Morvian region. Clearly these three individuals were non-productive members of society, yet they enjoyed the full status and identity of the community, each having the diagnostic materials of other members of society.

0447842 - ARU-G 2016 RIV CZ cze J - Článek v odborném periodiku
Brzobohatá, Hana - Šumberová, Radka - Likovský, JakubPohřby jedinců s postižením pohybového aparátu na pohřebišti kultury zvoncovitých pohárů v Kolíně, střední Čechy. [Burials of mobility impaired individuals from the Bell Beaker culture cemetery in Kolín, central Bohemia.]

Archeologické rozhledy. Roč. 67, č. 2 (2015), s. 193-212. ISSN 0323-1267

Grant CEP: GA MK(CZ) DF12P01OVV032

Klíčová slova: Eneolithic * trochanteritis * Bell Beaker culture * paleopathology * congenital hip dislocation * ulnar fracture * spatial structure of cemetery Kód oboru RIV: AC - Archeologie, antropologie, etnologie

Antropologická analýza kosterního materiálu z hrobů kultury zvoncovitých pohárů (KZP) odkrytých při záchranném výzkumu silničního obchvatu Kolína (2008-2010) poukázala na koncentraci paleopatologických nálezů na ploše II-3. V příspěvku je popis patologických změn doplněn o spektrum jejich funkčních důsledků a případných limitací určitých aktivit. Příčiny vzniku a rozsah chorobných změn pohybového aparátu se u studovaných jedinců různí (trauma, specifický zánět a vrozená vývojová vada), u všech tří se ale nepochybně jedná o postižení dlouhodobé či (v jednom případě) celoživotní.

Anthropological analysis of skeletal remains from the Eneolithic Bell Beaker culture site of Kolín uncovered during a rescue excavations in 2008-2010 revealed a concentration of paleopathological finds in the section labelled II-3. We present three case studies, descriptions of pathologies manifested in bones and its diagnoses are completed with likely functional impacts and activity limitations. Although the impairments described in the study differ in its severity and etiology (trauma, specific inflammation and congenital anomaly), all of them show evidences of long-term (or lifelong) living with the impairment.

Trvalý link: [Link to the paper]