March 22, 2012

Interpreting the Beaker phenomenon in Mediterranean France

Antiquity Volume: 86 Number: 331 Page: 131–143

Interpreting the Beaker phenomenon in Mediterranean France: an Iron Age analogy

Olivier Lemercier

The author offers a new descriptive explanation of the Beaker phenomenon, by focusing on Mediterranean France and making reference to the Greek influx in the same area 2000 years later. In the Iron Age, the influence began with an exploratory phase, and then went on to create new settlements and colonise new areas away from the coast. The Beaker analogy is striking, with phases of exploration and implantation and acculturation, but adjusted to include a final phase where Beaker practice was more independent. Comparing the numerous models put forward to explain it, the author shows that immigration and a cultural package are both aspects of the Beaker phenomenon.


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