Beaker

Contributed by East Lothian Museums

This beaker was part of a Bronze Age burial site near Haddington, East Lothian. c East Lothian Council

The Beaker People may have built many of the country's stone circles, including Stonehenge.This is a virtually intact clay Bronze Age Beaker. It was found as part of a burial site along with the skeleton of a young Bronze Age woman near Haddington in East Lothian. The Beaker People were an integral part of the transition from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age. While the Neolithic people buried their dead in communal graves, the Beaker People were buried in single graves. Named after the pottery vessels with which they were buried, the Beaker People introduced not only changes in burial practice and language but also the beginning of metal working. They appear to have come from Europe across the North Sea to settle in Britain. This Northern type, Step 4 beaker is decorated with bands of impressions made by two square-toothed combs. The radiocarbon dating from the burial tells us it was buried around 2300 to 2040 BC. This makes it among the earliest Step 4 beakers in Britain.

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  • 1. At 13:03 on 4 August 2010, fugue wrote:

    The description of the 'beaker people' in this commentary is quite out of step with what most modern scholars believe. There is little evidence to suggest there was ever a 'beaker people' replacing a 'neolithic people'. There have been many theories as to why people in britain suddenly adopt the cultural package (beaker pottery, metal work, stone wrist-guards, single grave burial) which spread right across Europe at this date, including the spread of religion, immigrant groups, beer and elite imitation. One thing that can be said, is that all the earliest metal work seems to come from Ireland (and not from across the north sea as the above commentary would suggest).

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