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Historical model of settling and spread of Bell Beakers Culture in the mediterranean France

Abstract : Here we present some elements of reflexion which are developped in a PhD thesis taken during March 2002 in Aix-en-Provence (Lemercier, 2002). This work concerned all the bell-beaker elements present in more than 300 sites in the South East of France wherein almost 1200 pots were discovered.This study permitted to confirm the existence of 4 stylistics assemblages and most of the chronology based upon the decorated ceramics that J. Guilaine proposed. The analysis of these assemblages, both in their context of dicovery and their location, allows to set a new interpretation of the settling and development of the bell-beaker culture in the mediterranean France and to question the nature of the phenomenon itself. The first bell-beaker settling, that match with the geometric dotted style, can be regarded as counters established along the mediterranean shore, the mouths of the main rivers and the rivers themselves.In these sites, the artifacts immediately appear mixed with elements of local cultures, nevertheless these settlements present particular geography and topography which make them unic among the local settlements. Their origin must be located in the south western area (iberic peninsula, maybe atlantic coast). Standardized pots are spread from these sites towards the inland populations. This first diffusion goes beyond the South East of France, following the Rhone river. The development of a regional stylistic group, called « rhodano-provençal » like the « pyrénéen » group, squares with a phase of acculturation of the local population under iberic influence. As this acculturation goes, new elements from the north east area appear, showing that the south east area has become a relay in an important road for communication and exchanges. The apparition of the « barbelé » style may be the result of the arrival of new people from Italy in the country. (at work). Both artifacts and sites data show that Bell Beaker culture should be considered, buring this first phase of apparition in the maditerranean and atlantic Europe, not as a simple diffusion of a fashion, a rite or even of objects, but as a cultural spread with its phases of exploration, settling and acculturation of the local populations. From the iberic origin (Portugal ?) of this first phenomenon to its spread until the far eastern parts of Europe, great lines of communication appear ; they will permit numerous multipolar exchanges of ideas, artifacts and populations.
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Contributor : Olivier Lemercier Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Saturday, July 22, 2006 - 1:47:38 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 9:20:04 AM
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  • HAL Id : halshs-00087311, version 1



Olivier Lemercier. Historical model of settling and spread of Bell Beakers Culture in the mediterranean France. Similar but different. Bell Beakers in Europe, 2004, Poznan, Poland. pp.193-203. ⟨halshs-00087311⟩



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