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date: 21 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter presents old and recent research themes on the Bell Beaker Phenomenon. After an extended discussion of the geographical distribution of the Bell Beaker groups and of its significance, the paper then focuses upon the overlooked question of the material variability of this archaeological complex. Particular attention is given to ceramics, from both morphological and decorative aspects, settlement pattern, and funerary practices. Thanks to the development of new scientific techniques, especially strontium isotope analysis, the question of the degree of human mobility of these groups is now back on the agenda. The resurgence of this last topic demonstrates the need for scholars interested in the Bell Beaker Phenomenon to keep an open mind, and to embrace a multiplicity of non-exclusive explanations, rather than the previously favoured monolithic models.

Keywords: Late Neolithic, Chalcolithic, early Bronze Age, Bell Beaker Phenomenon, material variability, human mobility

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