On the emergence of Corded Ware societies in northern Europe: Reconsidering the migration hypothesis

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This paper discusses the emergence of Corded Ware societies on the Jutland peninsula in the early 3rd millennium BC. The cease of the first agricultural communities in Northern Europe, the Funnel Beaker culture, and the following occurrence of Corded Ware/Single Grave societies is often seen as abrupt, without any local preconditions, and caused by mass migration. The main concern of this paper is to reconsider migration as a sole explanation for the emergence of the Single Grave culture and to present a more balanced scenario for the introduction of new material culture patterns. By considering the local preconditions for the emergence of the Single Grave culture, I argue that openings to a new way of organising society already existed within the Funnel Beaker culture of North-Western Jutland. The main point is that the occurrence of new Corded Ware features were not the result of mass migrations but rather the outcome of well-established routes of communication originating in the later Funnel Beaker period. These networks were centred on cattle and wagon burials, transportation and increased mobility. Together with groups of newcomers, these networks provided the acceptance of the Corded Ware ‘cultural package’ and Proto-Indo-European language.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTracing the Indo-Europeans : New evidence from archaeology and historical linguistics
EditorsBirgit Anette Olsen, Thomas Olander, Kristian Kristiansen
Place of PublicationOxford & Philadelphia
PublisherOxbow Books
Publication date2019
ISBN (Print)9781789252705
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - Corded Ware culture, Single Grave culture, 3rd millennium BC, migration, Northern Europe, Migration hypothesis, Stone-packing graves, Funnel Beaker culture, MN V, Proto-Indo-European

ID: 225952833