Prehistoric Society Research Paper 9

Bell Beaker Settlement of Europe: The Bell Beaker Phenomenon from a Domestic Perspective

Edited by Alex M. Gibson
Prehistoric Society Research Paper 9 cover, showing a reconstructed timber settlement.


European studies of the Bell Beaker phenomenon have concentrated on burial and artefacts that constitute its the most visible aspects. This volume concentrates on the domestic sphere – assemblage composition, domestic structures (how they differ, if at all, from previous types, legacies), and provides the first pan-European synthesis of its kind. It is a Europe-wide survey and analysis of Bell Beaker settlement structures; this is particularly important as we cannot understand the Bell Beaker phenomenon by analysing graves alone. Neither should we view Bell Beakers in isolation but must consider the effect that they had on already existing Late Neolithic cultures in the areas in which they appear. This volume is therefore intended to view the settlement aspect of Bell Beakers in context throughout Europe. It is the text book for Chalcolithic settlements and society.

Contributors to the 19 papers belong to Europe-wide affiliation of experts specialising in Bell Beakers and the Chalcolithic (Archeologie et Gobelets) which addresses common pan-European issues surrounding the appearance and spread of Bell Beakers. This book summarises that data from the UK and many of the continental European countries; an increasingly important element of Beaker studies following recent isotopic and DNA evidence showing that the phenomenon was a result of human migration and not that of cultural ideas, trade and ideology.

Each chapter deals with a defined region or country and is fully illustrated, including a corpus of Beaker houses and comparing then with Late Neolithic domestic structures where they are known to exist. The following themes will be addressed:

  1. Regional syntheses in the UK and in Europe
  2. What native cultures existed before the arrival of Bell Beakers?
  3. What domestic ceramics were being used before the arrival of Bell Beakers?
  4. What stone and flint types were in use?
  5. What did pre-Bell Beaker houses look like? What size were they?
  6. What (if any) changes to 1–4 above resulted after the appearance of Bell Beakers?


Alex M. Gibson

  1. The South Portugal perspective. Beaker sites or sites with Beakers?
    António Carlos Valera, Rui Mataloto and Ana Catarina Basílio
  2. Settlement in the north-west Iberian peninsula in the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC
    M. Pilar Prieto-Martínez
  3. Living with Beakers in the interior of Iberia
    Rafael Garrido-Pena
  4. Bell Beaker settlements in Andalusia
    María Lazarich
  5. Beaker settlements in Mediterranean France in their cultural context
    Olivier Lemercier, Émilie Blaise, Fabien Convertini, Robin Furestier, Christophe Gilabert and Matthieu Labaune
  6. Bell Beaker evidence in the domestic sphere of island contexts: Sardinia and Sicily
    Maria Grazia Melis
  7. Bell Beaker settlements in northern and central Italy
    Marco Baioni, Fabio Martini, Franco Nicolis, Raffaella Poggiani Keller and Lucia Sarti
  8. Continuity or rupture? Investigating domestic structures during the Final Neolithic and the Bell Beaker culture in central-eastern France and western Switzerland
    Marie Besse, Eve Derenne, Lucas Anchieri, Aude Baumberger, Antoine Caminada and Martine Piguet
  9. Bell Beaker settlements in southern Germany
    Christian Strahm
  10. Late Neolithic and Bell Beaker settlements and houses in (eastern) Austria
    Daniela Kern, Günter Morschhauser, Martin Penz and Oliver Schmitsberger
  11. Bohemia and Moravia – local and Beaker: Bell Beaker domestic sites in the context of the Late Eneolithic/Early Bronze Age cultural sequence
    Jan Turek
  12. Houses and settlements of the Bell Beaker groups in the Carpathian Basin: cultural and economical contexts
    László Reményi, Anna Endrődi, Ferenc Gyulai and Katalin T. Biró
  13. Settlements and social development of the 3rd millennium BC in central Germany
    André Spatzier and Torsten Schunke
  14. Bell Beaker domestic sites and houses in the Polish lands: Odra and Vistula catchments
    Janusz Czebreszuk and Marzena Szmyt
  15. Bell Beaker settlements in Denmark
    Torben Sarauw
  16. An overview of Bell Beaker house plans in the Netherlands
    J.P. Kleijne and E. Drenth
  17. Beaker domestic architecture in Britain and Ireland
    Alex M. Gibson
  18. The introduction of the Bell Beaker culture in Atlantic France: an overview of settlements
    Clément Nicolas, Quentin Favrel, Lolita Rousseau, Vincent Ard, Stéphane Blanchet, Klet Donnart, Nicolas Fromont, Alexandre Lemaire, Lorraine Manceau, Cyril Marcigny, Pablo Marticorena, Théophane Nicolas, Yvan Pailler and Julien Ripoche
  19. Where have all the houses gone? Or times they are a changin’
    Alex M. Gibson