й Copyright by Sergey Sannikov
PLAN OF RESEARCH:
Formulation of the problem and the research questions:
Neolithic Age the
1) Formulation of the tentative model of the European A-horizon.
Within the paradigm of
A-Horizon might be revealed several research models, which explain the relation
of cultures, comprised by the Corded Ware tradition. K.Struve proposed a
division of the Corded Ware culture into two groups, one characterized by
burials furnished only with beakers and amphorae (Struve 1955). U.Fischer
proposed a division into Hercynian, Balto-Rhenish, and Pontic Steppe groups
(Fischer 1958). L.Klejn makes his division in terms of the Amphorae cultures of
In study of the Corded Ware artefacts two following aspects are generally emphasized: 1) Typological dissimilarity between regional branches of the CWC (Malmer 1962: 678, 805; Malmer 1975: 115); 2) Typological continuity within local Neolithic cultural complexes and traditions (Behrens 1997: 21; Becker 1990; see also: ┼berg 1912). The solution of the problem should be in the methodological field. In most cases the critics of the A-horizon concept appeal to the antiquated conceptions of the A-Horizon, based on the presumption of pure cultural transmission over vast territories. However, as it has been argued by I.Rose, we should not expect to be able to trace population movements in terms of single cultural complexes (Rose 1986:а 10). As a people migrates from area to area, it will encounter different natural and cultural conditions and will modify its complex accordingly. In regard of the CWC it has been noticed by K.Kristiansen, that Уwe cannot expect с priory to find a unified material culture between areas of supposed origin and areas of final settlementФ (Kristiansen 1989: 219).
There might be suggested a new approach towards understanding of the A-Horizon phenomenon, which would consider the typological varieties within common CWC tradition not as an argument versus the migration theory (though a number of researchers tend to oppose the idea of migration to the idea of complexity of the CWC; e.g. S°rensen 1997: 229), but as an essential component of the latter. As it has been noticed by the researchers, a greater criticism is required in the evaluation of the classical taxonomic assumptions of the Central European prehistory, based on the typological principle (Kosko 1997: 133). It is reasonable to note that the typological method should be used with a great caution in regard of issues of cultural transition and succession, since from the typological investigations are known such cases, when, for instance, patterns of decoration and form of particular kind of artefacts (vessels) were far richer than can be captured by a simple set of types, and when form and decoration of beakers did not correspond to a set of types at all even within a certain restricted territory (Boast 1998: 400).
As an alternative criterion it would be reasonable to suggest the technological factor. Comparative case study of tentative material categories as cultural markers has shown that ceramic manufacture (non-decorative steps) has highest rates of significance together with food way preferences and domestic architecture layout and spatial organization (Clark 2001).а Manufacturing process associated with basic utilitarian items can vary among traditional societies because technological knowledge is passed from one generation to the next within localized contexts. Technological style is an especially powerful methodological tool in assessing migration because it identifies the cultural background of the artifact manufacturer, circumventing the need to interpret symbols or decode stylistic messages intentionally conveyed in more conspicuous media (Clark 2001: 66).
Typological evolution might be regarded as an evidence of the process of cultural interaction. The typological method might be successfully applied to the analysis of finds, having mixed cultural features (e.g. Estonian Corded Ware pottery with protruding rim border, Lubana Lake amphoras, decorated with oval pits, or УbarbarianФ animal-style decorated Boat Axes from Finland) in order to estimate the measure of particular cultural influences in the development of the exact types of artefacts.
Construction of regional matrixes of finds, related to the presumable A-Horizon should be regarded as one of the most important aspects of actual consideration of the problem. These matrixes should comprise the following components: precise quantity and distribution of finds, typologically related to the A-Horizon; particular cultural influences, presented in the materials of finds; technological characteristics of the finds with uncertain cultural traits; chronological correlation of finds; anthropological background of the considered cultural groups; ideological and economical entity of the revealed complexes.
2) Chronological correlation of particular Corded Ware branches.
The present state of working out of the problem requires further application of newly developed calibration curves to the obtained datings, and bringing them into system in accordance with the chronological sequence. Application of different curves has a considerable effect on the assessment of cultural chronology (see: S°rensen 1997: 222), and therefore should be properly motivated on the basis of specifics of regional cultural development.
3) Anthropological aspects of the presumable Corded Ware migration.
Dissimilarities within the anthropological material, attributed to Corded Ware have been used as an argument against the concept of the A-Horizon as well (Ebbesen 1997).а Resent investigations have proved that any single anthropological type might hardly be attributed to the Corded Ware substratum (see: Kristiansen 1989, P.216; Ebbesen 1997: 86). Studies by Schwidetzky (1978, 1980) and Menk (1980) have shown that the Corded Ware complex is biologically heterogeneous implying the substratum culture.
effect of the У
Certain dissimilarities in the anthropological material of the early CWC (such as e.g. between Eastern Baltic Ц Saxo-Thuringen; see: Loze 1996: 68) exist, however, without bringing discrepancy in the anthropological concept of the A-horizon. Anthropological shifts might be noticed even within homogeneous cultural communities of the East European CWC (e.g. between early and later CWC populations of Eastern Baltic; see: Loze 1996: 68), what proves that the infiltration of new anthropological element took place as a phased extensive process, which probably occurred through several waves of population movement.
4) Economic entity of the presumable CWC migration.
Revealing of the economic entity of the presumable migration process requires formulation of the basic economic model of the CWC society. As distinctive features of the CWC economy were generally noticed in research literature: reliance on stockbreeding, plough agriculture, transhumance, lack of permanent villages, extensive flint, amber and salt exploitation, tool kit (Gimbutas 1997). However, a number of these features are actually debated (e.g. lack of permanent villages, reliance on stockbreeding: Malmer 2002), and should be reconsidered with application of the data of recent investigations. The main economic features, distinctive for the CWC, might be assigned to the following categories:
a) Expanding pastoral tradition: stockbreeding and transhumance.
аRecent research projects confirmed that the later part of the Middle Neolithic is a period of clear decline in trees and bushes in favour of an increasingly open grazing landscape (Andersson 2004: 201), which corresponds a considerable production shift in Southern Scandinavia during the transition from MNA to MNB (Larsson 1998). According to the conclusion of the researchers, animal husbandry may have been practised in a fashion, which corresponds more closely to true nomadism, and the increasing transhumance in the late TRB met competition for the grazing land, since the element of animal husbandry appears to have been significant in the CWCа (Larsson 1998: 450). The sheep rearing played a major role for the CWC, being a significant difference from the TRB, whose most important domesticated animals are cattle and pigs (Malmer 2002: 150).
The continued expansion
of animal husbandry and the need for open grazing land in MNB gradually also
reveals itself in the pollen diagrams indicating meadow and pasture (Andersson
2004). Although the TRB
culture had already transformed the forest into pastures in some regions in
The finds of
wooden wagon components in the periphery areas of the CWC settled area
(Switzerland, Baltic region etc.; see: Turek 1997) might probably be linked to
the nomadic model of the CWC economy. During the early stages of exploration of
new settlement areas wagons could have substituted permanent dwellings, as it
was in the case of some other historic societies. The find from SlфttarЎds
Mosse (Skхne) gives evidence that wagons and parts of wagons were probably in
the category of sacrificed objects in the Swedish Corded Ware Culture (Malmer
2002: 164). The find of wagon remains, together with a concave-edged flint axe,
belongs to the Уsame period as series of wagon wheels and shafts from
аThough the importance of the wheeled transport for the CWC economy (Malmer 2002), as well as continuous quest for the grazing land of the CWC (Larsson 1998; Andersson 2004), has been admitted by the researchers, there has not been somehow explained neither expanding character of the CWC economy, nor the general shift of the considered УagrarianФ (Malmer 2002) society to stock-breeding, practised in a way, close to genuine nomadism.
b) Infrastructure of the CWC settlements.
As it has been fairly noticed in research literature, Уthe absence or very limited evidence for the CWC settlement sites is a fact which has to be seriously analysed in the sense of explanation of the social and economic backgroundФ (Turek 1997, P.236). Though some of the researchers have repeatedly stressed the agrarian aspects of the CWC economy and resident character of the CWC settlements (Malmer 1962, 2002), so far it is impossible to deny that the number of existent early CWC settlements is completely incomparable with the one from the TRB culture, what can not be any more referred to the lack of appropriate archaeological excavations.
organization is regarded as the most reliable indicator of migration because it
reflects culturally specific aspects of social organization and cosmology (
The more mobile way of life of the Corded Ware in comparison with the TRB is also reflected in the way that settlement places were no longer clearly marked (Andersson 2004: 214). In the CWC settlement sites the dwellings were constructed above ground without digging below the surface strata (Turek 1997a: 235). The majority of artefacts remained either on the surface or in their settlement layer near to the surface. Battle Axe sites seem to lack the pits of various kinds that characterized many Funnel Beaker sites. Whether these pits were primarily used for waste, storage, or votive activities, they mark a sense of belonging to the place.а For the people of the Battle Axe culture, Уwho only set up short-term camps, identity was not linked to the siteФ (Andersson 2004: 214).
In the closing phase of the Battle Axe culture, however, the population seems to shift to a more permanent settlement pattern (Andersson 2004: 221). In the later stages houses are small and partly subterranean, occurring in small clusters of two or three. Some agriculture was practiced, however, although grain impressions on pottery are much less frequent than in the TRB (Kristiansen 1989). Transition from the nomadic to way of life to sedate one (with increasing number of settlements on the chronological scale) should be considered in context of a general transition of Neolithic-Eneolithic societies of Eurasia to sedentary agricultural and stockbreeding economy (see: Kuzmina 2000).
c) Agricultural tradition.
already been stated in research literature, that there could hardly be expected
to reveal a pure nomadic type pastoralism in the northern European plain or in
Although the finds dating from the Swedish-Norwegian CWC are comparatively sparse in terms of ecological facts, there is evidence of differences between the forms of farming of the CWC and those of the TRB/Pitted Ware culture (Larsson 1998: 444). The few grain impressions from Skхne show that the CWC people mainly grew barley (Andersson 2004: 201). From the nine grain impressions of the CWC attested from Skхne eight are from barley (Hordeum) and one from wheat (Triticum) (Malmer 2002: 151).
in environmental and economic background of different branches of the Corded
Ware, with the most remarkable example from Finnish Corded Ware, the material
culture of the society with hunter-gathering economy (Edgren 1984; see also:
Bхgenhom 1999, S.150-151), remains to be a controversial matter. However,
though so far there is nothing to indicate that the Corded Ware culture in
Intrusive character of Finnish CWC has been confirmed by the researches of the 1960-s (Edren 1970), and its external origin does not remain to be a doubtful issue. In this regard it is necessary to mention that the subsistence strategy of migrants is a rather flexible marker, which may evolve or reduce considerably due to the environmental challenges (Clark 2001). It might be also reasonable to suggest an interpretation of Finnish CWC as an adaptive radiation process, which might have been caused by internal oppression of certain groups within the considered cultural community.
d) Exploitation of natural sources: amber and flint.
In the Baltic region the Corded Ware brought a
new material culture, exploiting accessible places of flint sources, ensuring
themselves with excellent series of flint artifacts (including also
thick-butted flint axes) (Loze 1997: 143). However, good flint and its technology,
controlled by the TRB, is not available to the SGC in
CWC people control accumulation places of amber
in the beach of the
Ideological aspects of the cultural changes in the Neolithic
The aim of the last stage is to reveal general tendencies of cultural development in the considered regions, and to explain them in terms of human ideas and mentality. Main principles of such kind of investigations have been presented in works of Ian Hodder (1989, 1993) and Christopher Tilley (1989, 1993). In this regard, the emergence of new cultural medium should be considered from the point of appearance of appropriate cultural symbols and ideological markers.
customs are extremely conservative, and while the details may change over time,
the basic tenets remain the same (Jones-Bley 1997). It
has been repeatedly noticed in research literature that the burial rite of the
Single Grave Culture does not have any local roots in
The evidence for the Corded Ware burial rite may also be considered as a reflection of social diversification between members of society, including children (Turek 1997). The symbolic expression of the male and female phenomenon in burial rites probably reflects different social roles for each sex within society. The burial tradition of the CWC shows direct parallels to the burial rites of Jamna culture (Hфusler 1983), which might be considered as the most probable source for the burial rite, encountered all over the territory of Northern Eurasia (see: Kristiansen 1989).
Cardinal changes in the ideological sphere take place, with new cults appearing, including that of grass snake, Sun, Moon, which are reflected in bone and antler sculpture, amber figures, as well as in specific types of ornaments made of bone (Loze 1997: 144).
Methodology and Hypotheses
Prehistoric migrations as a cultural and geopolitical phenomenon were considered in research literature to a great extent (for the bibliographical survey, please, refer to: Kristiansen 1989; Clark 2001; Van Gijseghem 2001), providing a substantial methodological basis for further analytical investigations. In study of migration four broad categories of research have been worked out (see: Clark 2001):
1) Detection of the migration in the archaeological record
Demonstrating the migration should satisfy the reasonable criteria, formulated by Irving Rouse (Rose 1958, 1986): a) Identify the migrating people as an intrusive unit in the region they have penetrated; b) Trace this unit back to its homeland; c) Determine that all occurrences of the unit are contemporaneous; d) Establish the existence of favourable conditions for migration; e) Demonstrate that some other hypothesis, such as independent invention or diffusion of traits, does not better fit the facts of the situation. First stage of the identification should focus the three following components, defined by Kristian Kristiensen (Kristiansen 1989): a) Intrusion of an alien group (resettling); b) Migratory route (connection); c) Mother culture (origin).
There exist several theoretical frameworks for archaeological identification of migration (Clark 2001). Theory of Уcultural driftФ, advocated by Lewis Binford, might be applied to study of the A-horizon, where the distances between the presumable territory of cultural origin and the territory of final residing could cause considerable cultural drifts. This approach breaks down artefact variability and correlates it with specific behaviours. Artefact variability might be attributed either to it primary function, which is a use as an adaptive tool, and secondary function, related to style and cultural tradition. Subtle variation in material culture that inevitably developed between groups who were not in frequent contact is signified as a Уcultural driftФ. The cultural drift, isolated from the random variability, might be therefore used to track the movements of specific groups (Binford 1963).
Theory of Уisochrestic variatioinФ (Sackett 1977), developed by James Sackett within the framework of postprocessual school, might be applied to analysis of assemblages of artefacts with mixed cultural features. The theory is based on the abstract concept of style with tangible cultural behaviour, and the assumption that there is often more than one feasible method to accomplish the same function, which means that the choices made from the range of options can also be considered stylistic behaviour (Clark 2001).
Theory of Уphysical and contextual visibilityФ might be applied to analysis of the complexes of artefacts, associated with the presumable migrant culture. The theory is based on the strategy of isolation specific artefact attributes that reflect enculturative background or Уstyle without a messageФ (Carr 1995; see: Clark 2001). In terms of tracking migration, one has to track the attributes with low contextual visibility, wherein the number of viewers, openness of viewing setting, viewer attentiveness, and average viewing time are minimized. The tools, installations, utilitarian vessels, and waste associated with domestic life are potentially rich in attributes that can be used to assess migration.
It is assumed to be most essential to consider the cultural entity of the Corded Ware from the cases with uncertain cultural features, when transition of cultural traits with low contextual visibility from the Corded Ware to the local cultures might be regarded as a significant marker of migration process. The study therefore should focus the debatable encounters of the Corded Ware features from different local substrata. The changes of the material culture should be considered in context of anthropological, economic, and ideological background of the process.
2) Motivation for movement.
Generally, motivations for migration can be assigned to УpushesФ from current settlement areas and УpullsФ into target destinations, while push and pull factors include both environmental and social variables (Anthony 1990, Clark 2001). Push factors for migration might be defined as (Kristiansen 1989): a) Displacement by states/empires, b) Social conflict/tribal competition, c) Ecological/economic pressure. It should also be mentioned that population density is not the most significant push factor, especially in comparison with the factor of social regulations, as it has been revealed by the recent researches (Anthony 1997).
Explanation of the population movement brings up the problems of adaptation to the natural, cultural, and social environments (Rose 1986). If the migration went in a particular direction in order to remain in the kind of environment to which it was accustomed, it is reasonable to assume that it did so because it was pre-adapted to conditions in the new area.а If instead it expanded into different kinds of environment, it will be confirming to the process known as adaptive radiation (Simpson 1949; See: Rose 1986).
As a general tendency it is reasonable to assume that migrant people tends to seek out the places in which it can maintain its distinctive settlement pattern and can continue its previous subsistence strategy (Rose 1986). The probability that migration will occur depends upon changes in the perceived attractiveness of the destination place. As suggested by D.Anthony, the attractiveness of region for pioneer agriculturalists (this example might be converted for the case of pastoralists) might be represented by a term in which the numerator is a measure of arable land (grazing land) at the destination place, while the denominator is a measure of the density and hostility of the native population at the same region (Anthony 1997: 24).
In this regard it is necessary to take into consideration such factors as information flows and transport costs. Migration, particularly long-distance one, is channeled by access to information about a limited number of attractive routes and destinations (Anthony 1997). At the same time, migration is more likely to occur when transportation/travel costs are low. This aspect is directly connected to the technological basis of the migrants, and their organization and logistical requirements on the move.
3) Organization and logistical requirements of the migrant unit on the move.
As it has been noticed in research literature, migration often occurs on the basis of certain social unity, when the migrating group represents particular social class with a determined kind of activity, primarily matching one of the following (Kristiansen 1989): a) Conquest, b) Mercenaries, c) Trading stations/colonies, d) Labour/stigmatized groups. As it has been noticed by J. Clark, the organization of migrant units and logistics of movement is perhaps the most difficult to reveal from the archaeological data, and this is a research topic in which considerable work remains to be done (Clark 2001).
4) Socioeconomic impact of migrants in destination areas.
Socioeconomic impact might be treated as a result of interaction, which means contact among individuals and social groups while carrying out cultural activities (Rose 1986). Levi-Strauss (1971; See: Rose 1986) has arbitrary divided interaction into two categories, weak and strong. Weak interaction consists of trade, inter-marriage, religious pilgrimages, and other kinds of sociable activity. Strong interaction includes warfare, political control, economic pressure, and other kinds of forcible activity. Weak interaction within a sphere will normally result in local development. The peoples involved will exchange norms and, as they do so, will integrate them into their own cultures, modifying them to fit local conditions. Each people will thus retain its own cultural identity. This process is designated by I.Rose as transculturation (Rose 1986: 11).
Strong interaction, on the contrary, may lead to loss of cultural identity, which is designated by I.Rose as acculturation (Rose 1986: 12). One people within an interaction sphere may become so dominant that the other peoples within that sphere acquire it distinguishing traits and will thereby assume its identity. Alternatively, the subordinate peoples may retain their separate identities but pass from their own cultural signs to that of the dominant people.
Regional aspects of the cultural interaction.
The aim of the
work would be to apply a uniformed analysis to the materials from each of the
regions in order to reveal the entity of cultural interaction in Neolithic
Eurasia, with focus on regional variations of the Corded Ware tradition, and
the ways of its interaction with local cultures. The main problem of analysis
of the archaeological data from different parts of
contact area from Northwestern Russia is Curonian Spit (Kurshkaja Kosa),
which involves around 20 settlements sites of Corded Ware (Rzucewo-Baltic)
culture, with the most significant of them Lesnoe, Morskoe, Pribrezhnoe
(Zaltzman 2000). Synchronous Combed Ware Culture extended through
Related contact area, which has direct cultural links to the Baltic region, is Oka-Volga basin, the territory of Lyalovo culture, which has been often seen as a candidate for Proto- Finno-Ugrian (see: Carpelan, Parpola et alii, 2002).а Contact with Corded Ware tradition took place at the time when Balanovo and Fat'yanovo cultures expanded eastward into the Volga-Oka interfluve. The materials from the region require further typological systematization in order to reveal the entity of the existent cultural interaction.
archaeological contact area in
Similar tendencies for
North-Western Germany shows distinctive similarities
with Netherlands (TRB West Group - SGC), while Rhine and Middle German regions
produce the evidence of interaction of Corded Ware with late Wartberg and Baden
cultures (Raetzel-Fabian 2002). Bell Beaker influence was also felt in northwestern Germany had an early
development similar to that of the northwest and led to the formation of
distinctive groups in eastern Germany and western Poland (Wetzel 1969; Thomas
1982: 76). In the classic Saxo-Thuringian region a very few finds suggest that
the Corded Ware people penetrated into a land dominated by the Salzm№nde
culture (Thomas 1982: 76). During the Kalbsrieth phase, these newcomers
probably forced those associated with the Walternienburg culture back into the
hills. The Corded Ware of this phase displays motifs and shapes taken over form
the displaced Salzm№nde culture (Thomas 1982: 76). By the time of its final
phase, the Mansfelder, the Corded Ware culture of Saxo-Thuringia, which now
dominated the entire area, had a pottery decoration indicating that it had
absorbed much of the Walterneinburg ceramic tradition (Mildenberger 1961;
Thomas 1982: 76). In the
There might be
revealed several contact areas for
Lakeland (sites Stacze, Wozna, Wies, Sosnia, Dudka) the pottery of the CWC
always occurs as an admixture to
Kujawy area is a distinctive contact zone for Corded Ware and Funnel Beaker cultures (Kosko 1997, 1999). The pottery shows transitional forms from TRB to A-Horizon of Corded Ware, and the relation between the two cultures remains debatable. The territory between the Kamienna, Vistula, Nida, and Bobrza rivers (Małopolska Plateau) is remarkable for the presence ofа УmixedФ Złota culture, which bears traces of Baden and CWC influence (Krzak 1976).
As a contact area for Czech Republic should be
regarded the region of Lomsk¤ potok and Střela river areas. The territory
is partly occupied by local Řivnсč culture, Cham culture, as well as
Corded Ware and Beaker culture (Benes 1997; Dobes & Buchvaldek 1993;
Buchvaldek 1986). Transitional forms are also presented by JeviЪovice culture, which bears general traits of Corded Ware and Baden
cultures. South and east of Saxo-Thuringia, closely related Corded Ware groups
Significance of the research
Relation of the Corded
Ware A-Horizon to the spreading Indo-European population of
In this regard
it should be mentioned that the thesis of Johannes Br°ndsted, suggesting the
interpretation of the Battle Axe or Corded Ware Culture as the most probable
candidate for archaeological traces of migrations of Indo-European tribes in
Europe around the third millennia B.C. (Br°ndsted 1952) remains relevant even
until the present days, turning the dispute regarding the essence of the CWC to
be the crucial point of the Indo-European discussion. The lack of complex
research of the Battle Axe culture remains, and any further approach to the
solution of the Indo-European problem would necessarily require thorough and
complex study of the Corded Ware culture, which would give a key to
understanding of cultural and ethnical development of prehistoric
2004 й Copyright by Sergey Sannikov.
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