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Monday, July 27, 2015

Corded Ware in the Central and Southern Balkans

I never knew that corded ware penetrated deep into the Balkans. According to this recent paper, it certainly did, even as far as present-day Greece.

Abstract: The analysis of corded ware and accompanying artifacts reveals the nature of its appearance across the Central and Southern Balkan Eneolithic during three cultural-chronological horizons. The first horizon corresponds to the Early Eneolithic, namely the Bubanj-Salcuta-Krivodol cultural complex (BSK), while the second corresponds to the Cotofeni culture. The third horizon, showing chronological continuity with the second, and set within the Late Eneolithic/Early Bronze Age, has a site distribution that encompasses the territory of nearly the entire Balkan Peninsula, where corded ware is found together with other steppe elements which are present in large numbers, such are burials under mounds and the appearance of the domestic horse.

Aleksandar Bulatovic, Corded Ware in the Central and Southern Balkans: A Consequence of Cultural Interaction or an Indication of Ethnic Change?, The Journal of Indo-European Studies, Volume 42, Number 1 & 2, Spring/Summer 2014

See also...

Population genomics of Early Bronze Age Europe in three simple graphs


andrew said...

Does it follow that the Mycenean Greeks were direct descendants of Balkan Corded Ware culture members?

Davidski said...

That's a possibility, but they may have come from a much later wave of steppe invaders.

Mycenaean genomes are on the way, so we shall see.

Colin Welling said...

very little association with the major rivers

Chad Rohlfsen said...

On the other hand, the emergence of corded ornament could have a closer correlation with sheep herding and its spread. It is known that sheep was very important and often the most numerous animal in the subsistence of steppe populations, so the fact that during the next Usatovo culture, which settled in the territory of the Tripolje culture, the number of sheep remains rose even higher is not suprising.


Corded ornament inspired by a wool cord could have spread together with the knowledge of wool processing, which goes side by side with the emergence of wool textiles in the Bell-beaker culture, where one of the most frequent ornaments was made with a cord.

I think they're linking it with the ancestors of Bell Beaker, which is probably more in-line with this. Sheep weren't a Corded Ware thing, but spindles are pretty common in Bell Beaker, and the wool "cape or whatever you call it"?, held in place by those famous Beaker pins.

Chad Rohlfsen said...

This basically runs from 4200BCE and into the EBA.

Chad Rohlfsen said...

Read into the paper some more. You'll see links into Kostolac, in-turn, Vucedol, of course, later this ends in Beaker. Basically, a faint horizon, if you will. Daggers, wool, corded pots, and footed and pedestal bowls from Eastern Beakers to the Kuban Steppe.

Chad Rohlfsen said...

"Cotofeni culture, populations of which, together with Kostolac populations, would form the base of the 2nd corded ware horizon in the central and southern Balkans."

Kostolac and Baden mix created Vucedol, where we have R1b.

This is pretty much what I've been saying for the last year or two. I think that we need to look here for L51.

Mike Thomas said...

Great article, and a much needed summary of the current state of research.
Awaiting the Palaeogenetic component ..

alex D said...

Just a question Davidski when do you expect the Mycenaean genomes?
Also any thoughts on the rich burial Tumuli/Kurgans in ancient Macedon - possible steppe invaders like the one's belonging to Thracians?

Davidski said...

I've heard that Mycenaean and various Copper and Bronze Age Balkan samples have already been tested, but I have no idea when the results will be published. Maybe later this year, and if not, then definitely next year.