Bell Beaker/early Late Neolithic (NOT Corded Ware/Battle Axe) identified as forming the Pre-Germanic community in Scandinavia

I wrote recently about the newly created Indo-European Corded Ware Theory group, which represents today the last dying effort to sustain the outdated model of the ‘Kurgan peoples’.

Archaeology and Linguistics (like Genetics) keeps slowly but relentlessly rejecting all the Kurgan model‘s foundations, safe for the steppe origin of Indo-European expansion.

The book Language and Prehistory of the Indo-European Peoples. A Cross-Disciplinary perspective. Eds. A. Hyllested, B.N. Whitehead, Th. Olander and B. Anette. Copenhagen Studies in Indo-European. Museum Tusculanum Press, Copenhagen, has been recently published (December 2017).

In it, Christopher Prescott contributes to the history of Indo-European migrations to Scandinavia and the formation of a common Nordic language, ancestral to Proto-Germanic.

A draft of his chapter is downloadable in Dramatic beginnings of Norway’s history? Archaeology and Indo-Europeanization.

Here are some excerpts from the text:

Thus archaeology can deal with the question of Indo-Europeans through material culture, and archaeology can contribute to unraveling the events leading up to the fact that Indo-European languages were spread from the Indian Ocean to the northwestern European Arctic in pre- and proto-history. In 1995, Prescott and Walderhaug tentatively argued that a dramatic transformation took place in Norway around the Late Neolithic (2350 BCE), and that the swift nature of this transition was tied to the initial Indo-Europeanization of southern and coastal Norway, at least to Trøndelag and perhaps as far north as Troms. Although this interpretation cannot be “proven” in any positivist sense of the word (though aDNA and isotope studies have added a new layer of relevant data), in light of the last ten years of research and excavations, it is has become an increasingly reasonable hypothesis (e.g., Engedal 2002, Fari 2006, Håland and Håland 2000, Kristiansen 2004, Melheim 2006, Østmo 1996, also Kvalø 2007, Larsson 1997).


The Late Neolithic transformation gives rise to a cultural platform where most of southerly Norway is incorporated into the Nordic sphere. Interaction is no longer over borders, rather within a common cultural arena. Locally, the cultural institutions provide a base for the continued dynamic development through the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age. On a larger geographic and historical scale, incorporation into this field of interaction opens even the most peripheral parts of southern Norway to the streams of culture and events that shape Europe’s Bronze Age history, for example those originating from within Unetice, Tumulus Culture, Urnfeld and Hallstatt.


Changes in Scandinavia Norway are linked to wider transformations in Europe. Culturally, both Corded Ware Battle Axe and the Bell Beaker are important referential easterly and westerly European cultural horizons. Both these horizons affect and transform Northern Europe, so developments in Norway are not isolated affairs. Needless to say, though often regarded as Indo-European, the processes leading to and the affect of these cultural horizons is discussed for other parts of Europe as well (Mallory 1989:243ff).

Though there are reasonable arguments to assign both Corded Ware groups and bell Beaker groups Indo-European affiliations, the Corded Ware/Battle Axe horizon did not transform large parts of the Scandinavian Peninsula, nor can this horizon be identifies as the source of the practices, forms and institutions that characterize the ensuing Late Neolithic and Bronze Age. The Bell Beaker/early Late Neolithic, however, represents a source and beginning of these institution and practices, exhibits continuity to the following metal age periods and integrated most of Northern Europe’s Nordic region into a set of interaction fields. This happened around 2400 BCE, at the MNB to LN transition.

Though much is tentative and conjecture, multiple sources indicate that ideology, cosmology, myths social organization and probably language were Indo-European in the Bronze Age, and the development of the Bronze Age is rooted in the preceding Late Neolithic. Though the evidence also indicates that the initial Indo-European encounters, indeed “colliding worlds”, were probably experienced in the Middle Neolithic B, the archaeological record points to the time around transition to the Late Neolithic as the chronologically defining threshold for the entrenchment of an Indo-European platform throughout what would become the Nordic Bronze Age region in Norway. The Late Neolithic is therefore the most likely candidate for the introduction of the foundation for economic, social and ideological institutions, that is Giddens’ “deeply layered structure[s]”, that are fundamental to the development of the region’s identities, also ethnic, in the millennia to come.

Diachronic map of migrations in Europe ca. 2250-1750 BC, after the Bell Beaker invasion, the most likely time of formation of a common Nordic language, ancestor of Proto-Germanic.

Mind you, not that these actual archaeological and linguistic models will deter anyone from supporting ancestry-based tentative sketches of a fictional ‘kurgan people’ that became outdated almost 60 years ago now – especially if they fit certain desires of ancestral ethnolinguistic identification with modern populations…


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Bell Beakers and Mycenaeans from Yamnaya; Corded Ware from the forest steppe – Indo-European.euPredictions about the genetic change from Single Grave to the Late Neolithic in Denmark – Indo-European.euVikings, Vikings, Vikings! “eastern ancestry” in the whole Baltic Iron Age – Indo-European.euAlekseyMinimaler Kultureinfluss der Schnurkeramik in Skandinavien; Glockenbecherleute die vereinigende maritime Elite – Recent comment authors
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mtDNA suggest original East Germanic population linked to Jutland Iron Age and Bell Beaker –

[…] Germanic homeland in terms of mtDNA, common after the Bell Beaker expansion, which probably brought Pre-Germanic to […]

Per Ulrik Bøge Nielsen
Per Ulrik Bøge Nielsen

Something really bothers me, also in the case of Christoffer Prescot: a lot of really fancy nothings completely neglect to mention the real game changer with corded ware: the tame horse…


A Germanic-Balto-Slavic Construct ignored completly the Florin Curta results about a late Slavic formation. A Indo-uralian model had more potential. And the Hercynian Forest is a source region for oldest germanic language, here is found a corded ware group with R1a Dominance. This suggest UrGermanic is spoken by R1a and Westgermanic is assoziated with R1b. Of the other side is ignored the first european websites with bacterium Yersinia pestis. This suggest a middle neolithic connection between uralic population and middle european population (e.g. Augsburg). A special is, these Websites in Balticum is exactly your “outsiders” (Outlier) of Corded ware genetic!… Read more »

Olalde et al. and Mathieson et al. (Nature 2018): R1b-L23 dominates Bell Beaker, R1a-M417 resurges only during the Bronze Age –

[…] Archaeology by Mallory (in Celtic from the West 2, 2013), and by Prescott for the development of a Nordic or Pre-Germanic language in Scandinavia since […]

Y-DNA haplogroup R1b-Z2103 in Proto-Indo-Iranians? –

[…] Scandinavian Bell Beakers, explaining the arrival of Pre-Germanic-speaking peoples and the formation of a mixed ethnolinguistic […]

Consquences of Damgaard et al. 2018 (III): Proto-Finno-Ugric & Proto-Indo-Iranian in the North Caspian region –

[…] during the Iron Age, could have developed only after the arrival of Bell Beakers (see Prescott 2017). The association of later Germanic tribes mainly with the expansion of R1b-U106 lineages bears […]

Minimal Corded Ware culture impact in Scandinavia – Bell Beakers the unifying maritime elite –

[…] Bell Beaker/early Late Neolithic (NOT Corded Ware/Battle Axe) identified as forming the Pre-Germanic… […]

Minimaler Kultureinfluss der Schnurkeramik in Skandinavien; Glockenbecherleute die vereinigende maritime Elite –

[…] Während der Text die traditionelle Idee widerspiegelt, dass Schnurkeramik indoeuropäische Sprachen verbreitete, ist Prescott (seit Prescott und Walderhaug 1995) ein Befürworter der Bildung einer nordischen Gemeinschaft und einer nordischen (dh prägermanischen) Sprache mit der Ankunft von Bell Beakers. […]


The text is full of “evidence also indicates and probably”! But this is no cause mentioned that lead to the conclusion. “myths social organization” indicates that late so called German people had no ideas where their myths came from. Even today nobody knows how to translate their God Odin! Is it their God? I do not think so. For instance, Hittites God Perun meant the God on the hill, Slavic word perun meant the hill. The social organization of Slavic Russian kings coincided with norms of Hitties. It was possible to say the king that he made mistake and expel… Read more »


It is absolutely nonsense about Bell beaker culture!
To your knowledge!
The very first bell beaker pottery has corded were declaration!!!

Please stop this “Bell Beaker (NOT Corded Ware/Battle Axe) identified as forming the Pre-Germanic community”

please Stop destroying history as the science! Please stop it!

Vikings, Vikings, Vikings! “eastern ancestry” in the whole Baltic Iron Age –

[…] Also interesting is the finding of hg. R1b-P297 in Troms, Norway (VK531) ca. 2400 BC. R1b-P297 subclades might have expanded to the north through Finland with post-Swiderian Mesolithic groups (read more about Scandinavian hunter-gatherers), and the ancestry of this sample points to that origin. However, it is also known that ancestry changes within a few generations, and that the transformation brought about by Bell Beakers with the Dagger Period probably reached Troms, so this could also be a R1b-M269 subclade. In fact, the few data from this sample shows that its archaeologist thought it was from the Viking period… Read more »

Predictions about the genetic change from Single Grave to the Late Neolithic in Denmark –

[…] change that the Dagger Period brought to Scandinavia, in cultural or genetic terms (see e.g. here or here). Strange how the only thing that Kristiansen has changed since the 1980s, and only after […]

Bell Beakers and Mycenaeans from Yamnaya; Corded Ware from the forest steppe –

[…] justify as derived exclusively from Single Grave or (even less) from Battle Axe peoples, supporting immigration waves of Bell Beakers from the south and further admixture events with local groups through maritime […]