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Bell Beaker people in Britain: migration, mobility and diet

Parker Pearson, Mike; Chamberlain, Andrew; Jay, Mandy; Richards, Mike; Sheridan, Alison; Curtis, Neil; Evans, Jane; Gibson, Alex; Hutchison, Margaret; Mahoney, Patrick; Marshall, Peter; Montgomery, Janet; Needham, Stuart; O’Mahoney, Sandra; Pellegrini, Maura; Wilkin, Neil

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Mike Parker Pearson

Andrew Chamberlain

Mandy Jay

Mike Richards

Alison Sheridan

Neil Curtis

Jane Evans

Alex Gibson

Margaret Hutchison

Patrick Mahoney

Peter Marshall

Stuart Needham

Sandra O’Mahoney

Maura Pellegrini

Neil Wilkin


The appearance of the distinctive ‘Beaker package’ marks an important horizon in British prehistory, but was it associated with immigrants to Britain or with indigenous converts? Analysis of the skeletal remains of 264 individuals from the British Chalcolithic–Early Bronze Age is revealing new information about the diet, migration and mobility of those buried with Beaker pottery and related material. Results indicate a considerable degree of mobility between childhood and death, but mostly within Britain rather than from Europe. Both migration and emulation appear to have had an important role in the adoption and spread of the Beaker package.


Parker Pearson, M., Chamberlain, A., Jay, M., Richards, M., Sheridan, A., Curtis, N., …Wilkin, N. (2016). Bell Beaker people in Britain: migration, mobility and diet. Antiquity, 90(351), 620-637.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 30, 2015
Online Publication Date May 17, 2016
Publication Date Jun 1, 2016
Deposit Date Dec 2, 2015
Publicly Available Date Dec 7, 2015
Journal Antiquity
Print ISSN 0003-598X
Electronic ISSN 1745-1744
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 90
Issue 351
Pages 620-637


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