Did Indo-European people mostly displace the inhabitants are Europe and why?

Aug 2014
1,170
Portugal
Lack of fortifications does not mean lack of violence.
Iceland of Sagas and Norway of Viking Age had raids like burning of Njall, yet did not build forts.
Irish had endemic wars and sometimes built ringforts... yet 12th century witnesses say that the warriors lived in unfortified halls and disregarded the "Daneforts" visible in their landscape.

For small villages of 20...40 souls total, 5...10 adult men who often had to be away in fields, the cost-effectiveness of building and then manning fortifications is problematic.
I agree that lack of fortifications does not mean lack of violence. This is all interpretations of what is left. Also, it is not impossible that these open spaces were "under the rule" of one of these "proto cities" who gained some sort of hegemony.

An Archeologist (Michael Kunst, I think) hypothesised that the the "chalcolithic civilization" was violent and decentralized: independent proto cities competing for resources. And what came after, the Bell Beaker culture, was a more centralized society, with people living in small groups in rural areas, under the central authority of a single "proto city". This central "proto city" was never found. Kunst speculates that maybe it is located in what is now Lisboa.

Maybe there never was such a central "proto city", but one thing seems evident, there are much more signs of organized violence in the "chalcolithic" than in the "bronze" age in western Portugal.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,890
Portugal
In both Portugal and Spain there are regions that had "proto cities", permanent settlements with stone walls located on the top of hills.

It seems that its builders were descendents of the Neolithic populations who built megalithic monuments in previous centuries.

There are no clear signs of a rigid hierarchy in these communities (at least in the proto cities in western Portugal) and there are some signs of organized violence.

The walls seem to have spots for archers. There is a great production of arrows. Some male bodies were found in common graves, etc.

These elements were present in the late Neolithic and early Copper Age, well before the arrival of central Europe migrants.

One thing seems certain, in the late copper age and early bronze age there's a radical change. The population are no longer concentrated in proto cities. Most of them are abandoned. People are now living in valleys and open spaces without fortifications. The bell beaker kit is more widespread and even though the societies in Western Portugal seem more peaceful there some signs of a warrior elite.

These are just interpretations though.

Maybe there was no war, just intensive hunting. The walls were made to guard cattle at night. And the change in the pattern of territorial occupation might have been a response to an environment collapse.

Or maybe it was everything I wrote above.
When I read your post, I recalled that a couple of years ago I was in the site of the Castro do Zambujal, if fits the description: Castro do Zambujal – Wikipédia, a enciclopédia livre

A miniature model:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_HYyRiO1CjMk/SSAsOrBKmcI/AAAAAAAAAwE/BaIKjKzWK1U/s400/DSC_3741.JPG

I already mentioned it here: Pre-Classical European Architecture and Engineering

The 2001 report of the works: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Michael_Kunst/publication/28206796_Zambujal_Torres_Vedras_Lisboa_relatorio_das_escavacoes_de_2001/links/5630db6808ae13bc6c3531e9.pdf (in Portuguese)

And the 1994/5 report: http://www.patrimoniocultural.gov.pt/media/uploads/revistaportuguesadearqueologia/5_1/5.pdf (in Portuguese)

Both reports have an abstract in English.
 
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Aug 2014
1,170
Portugal
Ah thank you for the links, Tulius!

I was also searching for some info in english.

In my posts I was thinking mainly about the fortified settlement of Zambujal. It is very important for the understand of this period and maybe... maybe the birth place of the Bell Beaker culture.
 
Mar 2015
865
Europe
Existence of a "central authority" does not require existence of a "proto-city".
Look at Merovingian and Carolingian Europe.
Cities were missing. Secular castles were missing. Architecturally distinguished lordly residences were missing.
Yet the literary historical sources say that kings and lords did exist.
When we read about the description of Merovingian lord's hall - yes, there was luxury. Precious metal vessels and decorated textile hangings.
But the thing is, a great lord held several halls in different villages. When the lord and his retinue moved on to next village, the vessels and textiles were packed up, and the hall was left empty, not much bigger, more comfortable or more ornate than barns of ordinary peasants in the village, and not distinguished from the hall of a petty squire who had only one hall.
And when the enemies raided the hall and slew the lord and his retainers, they would also loot and pack up the precious metals and textiles before moving on and torching the empty hall, same as if they had raided the hall empty at the time.

How much archeological evidence does the Merovingian type of itinerant lordship without permanent main palaces leave? Can such chiefs be detected, or ruled out, in prehistoric times?
 
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Lord Fairfax

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,406
Changing trains at Terrapin Station...
How do you match the spread of IE to specific waves?
You can't. It's at best a good theory that seems to fit.
The linguistic estimates of time and rate of expantion have large margins of error.

Suppose we believe that the Corded Ware speakers migrated from the steppe to Western Europe.
To prove that they did indeed develop proto IE language and brought it west we'd need to find some evidence that ties their burial sites to IE, and eliminate every other culture & wave as a possibility.
 
Mar 2015
865
Europe
We have plain historical evidence of when non-Indo-European Etruscan language was replaced by Indo-European Latin language in Tuscany.
Did Romans replace Etruscan people, or did they not?
 

Lord Fairfax

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,406
Changing trains at Terrapin Station...
We have plain historical evidence of when non-Indo-European Etruscan language was replaced by Indo-European Latin language in Tuscany.
Did Romans replace Etruscan people, or did they not?
We know that the IE language spread to Europe.
We know that waves of migrants arrived.
What we don't know is which (if) wave brought the IE language.
 
Jan 2016
1,151
Collapsed wave
We know that the IE language spread to Europe.
We know that waves of migrants arrived.
What we don't know is which (if) wave brought the IE language.

My understanding is that the first wave was the Yamnaya -> Corded ware (Balto-slavic and Germanic)
and second wave the Hallstatt->Celtics?

It seems there is some evidence for something like that?
 
Aug 2014
1,170
Portugal
Existence of a "central authority" does not require existence of a "proto-city".
Look at Merovingian and Carolingian Europe.
Cities were missing. Secular castles were missing. Architecturally distinguished lordly residences were missing.
Yet the literary historical sources say that kings and lords did exist.
When we read about the description of Merovingian lord's hall - yes, there was luxury. Precious metal vessels and decorated textile hangings.
But the thing is, a great lord held several halls in different villages. When the lord and his retinue moved on to next village, the vessels and textiles were packed up, and the hall was left empty, not much bigger, more comfortable or more ornate than barns of ordinary peasants in the village, and not distinguished from the hall of a petty squire who had only one hall.
And when the enemies raided the hall and slew the lord and his retainers, they would also loot and pack up the precious metals and textiles before moving on and torching the empty hall, same as if they had raided the hall empty at the time.

How much archeological evidence does the Merovingian type of itinerant lordship without permanent main palaces leave? Can such chiefs be detected, or ruled out, in prehistoric times?
Again, agreed!

If I remember well this is the mainstream interpretation (in a very simplistic way):

In the late Neolithic in Western Portugal the people ceased to build megalithic structures and some started to occupy hill tops and build walled settlements for the first time. Copper age begins.

These walled settlements were near rivers with access to the ocean. So, maybe walled settlements with harbours. Tombs are still collective and the iconography is still Neolithic.

There is a big number of stone axes, that may mean a lot of wood cutting, that may mean clearing forests for agriculture. Agriculture and population growth.

There are also a great number of arrowheads, that may mean profuse hunting... or warfare.

There are also some copper and "international trade". Although copper and stone came from other regions of Portugal, there is also some ivory (Africa) and idols very similar to the ones found in the eastern mediterranean and maybe Egypt. I think this "international elements" were already present in the Neolithic.

A new culture begins in the middle copper age: Bell Beaker. The earliest vestiges of it, I think, are in the walled settlement of Zambujal. It seems to be a continuation of the previous culture and not something completely different that arrived from other regions. Also the Bell Beaker pottery may have been traded from here to other regions, even Africa and British Isles. Zambujal had access to rivers and the ocean.

Through this process the walled settlements reached its zenith and begin to decay in the mid copper age (2500 BC?). There seem to be signs of warfare in all the copper age, not only in the mid and later periods. Then there's a population drop and a reduction of the occupied areas. The outer walls of the settlements are left to decay, only the inner walls are maintained.

There are some Bell Beaker in the countryside but not inside the walled settlements, with the exception of Zambujal which has Bell Beaker inside its walls from an earlier age.

And then, after 2600 BC most walled settlements are abandoned. People start to live more in the countryside, in small family farms. Tombs are becoming more individual. Even earlier collective tombs are utilized by individuals. Warrior's tombs, with a lot of arrowheads, copper daggers, archer's bracers, drinking vessels, etc. The Bronze age begins.

It is important to note the "Portuguese early Bronze" is not Copper + Tin. It was copper+arsenic, both locally found in the region.

Signs of organized violence will come again in the Iron Age, and with it a stronger warrior iconografy and walled settlments return to the region, and shortly after that, the first Iberian cities, phoencian colonies, greeks and after them, Romans.

And this is just a simplistic reconstruction of a small region (the Lisboa Peninsula), not the reconstruction of prehistoric Portugal (which had different cultures) nor prehistoric Iberian Peninsula...let alone Western Europe.


What I think after reading the recent studies: Central Europeans, on horse and in small groups, mostly men, arrived in Western Portugal when the local "civilization" was already collapsing and its population was dropping (internal wars, overexploitation of resources, disease, all of it...).

The newcomers already found local copper metallurgy (maybe with a religious meaning) and local instability. Yet they seem to have introduced or adopted a new technology: mixing copper with arsenic to get Arsenical Bronze.

They adopted the local elites culture (Bell Beaker) and spread it through the Lisboa peninsula and to central Europe.Were this small groups bands of warriors for hire? Conquerors? Metallurgists? Merchants? Nomadic shepherds? Refugees? All of it?

With time they almost replaced the copper age men. Yet there are no signs of violence at that chronology. What we find is a radical change and a new strategy of territorial occupation. No more walled cities, but small family farms in valleys. Much less population concentration and more mobility...and the male lineage of the copper age Iberians gradually disappeared. Only the copper age females and the newcomers subsisted.
 
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Mar 2015
865
Europe
My understanding is that the first wave was the Yamnaya -> Corded ware (Balto-slavic and Germanic)
and second wave the Hallstatt->Celtics?

It seems there is some evidence for something like that?
There certainly was a wave of first farmers. A dispute is whether the first farmers may already have been Indo-Europeans - or not.