Beaker (archaeology)

Beaker (archaeology)


This type of beaker was first defined by Lord John Abercromby in the early twentieth century and comes in three distinct forms, the bell beaker and the rarer short-necked and long-necked beakers although there are many variations on these basic types.

Bell beakers appear to be the earliest type and are often covered with decoration made from impressing twisted cord into the unfired clay. When the decoration covers the whole vessel they are known as all-over corded (AOC) beakers. Where comb designs are used, perhaps along with cord impressions they are called all-over ornamented (AOO) beakers. Some have a looped handle on one side or a white coloured material pressed into the decoration, contrasting with the orange or brown ceramic.

Traditionally they were superseded by the short-necked beakers which in turn were replaced by long-necked forms. Work by Humphrey Case in the 1990s has suggested that the three styles were used contemporaneously for different purposes.

Beakers have been found from North Africa to southern Scotland and from Portugal to the far east of Europe but is particularly common in the Rhine valley and the coasts of the North Sea.


*"Oxford Concise Dictionary of Archaeology", Darvill, T, OUP, 2003

External links

* [ Beaker from Kent]

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