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Just finished attending the Prehistoric Society’s AGM and waiting for the lecture to begin. Lecture topic: Genetic change and relatedness in Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age Britain.

‘Chalcolithic’ is a problematic term. It’s the Copper Age – a brief period after the Neolithic and before they figured out a little tin mixed into the copper made a much harder metal called bronze, hence the Bronze Age.

But Chalcolithic doesn’t translate to Copper Age, it translates to Copper Stoneage. Pff! Most historians just call it the end of the Stone Age.

Pic is a chalcolithic settlement from Wikipedia.

Oops! It’s starting.


Comment from drew458
Time: October 20, 2021, 5:51 pm

“a chalcolithic settlement from Wikipedia.”

What part of England is Wikipedia in? 🙂 Is that near Mercia?

Comment from drew458
Time: October 20, 2021, 6:56 pm

I jest. This chalcolithic stuff, or is “eneolithic” more apt? They’d be those Beaker people, who showed old in Jolly Olde and killed off all the Neos, before being run out of town by the Celts a couple thousand years later. And then them by the bloody Romans. Anyway, this was so long ago that Stonehenge was just Aubrey’s log ring, and by the time the Beaks showed up, the Bronze Age was in full swing everywhere else, having probably started in Spain where they came from. So I’m wondering if there was much of any actual “chalco” in Britain, or if they went straight from flint to bronze. You can also make the argument that the Beaker folk came there for the bronze, or at least the tin, which they found lots of once they discovered Cornwall. There isn’t much tin in Europe other than in Spain, so imagine the level of trade that must have gone on, and all the Excise Tax that could have been collected.

Comment from Drew458
Time: October 20, 2021, 7:18 pm

Know what would be nice? If the comment timer paused when you’re in edit mode. Sometimes I need to tab over and look things up. And I had such a great update too. Oh well. I learned stuff anyway, and can now compare the M5 to the Sweet Track the next time you do an ancient Britain history post, or debate whether the sudden improvement in metalworking caused by using a leather sack with sticks as a bellows lead to the invention of the bagpipes.

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: October 20, 2021, 8:39 pm

Do you ask that, Drew458, because that is how you think bagpipes sound???

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: October 20, 2021, 9:42 pm

You should always be able to edit your comments, even Reddit does that ;+)

Looks like an early version of Minas Tirith in Gondor!

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: October 20, 2021, 11:59 pm

Mme. Ermine says:

But Chalcolithic doesn’t translate to Copper Age, it translates to Copper Stoneage. Pff! Most historians just call it the end of the Stone Age.

And the OED says:

chalcolithic, a. Archæol.


[f. chalco- + Gr. λίθος stone + -ic.]

Of or pertaining to a period of culture characterized by the concurrent use of stone and bronze implements. (Cf. aeneolithic a.)

I learn the most fascinating stuff by looking up a word in the OED and then continuing along a thread or two, or simply browsing. For example:

chalcenterous, a.


[ad. Gr. χαλκ-έντερος of brazen bowels, applied by Suidas to the grammarian Didymus, f. χαλκ-ός copper + ἔντερ-ον intestine + -ous.]

With bowels of bronze, tough. Also chalˈcenteric a.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: October 21, 2021, 12:43 am

Ah yes, I remember that city well.

It’s a model of Minas Trone.

awful lot of ‘towers’ on those wall don’t you think?
Just sayin, it implies rather more people than there are houses in town and….never mind.

Comment from thefritz
Time: October 21, 2021, 12:50 am

HELLOOOOO, It’s Wednesday and Swease hasn’t acknowledged we had a Dead Pool winner. We were long over due and now we start anew…some lucky duck just won his 6th Dick….

Comment from drew458
Time: October 21, 2021, 11:59 am

Fritz – So we waited one Dick too long to make the old “fits like a glove” joke?

Mark – I actually love the pipes, but then I also like the hurdy gurdy and banjos too. A lot of people think of bagpipes as a Scottish sobriety test – if they sound good to you, you’ve had too much to drink!

Uncle Al – chalcenterous – I’m guessing expressions change over the centuries. Have to wonder if a grammarian like old Didymus might have been an obnoxious person to be around, having the gauche nerve to correct anyone at any time. These days our “brass” idiom might be located somewhat lower on the body.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: October 21, 2021, 12:12 pm

Enjoying the pipes possibly genetic, ditto for hurdy gurdys and banjos.

You forgot fiddle music.

None of the above are pleasant when played by amateurs or self, but…I repeat myself.

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