October 6, 2021

5.2 Archaeology of Later Prehistoric Europe: Cultural Transformations in Neolithic Central Europe

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Dr.. Dr. Nils Müller-Scheeßel, Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel




Nils Müller-Scheeßel, Zuzana Hukeľová, John Meadows, Ivan Cheben, Johannes Müller & Martin Furholt. 2021. “New burial rites at the end of the Linearbandkeramik in south-west Slovakia” in Antiquity Vol. 95 (379): 65–84.

The recent discovery of several late Linearbandkeramik (LBK) sites in Central Europe, including Vráble
in south-west Slovakia, has revealed evidence for increasing diversity in Neolithic mortuary practices,
which may reflect inter-community war and sociopolitical crisis at the end of the LBK. Here, the
authors combine osteological and radiocarbon analyses of inhumations from Vráble. Rather than a
straightforward sign of inter-community conflict and war, this development reflects a culmination of
internal conflict and a diversification in the ritual treatment of human bodies. The emerging variability
in LBK methods of manipulating and depositing dead bodies can be interpreted as an experimental
approach in how to negotiate social conflicts and community boundaries.


Dr. Ana Grabundžija, Institute for Prehistoric Archaeology, Free University of Berlin, Germany.




Ana Grabundžija, Helmut Schlichtherle, Urs Leuzinger, Wolfram Schier & Sabine Karg. 2021. “The interaction of distant technologies: bridging Central Europe using a techno-typological comparison of spindle whorls” in Antiquity Vol. 95 (381): 627–647.

The study of prehistoric textile production requires the excavation of sites with exceptional organic preservation.
Here, the authors focus on thread production using evidence from two fourth-millennium
BC pre-Alpine wetland sites: Arbon-Bleiche 3 in Switzerland and Bad Buchau-Torwiesen II in southern
Germany. A comparison of the spindle whorls from these two settlements with a contemporaneous
East-Central European dataset suggests that multiple culture-historical groups with distinct technological
signatures inhabited Neolithic Central Europe. Furthermore, the spatial distribution of conical spindle
whorls within the pre-Alpine settlements suggests the immigration of both people and technology
from the east, thereby illuminating the wider themes of mobility and innovation in prehistoric Europe.



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