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Brunn am Gebirge

The Neolithic settlement that is located in the township of Brunn am Gebirge in the southern outskirts of Vienna was examined between 1989-2005 by means of long-term excavations. During this period an area of nearly 100,000 square metres was explored. The unearthed settlement comprises 75 longhouses of remarkably standardised dimensions - cca. twenty metres long and 7-8 metres wide with slightly varying designs and the orientation of its long axis in a north-south direction. Ongoing magnetometric prospecting of the surrounding area additionally specified the total number of buildings encountered as being a hundred. The houses can be divided into five recognisable spatial groups, with the one that is identified as Brunn II attracting the most attention.

Currently this group, which is considered to represent the oldest remaining settlement of the Linear Pottery culture, the origin of which, in accordance with radiocarbon data, is defined as cca. 5650 BC. The pottery inventory of this earliest phase of the settlement comprises only coarse ceramic shapes with strips of a rather technical nature and rarely occurring barbotine. Completely missing there is fine pottery with linear decoration; that appears in Brunn am Gebirge during the second phase of the settlement and by-and-large it can be categorised alongside the oldest Linear Pottery of Bohemia and Moravia.

An initial analysis of the findings is already outlining a dual scenario regarding the emergence of the oldest Neolithic settlement located in the Vienna Basin. In accordance with the first model this settlement crystallised from the domestic roots of the later hunter-gatherer communities, while the second model assumes the arrival of people from South Hungary, from the environment of the Starčevo culture. Arguing against the first version is the current poor state of knowledge of the Mesolithic settlements in Lower Austria, where, basically, no settlements of the late Mesolithic were found.

Although we consider the Linear Pottery culture settlement in Brunn am Gebirge as being the oldest one, we also classify some of the other settlements from the core area of the emergence of this culture within the same group of primary sites. These are primarily the settlements located in Nitra and in Hurbanovo in the Slovak Republic and the Szentgyörgyvölgy-Pityerdomb site, together with the Zalaegerszeg-Andráshida site in Hungary. We place this earliest formative period of the Linear Pottery culture as occurring between the years 5650-5400 BC.


Want to learn more?

  • Pavúk, J. 2004. Early Linear Pottery Culture in Slovakia and the Neolithisation of Central Europe. In LBK Dialogues: Studies in the formation of the Linear Pottery Culture, eds. A. Lukes, and M. Zvelebil, 71–82. BAR – International Series, vol. 1304. Oxford: Archeopress.
  • Stadler, P., and N. Kotova. 2010. Early Neolithic settlement from Brunn Wolfholz in Lower Austria and the problem of the origin of (western) LBK. In Neolithization of the Carpathian basin: Northernmost distribution of the Starčevo/Körös culture, eds. J. K. Kozłowski, and P. Raczky, 307–330. Krakow: Polska Akademia Umiejętnośc.