Brunn am Gebirge (Early Neolithic)

Contact: DDr. Peter Stadler


Between 1989 and 2005 the Department of Prehistory, led by Dr Peter Stadler, carried out excavations in Brunn am Gebirge on an area of land known as Wolfholz. This work revealed traces and objects at seven sites dating from different periods: the Early Neolithic, the Late Neolithic, the Langobard period and the Avar period.
The most significant of these is the Early Neolithic settlement, where the development of the Linear Pottery Culture can be observed. This Neolithic culture was the first peasant culture with permanent settlements in Central Europe. It was named after the style used by people of this culture to decorate their ceramic products. Its settlement area stretched from Hungary and Ukraine in the east to the banks of the Rhine in western Germany, from Holland in the north to Switzerland in the south. They were emigrants from what is now Croatia, members of the Starčevo culture who settled in Brunn am Gebirge around 5700 BC and from which the earliest members of the Linear Pottery Culture developed within 200 years. It is believed that this culture then spread from Brunn am Gebirge mainly along the Danube to the west.
The settlement, which was the focal point of the investigations carried out by the Department of Prehistory, was 1.24 kilometres long and around 500 metres wide. Over 80 longhouses, in which people lived and worked between 5700 and 5100 BC, have been excavated to date – though there are areas of the settlement which have still to be investigated. All in all it can be assumed that a total of about 200 houses were originally located there. The dig has been put on hold at the moment while the archaeologists focus their efforts on studying and analysing the information gained so far.
This analysis is being carried out by the Department of Prehistory in close cooperation with the University of Brno (stone tools, Dr Inna Mateiciucová) and with the National Academy of Sciences in Kiev (ceramics, Dr Nadja Kotova).
The analysis of the finds from site 2 at Brunn has already led to a new relative and absolute chronology of the Early Neolithic period in Central Europe.