(also Únětician culture), an archaeological culture of the 17th to 14th centuries B.C. (the early Bronze Age). The Únětice culture derives its name from the Únětice burial ground near Prague. At its height, the culture covered much of Central Europe, including lower Austria, Moravia, Bohemia, Thuringia, Saxony, southern Brandenburg, and southwestern Poland. The culture had local variants.
The burials characteristic of the Únětice culture are inhumations in pits with the corpse in a flexed lateral position. However, evidence of cremations and of the burial of children in pottery vessels has also been found. No settlements from the culture’s early period are known. Settlements from the late period, which began in the mid-16th century B.C., are located in elevated areas and are sometimes fortified by wooden fences with earthen banks. The dwellings are semipit houses of the post type. The pottery of the Únětice culture is represented by vessels with smooth surfaces. Tools and weapons were made of stone until the late period, when bronze also came into use for implements such as axes and daggers. The main occupations of the people were plow farming and livestock raising. Some burials bear witness to the emergence of property differentiation.