Baden Culture

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Baden Culture


an archaeological culture of the late Bronze Age (third millennium B. C). It is named after discoveries made in a cave near the city of Baden (Austria). It is on the territory of present-day Hungary (there it is called the Pécel culture), Czechoslovakia, and Austria, northwestern and northern Yugoslavia, western Rumania, and the Trans-carpathian Ukraine. The Baden culture is known primarily for its burial mounds (such as Budakalász) containing single or collective graves (interments; more rarely, cremated remains). It is characterized by polished stone axes, triangular arrowheads, shell ornaments, clay animal figurines, and occasionally copper ornaments and awls. Ceramic wares include bowls divided into two parts with partitions, pitchers with high-placed handles and fluted decoration, and am-phoras. The hunting and pastoral tribes of the Baden culture lived in fortified settlements.


Childe, G. U istokov evropeiskoi tsivilizatsii. Moscow, 1952. (Translated from English.)
Banner, J. Die Péceler Kultur. Budapest, 1956.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Baden culture is a term well established in the archaeological literature, being of exceptional importance since it is associated with influential models of supra-regional perspective: Nandor Kalicz sees Baden culture as connected to the Anatolian-Aegean Bronze Age (Kalicz 1963); Baden culture plays a major role in Sherratt's 'Secondary Products Revolution' (Sherratt 1981: 264f.; 1997) and more recently, Maran (2001; 2004) bas stressed the connections between Baden culture and the earliest wheeled vehicles.
Considering the important role Baden culture plays in out understanding of Late Neolithic Europe it is alarming how poorly defined the concept still is.
Recent research on Baden culture has seldom questioned whether the archaeological phenomenon is to be classified as an archaeological culture.
The first of these is that Baden culture pottery has a discrete distribution and a sharp boundary with other pottery styles, a proposition maintained despite its obvious disagreement with the archaeological evidence: namely that a great amount of settlement assemblages contain a mixture of types.
A second assumption is that the distribution of Baden culture pottery corresponds to the distribution of other types of material culture.
Lastly, it is necessary for the argument for a cultural zone to assume that Baden culture pottery has itself a uniform style.
Since Baden culture was defined by the stylistic traits of pottery, it should be made clear that this is the basic meaning of the term.
Here, 120 assemblages from settlements were sampled in order to cover the spatial and temporal reach of the so-called Baden culture as it appears in the literature.
So, the phenomenon that is usually called Baden culture in the literature, is actually to be described as a number of distinct pottery styles, sharing a number of common features, but still differentiable.
For a long time, the Boleraz style (Figure 3) has been known as the earliest subgroup of the Baden culture (Neustupny 1959), and the increasing number of radiocarbon dates allows a more precise dating (mapped in Figure 2).
The so-called Baden culture does not embrace a consistent cultural package, and even if expressed by pottery alone has been shown here to be a coarse approximation of a number of ceramic subsystems.