Baden Culture

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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.


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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.
Considering the important role Baden culture plays in out understanding of Late Neolithic Europe it is alarming how poorly defined the concept still is.
Shennan 1989; Wotzka 1993), the concept of Baden culture bas remained more or less unquestioned in central European archaeology.
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.
Again, a boundary is cutting right through the area of the Baden culture, forming two areas that tie in with their respective surroundings.
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.
If the synchronization of the Bronocice phases III-V with the phases of the Baden culture in Slovakia as proposed by Kruk & Milisauskas (1981: figure 14; see however Pavelcik 1989: 164) is correct, the accompanying DIC determinations simply do not tally, nor do they follow the shape of the calibration curve (Drenth & Lanting 1997: 66).
a The oldest vehicles seem to have been four-wheeled wagons (Uruk-Eanna IVa and Bronocice III; wagon-shaped cups of the Hungarian classical Baden culture at Budakalasz and Szigetszentmarton, Piggott 1983: figures 14-15, and from Baden context in Croatia, see below; the North Pontic steppes: Littauer & Crouwel 1996: 936; Single Grave culture of northwestern Germany, 3rd millennium BC).
They are clearly different from the mostly biconical spindle-whorls here (Novotny 1972: plate 2:1-3, 3:6), but the attribution to the level of the Late Baden culture, comparable with the Zeslawice-Pleszow Group of the Cracow area, is uncertain because there was no visible boundary with the overlying Early Bronze Hatvan level (Novotny 1972: 8).