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.
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).