Danubian Cultures

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Danubian Cultures


a complex of archaeological cultures of the Neolithic and Aeneolithic periods, widespread from the fifth to the third millennium B.C. north of the Middle and Upper Danube. The term was introduced by the British archaeologist V. G. Childe. In his opinion, the uniform system of agricultural economy in this part of Central Europe (cultivation of loess soils, the move to new lands after the depletion of fields, and the return to the old regions after a certain period of time) led to the rise of a whole group of related cultures, which had undergone lengthy development. The spiral-meander pottery culture is placed by Childe in the first period of the Danubian cultures. In the second period, the stroke-ornamented pottery culture and the Rössen culture emerged from the union of the Danubian cultures of the first period and the more primitive local cultures. The Jordansmiile and Lengyel cultures and the Moravian painted pottery culture also date from this period. Fortified settlements appeared. In the third period a number of foreign cultures intruded into the territory of the Danubian cultures: the Michelsberg culture, the funnel-beaker culture, and others. Childe considers the Baden culture and the Bodrogkeresztur culture also to be of this third period. In the fourth period the use of copper and gold spread, and trading between the tribes increased (as the large finds of bronze weapons and jewelry indicate).

In the most recent archaeological literature, the term “Danubian cultures” is used to refer to the cultures of the first period and, less frequently, to those of the second period.


Childe, V. G. U istokov evropeiskoi tsivilizatsii. Moscow, 1952. (Translated from English.)
Childe, V. G. The Danube in Prehistory. Oxford, 1929.
Childe, V. G. The Prehistory of European Society. [No place] 1958.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.