Baden culture

Baden culture


History of research

The Baden culture was named after Baden near Vienna by the Austrian prehistorian Oswald Menghin. It is also known as Ossarn-group and Pecel-culture. The first monographic treatment was produced by J. Banner in 1956. Other important scholars are E. Neustupny, Ida Bognar-Kutzian and Vera Nemejcova-Pavukova. Baden has been interpreted as part of a much larger archaeological complex encompassing cultures at the mouth of the Danube (Ezero-Cernavoda III) and the Troad. In 1963, Nándor Kalicz had proposed a connection between the Baden-culture and Troy, based on the anthropomorphic urns from Ózd-Centre (Hungary). This interpretation cannot be maintained in the face of Radiocarbon-dates. The author himself (2004) has called this interpretation a "cul-de-sac", based on a misguided historical methodology.


Baden developed out of the late Lengyel culture in the western Carpathian Basin. Němejcová-Pavuková proposes a polygenetic origin, including southeastern elements transmitted by the Bulgarian Ezero-culture of the early Bronze Age (Ezero, layers XIII-VII) and Cernavoda III/Cotofeni. Ecsedy parallelises Baden with EH II in Thessaly, Parzinger with Sitagroi IV. Baden was approximately contemporaneous with the late Funnelbeaker culture, the Globular Amphora culture and the early Corded Ware culture.The following phases are known: Balaton-Lasinya, Baden-Boleráz, Post-Boleráz (divided into early, Fonyod/Tekovský Hrádok and late, Červený Hrádok/Szeghalom-Dioér by Vera Němejcová-Pavuková) and classical Baden.

Balaton-Lasinya-3700 BC cal-
Boleráz-3500 BCPilismarot
IbNitriansky Hrádok-Lánycsok, Vysoki breh
earlyFonyod/Tekovský Hrádok--
late Červený Hrádok/Szeghalom-Dioér--
Classical Baden3400 BC-
II, IIIolder-Nevidzany, Viss
IVyounger-Uny, Chlaba, Ózd


The settlements were often located on hilltops and were normally undefended.


Both inhumations and cremations are known. In Slovakia and Hungary, the burned remains were often placed in anthropomorphic urns (Slána, Ózd-Center). In Nitriansky Hrádok, a mass-grave was uncovered. There are also burials of cattle. Up to now, the only cemetery known from the early Boleráz-phase is Pilismárot (Hungary). It also contained a few examples of stroke-ornamented pottery.


The economy was mixed. Full-scale agriculture was present, along with the keeping of domestic stock -- pigs, goats, etc. The Baden-culture has some of the earliest attestation of wheeled vehicles in central Europe (so-called waggon-models in pottery). Finds of actual waggons have not been made, but there are burials of pairs of cattle that have been interpreted as draught animals.


Within the Kurgan hypothesis espoused by Marija Gimbutas, the Baden culture is seen as being Indo-Europeanized. For proponents of the older theory that seeks the Indo-European homeland in central Europe in the area occupied by the preceding Funnelbeaker culture, it is similarly considered Indo-Europeanized.

The ethnic and linguistic identity of the people associated with this culture is impossible to ascertain. It may be tempting to put the Italic and Celtic stocks together here at some point, at least in that great European mixing bowl, the plains of Hungary, but this is a speculation lacking any archaeological foundation.



*J. Banner, Die Peceler Kultur. Arch. Hungarica 35, 1956.
*Vera Němejcová-Pavuková 1984. K problematike trvania a konca boleazkej skupiny na Slovensku. Slovenska Arch. 34, 1986, 133-176.
*J. P. Mallory, "Baden Culture", "Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture", Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997.

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