Late Neolithic

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The Late Neolithic is a period from 3500 to 2800 BC. Chr. Continuous section of the Neolithic period in Central Europe. The term goes back to the five-fold structure largely used in Germany today by Jens Lüning and follows the Young Neolithic . Accordingly, the Neolithic is divided into five stages: Early Neolithic , Middle Neolithic, Early Neolithic, Late Neolithic and End Neolithic .

The early, late and end Neolithic are grouped together as the Copper Age (or Copper Age ) because of the increasing importance of jewelry and weapons made of copper .

Regionally different terminology

The terms are not used uniformly in individual regions of Germany, which sometimes causes confusion in the relative chronological classification. For example, the Cham culture in Bavaria is locally referred to as “end-Neolithic”.

In central Germany (in the sense of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia) the Neolithic is traditionally divided into three parts. For the first time in 1951, Ulrich Fischer proposed the three sections Early, High and Late Neolithic. Hermann Behrens also later pleaded for a threefold division into the early, middle and late Neolithic. According to the structure of Behrens, its late Neolithic corresponds roughly to the end Neolithic of Lüning. Later the proposal of a quadruple structure followed for Central Germany, which aimed to parallelize it with the Southwest German cultures. After calibration of the radiocarbon data , it turned out that the stage of the Young Neolithic was significantly longer in absolute chronological terms than the other three, whereupon Lüning switched to the five-fold structure.

Lüning's five-fold subdivision is a proposal to standardize the Central European chronological system, which at the same time reflects important turning points in cultural development. According to this classification, the cultures listed below date to the late Neolithic.

Archaeological cultures

The Salzmünder culture stands on the threshold from the Early to the Late Neolithic . The formative cultures of the Late Neolithic period were the younger megalithic cultures in northern and central Germany ( Funnel Beaker Culture , Walternienburg-Bernburg Culture , wartberg culture ) and the younger Pfahlbau cultures on the northern Alpine Lakes ( Horgen culture ). The Cham culture is an important cultural group at this time in Bavaria .

The man from the Tisenjoch , better known as " Ötzi ", comes from the alpine late Neolithic of northern Italy (also classified here as end Neolithic) . The man came from the South Tyrolean Remedello culture and died around 3300 BC. Chr.


In the late Neolithic, the existence of textiles made from sheep's wool was first proven.


  • Joachim Preuss (Ed.): The Neolithic in Central Europe. Vol. 1-3, Beier & Beran, Weissbach 1996-1999.
  • Ulrich Fischer: The Stone Age graves in the Saale region. Prehistoric research, Volume 15, Berlin 1956, pp. 42-266.

Individual evidence

  1. Jens Lüning: New thoughts on naming the Neolithic periods. In: Germania. Volume 74/1, 1996, pp. 233-237 ( online ).
  2. Thorsten Gohlisch: The excavation findings and the ceramics of the end-Neolithic settlement of Dietfurt ad Altmühl, district Neumarkt id OPf .. AMDK 17, VML-Verlag, Rahden 2005.
  3. Ulrich Fischer: On the Central German clay drums. Archaeologica Geographica 1, pp. 98-105.
  4. Ulrich Fischer: About subsequent burials in the Neolithic of Saxony-Thuringia. Festschrift RGZM Mainz, Vol. 3, pp. 161-181.
  5. ^ Hermann Behrens : The Neolithic Age in the Middle Elbe-Saale area. Publishing House of Science, Berlin 1973.
  6. Ulrich Fischer: Thoughts on naming the prehistoric periods. Find reports from Hessen 14, 1974.
  7. Ulrich Fischer: A chronology system in the Neolithic. Germania 54, 1976. pp. 182-184.