LINEAR POTTERY CULTURE
The Linear Pottery culture or (German) Linearbandkeramik (abbr. LBK), Bandkeramik, Linear Band Pottery culture, Linear (Band) Ware culture, Linear Ceramics culture, Danubian I culture of V. Gordon Childe, Early Danubian culture or Incised Ware Group is a major archaeological horizon of the European Neolithic (stone age), flourishing ca. 5500—4500 BC. The heaviest concentrations are on the middle Danube, the upper and middle Elbe, and the upper and middle Rhine. The LBK represents the advent of agriculture into this part of the world. The LBK at maximum extent ranged from about the line of the Seine—Oise (Paris Basin) eastward to the line of the Vistula and upper Dniester, and southward to the line of the upper Danube down to the big bend. An extension ran through the Western Bug river valley, leaped to the valley of the Dniester, and swerved southward from the middle Dniester to the lower Danube in eastern Romania, east of the Carpathians. Danube lands near Vienna, by Johann Christian Brand, ca. 1760The LBK did not begin with this range and only reached it toward the end of its time. It began in regions of densest occupation on the middle Danube (Bohemia, Moravia, Hungary) and spread over about 1500 km along the rivers in 360 years. The rate of expansion was therefore about 4 km per year, which can hardly be called an invasion or a wave and does not offer much support to theories of population replacement. A model of gradual colonization is perhaps most apt.
The LBK was concentrated somewhat inland from the coastal areas; i.e., it is
not evidenced in Denmark or the northern coastal strips of Germany and Poland,
or the coast of the Black Sea in Romania. The northern coastal regions remained
occupied by Mesolithic cultures exploiting the then fabulously rich Atlantic
salmon runs. There are lighter concentrations of LBK in the low countries, such
as at Elsloo, and at the mouths of the Oder and Vistula. Evidently, the
Neolithics and Mesolithics were not excluding each other; in fact, some use the
concepts of "permeable border" or "mosaic" to describe the northern interface
between the two. The term, Linear Band Ware, is a mnemonic of the pottery's
This small flake sickle is made of Platy chert ( tabular chert, "crusted
hornstone") Material (geologic): Upper Jurassic (Tithonian/Malm ?) chert.
Partly covered with a thicker and smoother chalky cortex.
Knapping notes: The material knaps very nicely. The thicker tablets are a bit
coarser, giving quite straight fractures without pronounced bulbs of percussion.
Preparation is hardly necessary as the edges with cortex always give good ridges
for blades and elongated flakes to follow. The thinner tablets are a lot finer
and are easily worked too, but I find them too thin to used them as cores. They
are ideal for making bifaces and can be retouched very nicely by pressure
flaking, and that is why the material was very popular during the Late
In the Middle Neolithic the share of this type of silex in the lithic industry rises to over 50% (de Grooth 1994). Its highest popularity and Widest distribution is nevertheless reached in the Late Neolithic, as the manufacture of bifacial tools becomes more widespread. Around the middle of the 4th millennium cal. BC the typical knives and sickles made from thin plates can be found in the area sketched above. Most material is found in association with the Michelsberg and Altheim Cultures, with the specimens from the east coming from TRB (Funnel Beaker) context as long distance imports. The distribution in later periods is somewhat unclear, and seems a lot more restricted, but locally the material will probably have been used well into the Bronze Age.