Material culture entanglements of early wetland sites in central Switzerland (4300-3850 BC)

Heitz, Caroline; Hafner, Albert (29 September 2015). Material culture entanglements of early wetland sites in central Switzerland (4300-3850 BC) (Unpublished). In: Culture Contact, Cultural Boundaries and Innovation in the 5th Millennium. 29.09.-30.09.2015.

In central Switzerland, the earliest wetland settlements with definitely attested finds and features date into the second half of the 5th millennium BC. Combining the information they have yielded with that from dryland sites, we can construct a detailed picture of material culture at the turn of the 5th to the 4th millennium. On this basis, the definition of clearly delimited archaeological cultures seems questionable, not only from a theoretical point of view. Similiarities and differences in the pottery show small-scale regional units defined via vessel forms as well as stylistic and technological aspects. Yet there are also inter-regional connections: roundbased vessels with opposing handles are typical for Lake Zurich, central and western Switzerland, the Valais and the central Rhône valley. In turn, ‘foreign‘ types such as shoulder-band beakers indicate regular connections between groups living in central Switzerland and those in Alsace and southern Germany. Are these beakers ‘imports‘ or locally produced items (‘imitations‘) indicating the adoption of ‘foreign‘ vessel types and concepts? This and similar material culture phenomena result in a picture of many material entanglements and problematise the kinds of relationships and mobility which might have existed. Our paper addresses these questions and discusses how and whether these interwoven connections changed in the early 4th millennium.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of Archaeological Sciences > Pre- and Early History

UniBE Contributor:

Heitz, Caroline and Hafner, Albert


900 History > 930 History of ancient world (to ca. 499)




Caroline Heitz

Date Deposited:

02 Nov 2015 13:30

Last Modified:

02 Nov 2015 13:30


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