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Early Baden Elements in the Neolithic of Central Germany – the »Schöningen Group«
Some cultural complexes still do not fit reliably into the seemingly well-established chronology of the Mittelelbe-Saale-Region. One example is the enigmatic Schöningen pottery, named after a settlement site in Lower Saxony. When R. Maier presented the material in 1987, it could only be dated broadly to the Younger Neolithic due to an apparent lack of convincing typological parallels. In 1993 J. Beran assigned several new complexes (e.g. Salzmünde, Oberwerschen; both in Sachsen- Anhalt) to the »Schöningen group« as he called it then. Based on very general typological resemblances, he dated it to the beginning of the Younger Neolithic, regarding it contemporary with early Michelsberg (MK I / II; c. 4200 / 4000 B.C.). On the whole the typochronological suggestion was followed by D. Kaufmann in 1994.
In this paper we point to the hitherto unrecognized fact that the Schöningen bowl, as the dominant and most characteristic type, is very closely related to early Baden (Boleráz) pottery. Furthermore, parallels for almost all other typological features can be found in Boleráz and to some extent in Altheim. Therefore Schöningen pottery can be placed in the context of Baalberge and perhaps early Salzmünde (c. 3700–3350 B.C.). We consider the Schöningen types not a cultural »group« sensu stricto, but a bundle of time-specific styles, resulting from a strong Boleráz and perhaps Altheim influence on the Mittelelbe-Saale-Region.