Gefäß in Rinderform – Steinzeitliches Bauernopfer

Archäologische Staatssammlung München


This unique vessel was found in one of the numerous pits at the Neolithic settlement of Hienheim in the Danube valley. Like the other pottery from this settlement, the small cup in the shape of a cow is made of coarsely grained clay and decorated with rows of stitches and lines. The latter are characteristic of and give the name to the oldest peasant culture in Central Europe: the Linear Pottery culture of the second half of the 6th century BC.

The farmers' way of life and business developed about 11,000 years ago in the Near East, the "fertile crescent" in the border region of today's states of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. In Bavaria, the first farmers who immigrated from the south-eastern European Danube region settled in the fertile loess regions along the Danube about 7,500 years ago.

The most valuable farm animal was cattle as a supplier of meat and milk. Meat could be smoked or dried, milk was preserved in the form of cheese. Whether oxen were already harnessed to the plough in this early period is not proven. The cattle grazed near the settlements in the deciduous forest, which became very thin due to the animals' browsing. Perhaps milk was once sacrificed in the small cup from Hienheim before it was ritually destroyed. Together with other objects that cannot necessarily be considered regular municipal waste, it was finally deposited in a pit.


Archäologische Staatssammlung München

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