Preconditions, Structure and Consequences of Settlement and Land Use at the Time of the Funnel Beaker- and Single Grave Cultures in Northwest Germany

A project within German Research Foundation Priority Programme 1400 "Early Monumentality and Social Differentiation"

During the 4th and the first half of the 3rd millennium BC Northwest Lower Saxony was part of the settlement area of the Western Group of the Funnel Beaker Culture and the subsequent Single Grave Culture. This is demonstrated by the many remaining Megalithic tombs and burial mounds, along with the occasional contemporaneous settlement or hoard.
As a consequence there are good parameters for a study of the interdependency between settlements as well as graves and funerary monuments, respectively. The investigations currently undertaken at the NIhK within the scope of the DFG-Priority Programme 1400 “Early Monumentality and Social Differentiation” focus on five micro regions, representing both the immediate coastal zone as well as the hinterland. Since 2009, these investigations serve as an example to understand the structural connections between the above mentioned site assemblages. Dr. Moritz Mennenga is conducting the investigations, primarily employing archaeological methods. Another research approach concentrates on the reconstruction of the contemporary vegetation in order to ascertain, on the one hand, the chronological sequence of Neolithic activity through existing stratigraphic information, and on the other hand to better record the extent of Neolithic influence upon the surrounding landscape. In order to achieve this, Dr. Annette Kramer carried out palynological investigations in the five micro regions. Further information is available here.



Kramer, A., Bittmann, F. (2015): Re-vised human impact in northwestern Germany during the Neolithic -Methodological limits and challenges. Journal of Quanternary Science 30 (5), 434 - 451.

Kramer, A., Bittmann, F., Nösler, D. (2014): New insights into vegetation dynamics and settlement history in Hümmling, north-western Germany, with particular reference to the Neolithic. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 23, 461-478.

Kramer, A., Mennenga, M., Nösler, D., Jöns, H., Bittmann, F. (2012): Neolithic Land Use History in Northwestern Germany – First Results from an Interdisciplinary Research Project. In: Hinz M., Müller J. (Hrsg.) Siedlung, Grabenwerk, Großsteingrab. Studien zu Gesellschaft, Wirtschaft und Umwelt der Trichterbechergruppen im nördlichen Mitteleuropa. Frühe Monumentalität und soziale Differenzierung 2: 317-336 (Habelt, Bonn).

Mennenga, M. (2015): The Funnel Beaker period settlement Lavenstedt 178, District of Rotenburg (Wümme), Siedlungs- und Küstenforschung im südlichen Nordseegebeiet 38, 81 – 88.

Mennenga, M., Behrens, D., Hummel, A. u. Jöns, H., (2013): Ein neuer Hausgrundriss der Trichterbecher-Westgruppe aus Visbek (Lkr. Vechta). Archäologisches Korrespondenzblatt 43/4,2013, 499-507.