Narva culture

Narva culture
Pottery of the Narva culture

Narva culture or eastern Baltic (ca. 5300 to 1750 BC)[1] was a European Neolithic archaeological culture found in present-day Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Kaliningrad Oblast (former East Prussia), and adjacent portions of Poland and Russia. A successor of the Mesolithic Kunda culture, Narva culture continued up to the start of the Bronze Age. The technology was that of hunter-gatherers. The culture was named after the Narva River in Estonia.


Technology and artifacts

The people of the Narva culture had little access to flint; therefore, they were forced to trade and conserve their flint resources.[2] For example, there were very few flint arrowheads and flint was often reused. The Narva culture relied on local materials (bone, horn, schist). As evidence of trade, researchers found pieces of pink flint from Valdai Hills and plenty of typical Narva pottery in the territory of the Neman culture while no objects from the Neman culture were found in Narva.[2] Heavy use of bones and horns is one of the main characteristics of the Narva culture. The bone tools, continued from the predecessor Kunda culture, provide the best evidence of continuity of the Narva culture throughout the Neolithic period. The people were buried on their backs with few grave goods.[2] The Narva culture also used and traded amber; a few hundred items were found in Juodkrantė. One of the most famous artifacts is a ceremonial cane carved of horn as a head of female elk found in Šventoji.[3]

The people were primarily fishers, hunters, and gatherers. They slowly began adopting husbandry in middle Neolithic. They were not nomadic and lived in same settlements for long periods as evidenced by abundant pottery, middens, and structures built in lakes and rivers to help fishing.[2] The pottery shared similarities with Comb Ceramic culture, but had specific characteristics. One of the most persistent features was mixing clay with other organic matter, most often crushed snail shells.[2] The pottery was made of 6-to-9 cm (2.4-to-3.5 in) wide clay strips with minimal decorations around the rim. The vessels were wide and large; the height and the width were often the same. The bottoms were pointed or rounded, and only the latest examples have narrow flat bottoms. From mid-Neolithic Narva pottery was influenced and eventually disappeared into the Corded Ware culture.[2]

Historiography and research

For a long time archaeologists believed that the first inhabitants of the region were Finno-Ugric, who were pushed north by people of the Corded Ware culture.[4] In 1931, Latvian archeologist Eduards Šturms was the first to note that artifacts found near Zebrus Lake in Latvia were different and possibly belonged to a separate archaeological culture. In early 1950s settlements on the Narva River were excavated. Lembit Jaanits and Nina Gurina grouped the findings with similar artifacts from eastern Baltic region and described the Narva culture.[4]

At first it was believed that Narva culture ended with appearance of the Corded Ware culture. However, newer research extended it up to the Bronze Age.[4] As Narva culture spanned several millenniums and encompassed a large territory, archaeologists attempted to subdivide the culture into regions or periods. For example, in Lithuania two regions are distinguished: southern (under influence of the Neman culture) and western (with major settlements found in Šventoji).[5] There is an academic debate what ethnicity represented the Narva culture: Finno-Ugrians or Europids, preceding arrival of the Indo-Europeans.[6] It is also unclear how the Narva culture fits with the arrival of the Indo-Europeans (Corded Ware and Globular Amphora cultures) and formation of the Baltic tribes.[7]


  1. ^ (Lithuanian) Zinkevičius, Zigmas; Aleksiejus Luchtanas, Gintautas Česnys (2007). "Papildymai. Narvos kultūra". Tautos kilmė. Mokslo ir enciklopedijų leidybos institutas. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f (Lithuanian) Girininkas, Algirdas (2005). "Neolitas". Lietuvos istorija. Akmens amžius ir ankstyvasis metalų laikotarpis. I. Baltos lankos. pp. 120–128. 
  3. ^ Whittle, A. W. R. (1996). Europe in the Neolithic: The Creation of New Worlds. World Archaeology Series (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 228. ISBN 9780521449205. 
  4. ^ a b c (Lithuanian) Girininkas, Algirdas (2005). "Neolitas". Lietuvos istorija. Akmens amžius ir ankstyvasis metalų laikotarpis. I. Baltos lankos. p. 118. 
  5. ^ Juodagalvis, Vygandas (2000). "Neolithic Period". Prehistoric Lithuania. Archaeology Exhibition Guide. National Museum of Lithuania. p. 32. ISBN 9955-415-07-X. 
  6. ^ Bojtár, Endre (1999). Foreword to the Past: A Cultural History of the Baltic People. CEU Press. pp. 45–46. ISBN 963-9116-42-4. 
  7. ^ Mallory, J. P.; Douglas Q. Adams (1997). Encyclopedia of Indo-European culture. Taylor & Francis. p. 49. ISBN 9781884964985. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать реферат

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Narva (disambiguation) — Narva is the third largest city in Estonia. Narva may also refer to: Narva River Narva Reservoir Narva culture, an archaeological culture found in present day Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Kaliningrad Oblast (former East Prussia), and adjacent… …   Wikipedia

  • Culture de Yamna — Culture Yamna Étendue approximative de la culture v. 3200 2300 av. J. C …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Culture de Yamnaya — Culture Yamna Étendue approximative de la culture v. 3200 2300 av. J. C …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Narva — For other uses, see Narva (disambiguation). Narva Roundabout in Narva …   Wikipedia

  • Culture de la céramique à peigne — L Europe vers 4500 4000 av. J. C La culture de la céramique à peigne est une culture du Nord Est de l Europe néolithique. Elle exista de 4200 av. J. C. à 2000 av. J. C. environ. On la nomme ainsi d après le type le plus commun des décorations de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Narva River — Coordinates: 59°28′14″N 28°02′37″E / 59.47056°N 28.04361°E / 59.47056; 28.04361 …   Wikipedia

  • Culture des amphores globulaires — Étendue approximative de la culture de la céramique cordée avec les cultures adjacentes du IIIe millénaire av. J.‑C. (d après l Encyclopedia of Indo European Culture). La culture des amphores globulaires (en allemand …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Culture Yamna — Étendue approximative de la culture v. 3200 2300 av. J. C. La culture Yamna au …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Culture de Starčevo — La culture de Starčevo ou Starceviens est une culture archéologique néolithique d Europe de l Est et des Balkans. Elle tire son nom de Starčevo, une localité de Serbie située sur la rive du Danube, en face de Belgrade. Notes Articles connexes… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Culture des vases à entonnoir — L Europe vers 4200 av.  J. C. La culture des vases à entonnoir ou encore culture des gobelets à entonnoir (de l allemand Trichterbecherkultur, souvent abrégé en TRB) est une culture de l Europe du Néolithique se développant approximativement …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”