Neolithic pottery in the Königshöhle in Baden

Historical sites


The finds made in the Königshöhle cave in Baden resulted in a particular Neolithic pottery style being named after the location where it was found: the ‘Baden culture’.

Numerous pottery vessels, tools and pieces of jewellery from the Neolithic period and the early Bronze Age have been excavated in the Königshöhle, which is near to the Rauheneck castle ruins. They reveal that the cave was in regular use from around 7,000 to 3,500 years ago, possibly as a shelter for shepherds, for living purposes or for holding rituals.

The history of the finds
Baden local historian Gustav Calliano almost completely excavated the archaeological site in January 1892 and interpreted it with a great deal of imagination. For instance, he thought he had found the remains of a cave bear in front of the cave. Due to the numerous pottery fragments he discovered there, he believed the cave itself to be a ‘kiln for earthenware’. According to modern research this interpretation is not correct, but it does illustrate the large quantity of finds. Due to their importance, a particular style of pottery was even named after them – the ‘Baden culture’, which was widespread in the fourth millennium BC, especially in Hungary and eastern Austria. Jugs with high-arched strap handles and items decorated with shallow grooves are typical.

Who used the cave?
Since people at that time usually lived in wooden houses and not in caves, the Königshöhle may have had a special function in the Neolithic period. If there were no permanent buildings here in some phases, it was most likely to have been a temporary camp site for shepherds, a shelter for people who lived outside the usual villages, or a place of worship. It may also have been used for cremations, since a high-quality piece of jewellery – a copper choker – from the Baden culture era was discovered here.

Finds from the older Neolithic period to Roman times
In addition to objects from the Baden culture, pottery from other eras and cultural areas was also discovered, e.g. from the late Early Neolithic, the Epilengyel and the early Final Neolithic as well as from the Early Bronze Age Leitha group and Litzenkeramik (‘braided pottery’). Thousands of years later, the Romans also left behind a number of coins on the floor of the cave – perhaps they too used the cave as a resting place or for rituals.

Tip: a number of finds from the Königshöhle are on display in the Rollettmuseum in Baden.

Location and how to get there

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    Die jungsteinzeitliche Keramik in der Königshöhle in Baden

    2500 Baden

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