Monday, 28 December 2015

A Middle Neolithic well from Northern Germany: a precise source to reconstruct water supply management, subsistence economy, and deposition practices

Volume 51, November 2014, Pages 135–153
The world reshaped: practices and impacts of early agrarian societies


Multidisciplinary study on the Funnelbeaker Neolithic in northern Germany.
Scenarios for domestic and ritual processes in a settlement site.
Precise reconstruction for the short time span of about 100 yrs only.
Water management in a Neolithic lagoon landscape.
Crop production and possible apple groves in the advanced northern Neolithic economy.


Wells constitute a seldom, but important archive particularly as a source for reconstructing prehistoric economy. For the newly discovered Middle Neolithic well of the Funnel Beaker North Group at the domestic site of Oldenburg-Dannau LA77 (North Germany), a deposition of settlement refuse in a former well was documented. Due to depositional processes, the remains provided a detailed palaeo-ecological and archaeological archive for a short time-span around 3050 cal BC. The integration of wells in Middle Neolithic water management strategies, the high value of cereal production – including cereal threshing in the settlement and the documentation of a large number of querns – as well as the early management of “fruit gardens” were reconstructed. Subsequently, the probabilities of profane versus ritual social praxis associated with the depositional process were discussed.


  • Funnel Beaker North Group;
  • Neolithic economy;
  • Well;
  • Deposition processes;
  • Palynology;
  • Archaeobotany