The beginnings of salt exploitation in the Carpathian basin (6th-5th millennium BC)

  • Eszter Bánffy German Archaeological Institute, Romano-Germanic Commission Frankfurt, Frankfurt, DE
Keywords: Neolithic salt exploitation, 6th–5th millennium long-distance networks, spread of farming, Central Europe

Abstract

While there are ample data for salt exploitation in later prehistory, in the Neolithic, i.e. 6th–5th millennium BC, archaeological data from Southern Central Europe remain scanty. The paper attempts to give an overview of Neolithic salt research in the Carpathian basin. Both the archaeological traces and the research of Neolithic salt extraction activity are rather uneven there. While the eastern half had close contacts with Transylvanian salt regions, the western part, i.e. Transdanubia, lacks salt sources of any kind. The obvious need for salt gave rise to the search for salt-rich areas within reach of the early LBK migration in Central Europe, and indeed, these groups had rapidly settled in three key salt regions in Western and Central Germany, as well as in Little Poland. One of the reasons for the rapid migration and long-term contacts with these zones might thus have been access to salt. In general terms, it is in many cases highly probable that some sites specialised in salt exploitation, and that certain regions served as settings for exchange networks.

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Author Biography

Eszter Bánffy, German Archaeological Institute, Romano-Germanic Commission Frankfurt, Frankfurt, DE

German Archaeological Institute. Romano-Germanic Commission Frankfurt

Published
2015-12-17
How to Cite
Bánffy, E. (2015). The beginnings of salt exploitation in the Carpathian basin (6th-5th millennium BC). Documenta Praehistorica, 42, 197–209. https://doi.org/10.4312/dp.42.13
Section
Articles