The Baden culture was a Chalcolithic culture from c. 3520-2690 BC. It was found in Central and Southeast Europe, and is in particular known from Moravia (Czech Republic), Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, northern Serbia, western Romania and eastern Austria. Imports of Baden pottery have also been found in Germany and Switzerland (Arbon-Bleiche III).
The Baden culture was named after Baden near Vienna by the Austrian prehistorian Oswald Menghin. It is also known as the Ossarn group or Pecel culture. The first monographic treatment was produced by J. Banner in 1956. Other important scholars are E. Neustupny, Ida Bognar-Kutzian and Vera Nemejcova-Pavukova.
Baden has been interpreted as part of a much larger archaeological complex encompassing cultures at the mouth of the Danube (Ezero-Cernavoda III) and the Troad. In 1963, Nándor Kalicz had proposed a connection between the Baden culture and Troy, based on the anthropomorphic urns from Ózd-Centre (Hungary). This interpretation cannot be maintained in the face of radiocarbon dates. The author himself (2004) has called this interpretation a "cul-de-sac", based on a misguided historical methodology.
Baden developed out of the late Lengyel culture in the western Carpathian Basin. N?mejcová-Pavuková proposes a polygenetic origin, including southeastern elements transmitted by the Ezero culture of the early Bronze Age (Ezero, layers XIII-VII) and Cernavoda III/Co?ofeni. Ecsedy parallelises Baden with Early Helladic II in Thessaly, Parzinger with Sitagroi IV. Baden was approximately contemporaneous with the late Funnelbeaker culture, the Globular Amphora culture and the early Corded Ware culture. The following phases are known: Balaton-Lasinya, Baden-Boleráz, Post-Boleráz (divided into early, Fonyod/Tekovský Hrádok and late, ?ervený Hrádok/Szeghalom-Dioér by Vera N?mejcová-Pavuková) and classical Baden.
|Balaton-Lasinya||-||3700 BC cal||-|
|Ib||Nitriansky Hrádok||-||Lánycsok, Vysoki breh|
|Classical Baden||3400 BC||-|
|II, III||older||-||Nevidzany, Viss|
|IV||younger||-||Uny, Chlaba, Ózd|
The settlements were often located on hilltops and were normally undefended.
Both inhumations and cremations are known. In Slovakia and Hungary, the burned remains were often placed in anthropomorphic urns (Slána, Ózd-Center). In Nitriansky Hrádok, a mass grave was uncovered. There are also burials of cattle. Up to now, the only cemetery known from the early Boleráz-phase is Pilismárot (Hungary), which also contained a few examples of stroke-ornamented pottery.
In Serbia, anthropomorphic urns were found in the towns of Dobanovci, Gomolava, Perlez and Zemun.
The economy was mixed. Full-scale agriculture was present, along with the keeping of domestic stock--pigs, goats, etc. The Baden culture has some of the earliest attestation of often wheeled, wagon-shaped models in pottery, sometimes with a handle. There are burials of pairs of cattle that have been interpreted as draft animals. Though there are no finds of actual wagons, some scholars take these finds together as proof for the presence of real wagons.
In three genetic studies the remains of thirteen individuals ascribed to the Baden culture were analyzed. Of the nine (plus one Proto-Boleraz) samples of Y-DNA, five belonged to various subclades of haplogroup G2a2, and four belonged to haplogroup I or various subclades of it. The mtDNA extracted included subclades of U, J, H, T2, HV and K., summing up the earlier ones, in particular.
All of them originate exclusively from the first half of the Baden culture and do not yet allow any conclusions to be drawn about immigrations of steppe cultures or even Indo-European speaker groups.
The Ossarn group represents a later phase of the Baden culture, with sites located in Lower Austria south of the Danube and in northern and central Burgenland.