Oberlauterbach group - Gruppe Oberlauterbach

The Oberlauterbach Group (also Oberlauterbacher Group ) is an archaeological regional group from the Middle Neolithic in Bavaria.

The term was introduced by Ferdinand Birkner in 1936 , to Oberlauterbach (district of Pfeffenhausen , Landshut district ). The monograph was not edited until 1985 by Peter Bayerlein . The late-band ceramic regional group was still known as "Bavarian Rössen" in the 1930s and 1940s, as its ceramic shapes show great similarities to the Rössen culture . It follows the culture of the early Neolithic linear ceramics, which was also widespread in Bavaria, and has many stylistic elements of stitch ceramicson. That is why Bernd Engelhardt spoke in 1983 of an “Oberlauterbacher / stichband ceramic mixed style”. Because of this stylistic diversity, the proposal was made in 1994 to designate this archaeological culture as the Southeast Bavarian Middle Neolithic (SOB). [1]

Chronological classification

In terms of time, the Oberlauterbach group can be classified between the end of the linear ceramics and the beginning of the Münchshöfen group . While the former time limit is based on finds from Zeholfing II Kothingeichendorf and Hienheim , the connection to the Münchshöfen group can be proven through the gallery cave in the Kelheim district. In the first phase, influences or connections to the Hinkelstein group can be recognized, which were supplemented in the following by the, the Großgartacher group and stitch band ceramics. In the youngest period of the Oberlauterbacher group this occurs strongly with the late stitch band ceramics and Lengyel culture in contact.

The Oberlauterbach group is divided into three chronological sections:

  • SOB I (ca. 5000–4800 v. Chr.),
  • SOB II, the Elder Oberlauterbach (approx. 4800-4600 BC),
  • SOB III, the younger Oberlauterbach (around 4600 BC).

Geographical distribution

The main area of ​​distribution is south of the Danube and along the Isar , in Lower Bavaria , the southern Upper Palatinate and in Upper Swabia ; also in Middle Franconia and Lower Franconia , Upper Bavaria , Salzburg and West Bohemia .

The Oberlauterbacher Group mainly extends in Lower Bavaria and the Upper Palatinate south of the Danube. With the area south of Regensburg, these form the core area, in which over two thirds of the finds were made for the corresponding group. In the north and northeast, a border stretches from the mouth of the Altmühl to the Danube in the north. Geographically, the latter represents the northern main axis. To the west and south-west, the Oberlauterbach group extends over the area of ​​the Lech estuary to the ridges of the Isar and Amper , near Freising. In the south the Vilstal forms a line on which the settlement finds of the Oberlauterbacher group break.

In addition to this defined settlement area, isolated sites were found north of the Franconian Alb and in the areas of the moraine belt north of the edge of the Alps (Munich, Salzburg).

The areas of distribution of the Oberlauterbacher Group in Lower Bavaria almost completely match those of the linear ceramic band.

In addition to Oberlauterbach, well-known settlements include Kothingeichendorf, Künzing -Unternberg and Hienheim (Kelheim district). [2]

Settlement characteristics

District ditch in Künzing_Unternberg; Reconstruction in the Quintana Museum, Künzing

The settlements of the Oberlauterbach group stretch like a string of pearls along wide river valleys, such as the river valley of the Danube or the Landshut basin of the Isar. High terraces were also preferred, as they could offer the necessary protection against flooding in the rivers in spring. In this case, a conscious choice of the settlement site can be assumed. Investigations in Lower Bavaria also uncovered fortifications on terrain spurs. The question of protection against human danger must remain open at this point. The people settled mainly on loess soils. Floor plans from Hienheim, uncovered by excavations, suggest that post structures with curved longitudinal walls were in use. This assumption can be supported by a comparison with the Rössen culture and its long houses . A special form within the settlements are, among other things, circular moats surrounded by a double moat , so-called double moat rondelles. A large number of the settlements of the Oberlauterbacher Group are noticeably close to one another. Cohesion and group formation shaped the political and social forms of society.

Funeral rite

Not much is known about the funeral rite of the Oberlauterbach group. During excavations, individual or small groups were found at burial grounds. The known skeletons were mainly lying on their backs, often with their legs drawn up. Occasional crouching positions on the side occurred. The buried were oriented east / northeast - west / southwest. This shows a correspondence with cultural phenomena occurring at the same time in southern Germany such as the Hinkelstein group and the Großgartacher group. The few graves that were found were only sparsely or not at all provided with grave goods. In addition to limestone chains, shell pearls and Roman snail shells, there were some arrowheads, but in some cases only shards of vessels.

Archaeological inventory

Fragment of a bowl from the Oberlauterbacher Group, Passau

When it comes to ceramics , pear-shaped vessels, pots with a belly kink, spherical to double-conical beakers and beakers with a wide swinging rim are typical. The decoration includes: “Goat's foot” (double stitch) and “Collar”. Tenon handles (croissants) are typical. Influences from the younger Lengyel are present.


  • Peter Michael Bayerlein : The Oberlauterbach group in Lower Bavaria . Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation , Department of Soil Monument Preservation . Material booklets on the Bavarian prehistory A 53. Kallmünz 1985.
  • Eric Biermann: Großgartach and Oberlauterbach. Interregional relations in the South German Middle Neolithic, Archäologischeberichte 8, Bonn 1997.
  • Florian Eibl: The Bavarian group of stitch band ceramics and the Oberlauterbach group - on the state of research. In: Fines Transire 20, 2011, pp. 79-100 (PDF) .
  • Florian Eibl: On the anthropomorphic and zoomorphic sculpture of the Bavarian group of stitch band ceramics and the Oberlauterbach group. In: Times - Cultures - Systems. Commemorative publication for Jan Lichardus . Langenweißbach 2009, pp. 81-101 (PDF) .
  • Alexander Binsteiner , The deposits and mining of Bavarian Jura chimneys and their distribution in the Neolithic of Central and Eastern Europe . In: Yearbook of the Roman-Germanic Central Museum Mainz 52, 2005, pp. 43–155.



  1. Martin Nadler, Andrea Zeeb and others: Southern Bavaria between linear ceramic tape and Altheim: A new structure proposal. In: Hans-Jürgen Beier (Ed.): The Rössener Horizont in Mitteleuropa (= contributions to the prehistory and early history of Central Europe, vol. 6). Wilkau-Hasslau 1994, pp. 127-190.
  2. Bayerlein 1985, S. 65–71.