The globular amphora culture in the Eastern Baltic: new discoveries

Gytis Piličiauskas, Raminta Skipitytė, Ester Oras, Alexandre Jules Andre Lucquin, Oliver Edward Craig, Harry Kenneth Robson

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Until now, Šventoji in northwest Lithuania was considered the most northern site of the Neolithic Globular Amphora Culture (hereafter GAC; ca. 3400–2500 cal BC) in Europe. Recently, however, ceramics typologically resembling GAC ware were identified among the materials from the multi-period sites of Abora 1 and Iča in Latvia and further to the north from Tamula in southeast Estonia. Here we present the multi-disciplinary analyses of these ceramics, including their morphology, function and chronology, to ascertain whether they could represent sporadic migrations of GAC groups into the region or exchange and increasing social contacts with the indigenous hunter-gatherers during the period from ca. 3000–2600 cal BC. Overall, our results align with previous studies showing that GAC groups in the Eastern Baltic possibly reorientated their economy from animal husbandry towards fishing, as recently evidenced by the composition of zooarchaeological assemblages, and the organic residue analysis of ceramic vessels, which markedly differ from the GAC communities of Central Europe. Indeed, in several coastal and southern regions of Lithuania, it would appear that some GAC migrants replaced the indigenous Subneolithic forager groups, whilst in other areas, they had little to no impact on the local cultural and economic development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-227
JournalActa Archaeologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2023

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