Neman culture

Eumenis Megalopoulos | Jul 14, 2023

Table of Content


The Niemannian culture was an archaeological culture that existed from around 7000 BC, during the Middle Stone Age, until around 3000 BC, in the middle of the Neolithic period. The Neman culture is transitional to the Swidder culture, and subsequently to the Corded Ware culture. The area of spread of this culture was located in the upper reaches of the Nyeman river basin, in the area bounded by present-day Poland to the north, Lithuania to the south, Belarus to the west and the present-day Kaliningrad region. In the north, the Nyeman culture was bordered by the Kunda culture in the Middle Stone Age, while in the Neolithic it was bordered by the Narva culture.

During the Atlantic period, the climate moderated and broad-leaved tree species covered much of this region. The migratory herds of reindeer, which formed the backbone of the prey taken by prehistoric hunters, were pushed northwards, followed by other forest dwelling species. Humans had to adapt to changing conditions. They continued their nomadic lifestyle, but now they travelled shorter distances and began to spend longer and longer periods in one place. Archaeologists have found small camps that were only used once in a while, while other larger camps and settlements have shown signs of longer stays. Hunters regularly returned to these larger settlements. These camps were usually located near lakes or rivers. The people of the time hunted with arrows and spears, and caught fish with spears. The flint tools belonging to the Neman culture from the Mesolithic period were decorated with both microliths from southern Europe and macroliths from the northern parts of the continent (Maglemosei culture). This culture is therefore also called the microlith-macrolith culture, to avoid confusion with other branches of the already established Neman culture. Despite the various influences, this culture remained stable for about 2500-3000 years and there were no major migrations during this period. For this reason, the finds discovered in the area show a remarkable similarity in terms of arrowheads, trapezoidal blades and oval axes.

Pottery making appeared in the Neolithic period, around 5500. The so-called Semi-neolithic Neolithic Neolithic culture followed the Middle Stone Age Neolithic culture. Their flint tools are very similar in both cultures. A new, more widespread development was the invention of knives, which were also sharpened and had flared ends. Ceramics ending in a point were mainly made of clay in the Neman culture and were often vessels decorated with pieces of crushed quartz. Some late finds had flat bottoms. Their vessels were slightly narrower and more curved than similar pottery from the neighbouring Narva culture. They were coated with a thin layer of white clay for decoration, while the rims of the vessels were patterned with pressed lines. The rest of the vessels were covered with diagonal lines in the form of a fishing net. Some of the pottery found in the area of the Neman culture belongs to the Narva culture. A similar phenomenon can be observed in some of their flint tools, which were not found in the Narva culture. Towards the end of the Nenar culture, their pottery became much more varied, influenced by the Rzucewo culture. The notches on the vessels are now made of string and sometimes resemble the shape of pines. Eventually, the Neman culture was replaced by a culture of pottery with twine decoration and rounded amphorae.

This article is based in whole or in part on a translation of this version of the English Wikipedia article Neman culture. The editors of the original article are listed in its journal history. This mark indicates only the origin of the wording and does not serve as an indication of the source of the information in the article.


  1. Neman culture
  2. Neman kultúra
  3. Juodagalvis, Vygandas. Neolithic Period, Prehistoric Lithuania. Archaeology Exhibition Guide. National Museum of Lithuania (2000). ISBN 9955-415-07-X
  4. Juodagalvis, Vygandas. Neolithic Period, Prehistoric Lithuania. Archaeology Exhibition Guide. National Museum of Lithuania (2000). ISBN 9955-415-07-X
  5. 1 2 Juodagalvis (2000), p. 24
  6. Juodagalvis (2000), p. 26
  7. ^ a b Juodagalvis 2000, p. 24.
  8. ^ Juodagalvis 2000, p. 26.
  9. ^ Juodagalvis 2005, p. 72.
  10. ^ Juodagalvis 2005, p. 74.
  11. Deshalb wurde die mesolithische Phase der Kultur ursprünglich Mikrolithisch-Makrolithische Kultur genannt, in Unterscheidung zur neolithischen "Memelkultur".
  12. Sie war im Grunde noch eine mesolithische Kultur, nur eben mit Keramik, deshalb "semi-neolithisch"

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