The third millenium marked for the Southern Low Countries the arrival
of new wanderers, attracked by the recommendably rich quality of the
local flint industries and reworking them in an industral fashion by
deep mining of silex and trading activities , on which I will divulge
in due time, introducing the Michelsberg Culture(MBK, 4400BC-3500BC),
named after its type-site(a fortified settlement) by Untergrombach,
Baden-Württenberg, foremost located along the Rhein River with
offshoots unto Belgium and the Parisian Basin as well Central Germany
and Bohemia.
The Flemish archaeologist S.J.De Laet appraisses them for
acculturated mesolithics who for some unclear reason switched from
agriculture to an expansive transhumance economy, while E.Vogt and
C.J.Becker advocate a more concretized theory involving mesolithics
merging in the eastern Central Europe with Danubians and Rössen
and
point to a close relationship between MBK and TRB, the latter
clustering North Europe and MBK meanwhile covering Belgium, the
Rhineland, the valleys of the Neckar till the Bodenmeer in
Switzerland, J.Lüning searches the cradle of the MBK in the
valleys
of the Rhine, evolving from a later phase of Rössen, MBK was
however
higher north replaced by TRB, but in Central Germany both were co-
existing.
Like Rössen the pottery is poor, if not abstinized in decoration,
e.g. the "Belgische groep"/Belgian group of MBK brought
smooth-
surfaced, brownish black ceramics to light with vingertip markings.
Their speciality were the slender "tulip beaker", S-shaped,
with a
funnel-like neck and narrow bottom. The supply wares were
distinctedly divisioned. Bottles had horizontal perforated handles,
the smaller amphorae were spherical at the belly, while dishes come
in a pelvic shap, but artefacts used for cooking are rarely found,
notwithstanding the occurrence of flat earthen discs for frying.
Stone tools come by as macroliths from blades and flakes, resulting
in the polished flint axes, narrow-topped with an oval transversal
edge and trapezoidal, or in triangular, convex-sided arrow points.
Fortified enclosures on hill tops or on the borders of lakes and
along rivers , encircled by palissades and a moat would hint on
emphasis on the corporate identity(Louwe Kooijmans).
The houses were oblong and rectangular, also surrounded by a ditch.
The dead were disposed in pits, single and multiple buried in lexed
position, however in Belgium, two sites, one in Bosvoorde and the
other in Ottenburg, in the Walloon province of Brabant, traces of
cremation and sepulchres in caverns bedevils the general picture.