Abstract

In the past few years many new Corded Ware Culture settlement sites and find assemblages have been found from various parts of Estonia. A number of these have been archaeologically investigated. The author of the current article has had the possibility to excavate the sites of Kõpu I on Hiiumaa and Riigiküla XIV in north-eastern Estonia. These sites have offered some of the largest Corded Ware find collections in Estonia. Palynological analyses of bog and lake sediments have also given many new data. The current article focuses on Corded Ware Culture finds from the lower reaches of the Narva River in north-eastern Estonia, especially on the “culturally pure” Riigiküla XIV settlement. Additionally, the article discusses the dating problems and the economic and settling strategies of the local Corded Ware Culture. Both the topographic position of the Corded Ware Culture settlements and the existence of cereal pollen in sediments indicate agriculture as an important form of their subsistence. The Corded Ware Culture communities were smaller than their contemporary foraging groups. It is quite possible that this was the beginning of single family settlement units. The author believes that the Corded Ware Culture developed in Estonia as a result of external influence.
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