Encompasses present-day Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Poland, the Republic of Ireland, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Wales
The period from 8000 to 2000 B.C. witnessed the introduction and effects of settled agriculture in western and central Europe. As people established themselves in one location for longer durations, they experienced a change in attitude toward their surroundings, reflected in types of burials, grave goods, and monuments.
- ca. 5500 B.C. Groups of farmers
begin to settle in Europe. The cultivation of wheat and barleycrops
from the Near Eastbecomes established in eastern Europe and moves
- ca. 5000900 B.C. Rock
faces in the Alps, such as Val Carmonica in northern Italy, Monte Bego
in France, and Totes Gebirge in Austria, are carved with animals, buildings,
and warriors, perhaps engaged in martial rituals.
- ca. 45003500 B.C. Early
farmers make and use unpainted pottery incised with linear ornament. Early
on, close similarities link pieces made at great distances from each other;
later, there is more variation from region to region.
- ca. 42002000 B.C. Organized
groups erect monumental stone burials in northwestern Europe, as in the
Morbihan region in southern Brittany. The one at Île Longue, for example,
built ca. 4100 B.C., incorporates a chamber with a corbeled dome and a
passage faced with huge slabs.
- ca. 3000 B.C. The ox-drawn
plow, made of wood and known some thousand years before, begins to change
the face of agriculture in Europe. Farmers clear forests to make way for
larger fields and honor cattle with ritual burial.
- ca. 30002500 B.C. The
mound-topped graves of certain men contain stone axes and characteristic
corded-ware "beakers." The burials seem to belong to an emerging elite
characterized by drinking rituals and warrior values.
- ca. 28001800 B.C. Potters
of Atlantic Europe and Great Britain and Ireland make vessels of a distinctive
shape, nicknamed "beakers" by early archaeologists. The beakers are buried
in tombs that seem to belong to warriors with greater mobility and a stronger
acquisitive impulse than their ancestors.
- ca. 23001500 B.C. The
Unitice culture, named after a cemetery near Prague, emerges across central
Europe. Flat burials with no mounds are the rule. Bodies are frequently
arranged according to gender and oriented with respect to the points of
"Western and Central Europe, 80002000 B.C.". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ht/?period=02®ion=euw (October 2000)