Neolithic Sites in Europe

Important Neolithic Sites in Europe

Raising crops and tending animals in Europe was a Neolithic practice that was learned by Europeans from the people who originated the ideas, in the Zagros and Taurus Mountains of the hilly flanks north and west of the Fertile Crescent.

This list of Neolithic sites in Europe was assembled for the Guide to European Prehistory and the Guide to the Neolithic.

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Abbots Way (UK)

Clapper Bridge over the Dean on Abbot's Way
Clapper Bridge over the Dean on Abbot's Way. Herby

Abbot's Way is a Neolithic trackway, first built about 2000 BC as a footpath to cross a lowland mire in the Somerset Levels and Moors wetland region of Somerset, England.

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Bercy (France)

Bercy Street Sign for Rue Des Pirogues
Bercy Street Sign for Rue Des Pirogues. Mu
The Neolithic site of Bercy is located within the city of Paris, on the south bank of the Seine. This site included a handful of dwellings next to an extinct paleochannel, with terrific preservation of botanical and faunal materials. In particular, 10 dugout canoes (pirogues) were discovered, some of the earliest in central Europe: and, luckily for us, in adequate preservation to reveal manufacturing details. The Rue des Pirogues de Bercy in Paris is named after this important find.

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Brandwijk-Kerkhoff (Netherlands)

Brandwijk-Kerkhof Site, the Netherlands
Brandwijk-Kerkhof Site, the Netherlands. (c) Welmoed Out 2009

Brandwijk-Kerkhof is an open-air archaeological site located on a former river dune in the Rhine/Mass river area in the Netherlands, associated with Swifterbant culture, and it was occupied periodically between 4600-3630 cal BC,

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Crickley Hill (UK)

View of the Cotswolds from Crickley Hill
View of the Cotswolds from Crickley Hill. Doug Woods

Crickley Hill is an important Neolithic and Iron Age site in the Cotswold Hills of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, known to scholars primarily for its evidence of recurring violence. The first structures of the site included an enclosure with a causeway, dated approximately ~3500-2500 BC. It was rebuilt several times, but was aggressively attacked and abandoned during the middle Neolithic period.

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Dikili Tash (Greece)

Dikili Tash is a massive tell, a mound built of thousands of years of human occupation rising 50 feet into the air. The Neolithic components of this site include evidence for wine and pottery making.

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Egolzwil (Switzerland)

Egolzwil is an Alpine Neolithic (late 5th millennium BC) lake dwelling site in Canton Lucerne, Switzerland on the shores of Lake Wauwil.

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Franchthi Cave Entrance, Greece
Franchthi Cave Entrance, Greece. 5telios

First occupied during the Upper Paleolithic sometime between 35,000 and 30,000 years ago, Franchthi Cave was the site of human occupation, pretty much consistently up until about the final Neolithic Period about 3000 BC.

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Danube separating Carpathian and Balkan mountains in the Lower Gorge. View from the Serbian side
Danube separating Carpathian and Balkan mountains in the Lower Gorge. View from the Serbian side. Dimitrij Mlekuz

While Lepenski Vir is primarily a Mesolithic site, its final occupation is a farming community, completely Neolithic.

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Reconstruction of the Iceman's Clothing
Reconstruction of the Iceman's Clothing. Gerbil

Otzi the Iceman, also called Similaun Man, Hauslabjoch Man or even Frozen Fritz, was discovered in 1991, eroding out of a glacier in the Italian Alps near the border between Italy and Austria. The human remains are of a Late Neolithic or Chalcolithic man who was died between about 3350-3300 BC.

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Standing Stones of Stenness (Orkney Islands)

Standing Stones of Stenness
Standing Stones of Stenness. Rob Glover

On the Orkney Islands off the coast of Scotland can be found the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar and the Neolithic ruins of the Barnhouse Settlement and Skara Brae, make the Orkney Heartland our #2 spot for the top five megalithic sites in the world.

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Stentinello (Italy)

Stentinello culture is the name given to a Neolithic site and related sites in the Calabria region of Italy, Sicily and Malta, dated to the 5th and 4th millennia BC.

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Sweet Track, Somerset Levels, England
Sweet Track, Somerset Levels, England. Sheila Russell

Sweet Track is the earliest known trackway—constructed footpath—in northern Europe. It was built, according to tree ring analysis of the wood, in the winter or early spring of 3807 or 3806 BC: this date supports earlier radiocarbon dates of the early 4th millennium BC.

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Swifterbant (Netherlands)

Swifterbant is the name of the type sites of the Swifterbant culture, a Late Mesolithic and Neolithic culture located in the Netherlands, and including the wetland regions between Antwerp, Belgium and Hamburg, Germany between ~5000-3400 BC.

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Vaihingen is an archaeological site located on the Enz river of Germany, associated with the Linearbandkeramik (LBK) period and dated between about 5300 and 5000 cal BC.

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The Balkan Copper Age cemetery site of Varna is located near the resort town of the same name, on the Black Sea in coastal Bulgaria. The site includes almost 300 graves, dated to the early fourth millennium BC.

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Verlaine is an archaeological site located within the Geer river valley in the Hesbaye region of central Belgium. The site, also called 'le Petit Paradis' (Little Paradise) is a Linearbandkeramik settlement, where at least six to ten houses set in parallel rows have been found, dated to the latter part of the LBK cultural phase (i.e., second half of the sixth millennium BC).

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Seated Clay Figurine from Vinca - Late Neolithic, 4500-4000 BC
Seated Clay Figurine from Vinca - Late Neolithic, 4500-4000 BC. Michel wal

Vinča (also known as Belo Brdo) is the name of a large tell, located on the Danube River in the Balat Plain about 15 kilometers downstream from Belgrade in what is now Serbia; by 4500 BC, Vinča was a flourishing Neolithic agricultural and pastoral farming community,