Mondsee group

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The Mondsee group was a neolithic Austrian pile-dwelling culture spanning the period from roughly 3800 to 2800 BC, of particular interest due to its production of the characteristic "Mondsee copper" (arsenical bronze), apparently the first in central Europe to emulate the Serbian Vinča culture.

The 1854 chance discovery of a prehistoric lake village on Switzerland's Zürichsee triggered interest in neighboring countries, and pile dwellings with huge amount of artifacts were discovered by Matthäus Much from 1864 until the 1870s in two Austrian provinces, Carinthia and Upper Austria's Salzkammergut where the lake Mondsee is situated.[1]

The graph of calibrated radiocarbon dates shows a maximum range of 3800–2800 cal BC, but dating is problematic as the dates have a very large standard deviation.

Mondsee is sometimes seen as a "culture" in its own right or (usually) as a "group" within the Funnel Beaker culture/interaction sphere (TRB) of Central/Northern Europe because its pottery and stone tools show affinities.[2] It is suggested that the earliest Scandinavian copper is of Austrian origin. Much discussed is also Mondsee group's relationship with the Bavarian Altheim group. Investigations whether its raw material was of local origin or imported are ongoing.

Ötzi the Iceman had an axe made from Mondsee copper.


Book: Francesco Menotti : Living on the lake in prehistoric Europe: 150 years of lake-dwelling research