Station: [6] The Funnel Beaker Culture

F: During the Neolithic period, the population of what is now Europe had settled down. The first farming communities emerged, crops were grown and animal husbandry practised. The main inventions from this period were the wheel and the plough.

M: It was during this phase of human history that what’s known as the Funnel Beaker Culture emerged. Remains of this culture can be found throughout Central and Northern Europe, including our own Münsterland region. The culture owes its rather cumbersome name to its pots, which have funnel-shaped tops.

F: For thousands of years, the people of the Funnel Beaker Culture buried their dead in large burial mounds. Several such barrows have been identified in the area around Lette. During an archaeological excavation in the early 1930s, the finds from one of the mounds included 36 clay urns, nine cremation knives and a Bronze Age razor. We now have the finds from that excavation on show in the display case. Thanks to the nature of the region’s soil, which is a mix of sand and loam, the urns were well preserved. 

M: In the early 1990s, Lette was able to celebrate another sensational find. During construction work, two schoolchildren discovered what’s known as a flat grave of the Funnel Beaker Culture. Twenty pots, some of them badly damaged, had been deposited at a depth of just 40 centimetres – barely 16 inches. From their distinctive decoration and particular shape, it was possible to date the pottery. It’s around 5,000 years old.

Fotos: © Heimatmuseum Lette