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A 7000-year-old message

A 7000-year-old message: Remains of the Neolithic world in and around Budapest. Temporary exhibition at the Aquincum Museum, 9 December 2019 – 31 October 2020.

The beginning of food production was, without a doubt, one of the most pivotal events in human history. The new agrarian economy, however, also started the slow transformation of the natural environment, due to human settlements and the constant need for new arable lands and pastures.

The knowledge of agricultural production arrived in the Carpathian Basin through several waves of migration from the Middle East between 10000 and 6000 BC. The first permanent inhabitants of Budapest were the agrarian communities of the Linear Pottery Culture. They settled in the region around 5450/5400 BC. We can follow their history until 5000/4950 BC based on the changes in the decoration style of their pottery.

The notions of the new Neolithic way of life were accompanied by several – for us mysterious – rites. Their purpose may have been to gain the help of supernatural forces. Rare human and animal-shaped clay statuettes as well as vessels with a human face are mute witnesses of these rites; they also represent the best artwork of the period.