The Neolithic settlement in Schletz

Historical sites


First, one of the centres of the first farming culture in Central Europe; later, the scene of a massacre: Schletz is one of the most exciting archaeological sites in Lower Austria.

The prehistoric fortified settlement of Schletz lies on a long hill to the west of the market village of Asparn. Since the site has been used for agriculture for centuries, there are no longer any visible traces of the former settlement on the surface.

A centre of the Linear Pottery culture
Asparn/Schletz was one of the main sites of the first farming culture in Central Europe, the Linear Pottery culture (c. 5500 to 4900 BC), which was named after the pottery’s decorative style. The site probably formed the centre of a settlement landscape that extended over a radius of about ten kilometres.
Parts of the settlement and a number of fortification ditches were uncovered in archaeological excavations between 1983 and 2005. It is highly likely that material dug from the ditches was piled up to form a rampart; nothing of this rampart remains, however. The inner settlement area was surrounded by two oval ditches, although these were not built at the same time. In the main expansion phase around 5100 BC, a roughly trapezoidal area to the north-east of the oval was fortified with another ditch; this was probably a kind of outer bailey.

The massacre of Schletz
The site of Asparn/Schletz has gained fame throughout Europe due to the discovery of around 300 human skeletons at the bottom of ditch II, the outer of the two oval ditches. While it was initially thought that the skeletons were the victims of a gruesome sacrificial ritual, forensic methods revealed that these were the remains of what is currently the oldest battlefield in Europe. Since the dead were left unburied and the bones show evidence of gnawing by animals, archaeologists assume that the massacre sealed the fate of the settlement and its inhabitants. These tragic events 7,000 years ago offer a unique snapshot of life and death in the Neolithic period, which enables researchers to solve many unanswered questions.

Tip: some of the finds from Schletz are on display at the MAMUZ Museum of Prehistory in Asparn an der Zaya.

Location and how to get there

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    Die jungsteinzeitliche Siedlung in Schletz

    2151 Schletz

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