Ceramics of the Linear Pottery culture (LBK)

Ceramics of the Linear Pottery culture (or LBK)

Between 1888 and 1908, the Liège prehistorian Marcel De Puydt (1855-1940) aroused interest for the discovery, in the Liège Hesbaye, of archaeological sites belonging to the LBK (5500-4900 BC). The term 'Omalien', first used by him in 1907, was chosen to designate this cultural facies of our regions. This name comes from the village of Omal (Geer, Liège) where important discoveries related to this culture were made in 1899/1900 and 1906 (Tombs and Vicinal deposits).

The LBK is an ancient Neolithic cultural current originally from the Balkans (culture of Starčevo-Körös), which has spread throughout Central Europe, the Benelux countries, Alsace and the Paris Basin. It owes its name to the ribbon-shaped belly decoration that adorns many fine ceramic vessels. In the recent phases of the Linear Pottery culture, the ornamentation of these vessels becomes more complex; the curvilinear ribbons are filled with impressed patternsmade by punching or through a multi-toothed comb. A bone comb with four short teeth, used for shaping and decorating LBK ceramics, was unearthed in September 1907 at Place Saint-Lambert in Liège, during a preventive excavation. This object in a outstanding state of conservation is part of the museum's permanent collections.


This object of the month devoted to the ceramics of the Ribboné is to be compared to the artifacts displayed in the exhibition Roots, the civilizations of the Lower Danube to be discovered at the Grand Curtius, from 8 November 2019 to 26 April 2020, as part of EUROPALIA ROMANIA.

Jean-Luc Schütz
Curator of the Department of Archaeology

Taking a date for an archaeological discovery at Bassenge

By Marcel De Puydt, January 28th, 1903

Archives of the Archaeological Institute of Liège (in Pdf at the end of the article)

Photo captions
  • Four-toothed comb (Photo n°01)

Bone - Early Neolithic Linear Pottery culture (5300 BC) - Liège, place Saint-Lambert, excavations of 1907

  • Linear Pottery culture ceramics (Photo n°03)

Terracotta - Latinne/Tourinne, Omal and Jeneffe or Tourinne

  • Linear Pottery culture vase decorated with a punch (Photo n°04)

Terra cotta - Omal " Les Tombes " (Liège)

  • Linear Pottery culture vase with herringbone decoration (Photo n°05)

Terra cotta - Omal " Les Tombes " (Liège)