The Neolithic village on the Kogelberg in Zöbing

Historical sites


Now a well-known vineyard, the Kogelberg hill in Zöbing was a well-protected settlement site a good 4,700 years ago.

Some 4,700 years ago, there was a small fortified settlement right above the river Kamp on the Kogelberg in Zöbing. Following the first chance finds, Anton Hrodegh – a priest who had studied prehistory – began to conduct ‘trial excavations’ and published the new discovery in a number of scientific journals in 1922. More finds were collected over the following decades.

Protected and well fed
The fact that the location was well protected against attackers is likely to have been the reason why the inhabitants settled here. Towards the river Kamp, the site is protected by a 90 m precipice, while there are deep natural ditches on two other sides. On the remaining side from which the site can be accessed, a fortification ditch with palisades was built in the Neolithic period. The exact size of the settlement and its population are not known. However, we do know from other archaeological sites that the people lived in wooden houses plastered with clay and that they engaged in agriculture. They supplemented their diet by hunting and fishing and with freshwater mussels collected in the Kamp – numerous mussel shells were found in the excavations.

A village of style
It is uncertain exactly how long the village existed – possibly just a few decades, since the crockery excavated has a very uniform design. Because this makes it particularly suitable for stylistic analysis, the archaeologist Elisabeth Ruttkay used it to define the ‘Mödling-Zöbing group of the Jevišovice culture’. Bulbous vessels with a roughened surface and high-arched ‘ansa lunata’ handles are typical of this pottery style group, which dates back to around 2700 BC. The elaborate decoration, which features bands, scoring, chip carving and stab-and-drag patterns, is also characteristic. Implements made from bone, stone and copper were also discovered on the Kogelberg. One particularly exciting find is a small stone axe decorated with incisions – no comparable pieces are known to date.

Location and how to get there