The Rzucewo (also Rutzau or Bay Coast culture, German: Haffküstenkultur, 2700 BC) was a local archaeological culture of late Neolithic. It centered at the coast of the Bay of Gdansk (Danzig) and Vistula Lagoon (Frisches Haff) and extended north to the Curonian Lagoon and up to Šventoji settlement in Lithuania. It is either named after the adjacent bays, or after an archeological site in the village of Rzucewo (Rutzau) near Puck.
The Rzucewo culture was a hybrid of pre-Indo-European Narva culture, Globular Amphora culture and Corded Ware culture. Traditionally Rzucewo was identified as a variation of Corded Ware culture; however newest research suggests that the culture formed before Corded Ware. This culture specialized in exploitation of marine resources, and existed in parallel to its mother culture for some time. Rzucewo settlements, consisting of characteristic houses reinforced against sea erosion, were located along the coast and further east. The Rzucewo people had domesticated cattle, pigs, some goats, but did little cultivation and engaged in fishery and hunting, especially of seals, then numerous along the Baltic coast. The Rzucewo culture people produced and widely traded amber decorative items in specialist shops. A large number of amber artifacts was found in Juodkrantė.
Formerly, this culture was interpreted as the earliest detection of the Balts. Tracing formation of the Balts to Rzucewo culture would explain differences between Western and Eastern Balts and their languages. Typically Polish and German archeologists place the culture just on the coast, while Lithuanian and Latvian scientists extend it much further inland describing coastal settlements as a cultural and economic center and inland villages as a periphery.
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