The civilizations, which evolved at this time, in this part of Europe, attract our attention by the brilliance of their material culture (ceramics, statues, jewelry and accessories) and by their great mastery of techniques (architectural, metallurgical, and social organization).
These civilizations, contributed to an essential part of the cultural development of the whole European continent. The improvement in our understanding of that epoch and its civilizations is the fruit of the enterprising work of a number of research scientists from a great number of countries. The research contributes, as well, to our understanding of the origins of contemporary populations.
Many uncertainties still remain, however, which are mainly due to an uneven geographical distribution of research; certain regions were studied while others remain unexplored. The very rapid evolution of theories and methods of research make it all the more difficult to realize a general synthesis accepted by all, because of the disparity in the available information. Often, the dating methods, for example, the use of carbon dating, have produced some regional chronological references, which do not correlate.
In spite of all of these difficulties, this period is quite clearly among the most significant and most attractive chapter in the history of the human ages on the European continent.