ABSTRACT: The last two decades have seen a significant increase in our knowledge of the earliest farming communities of Central Europe between ca. 5500 and 4000 B.C. (4500-3000 b.c.). These data have led to a better understanding of the chronology, settlement patterns, subsistence economy, and burial practices of these cultures. In addition, data that were virtually unknown 20 years ago, such as earthworks and the unusual pottery variants of Limburg and La Hoguette, now require explanation. This article summarizes recent progress in research on the earliest farming cultures of Central Europe and outlines some promising directions for future work.