Summary. Fragments of ceramic sieves constitute a widespread, but littleknown element in the ceramic inventories of Linear Pottery sites in temperate Europe. These sieves appear to have functioned as strainers for separating curds from whey in cheese production, on the basis of parallels with later archaeological cultures and ethnographic examples. Archaeozoological data support the hypothesis that dairy production has a greater antiquity than has been hitherto accepted. The sieves played an important role in early dairy production, for the manufacture of cheese was an essential step in the exploitation of milk by populations who possibly had a high level of lactose intolerance.