From the 3rd century AD onwards, a new tribe formed between the Harz Mountains and the North Sea: the Saxons. In the northern Harz, some Saxon groups had loosely joined the Thuringian Empire. After the latter's downfall in the battle against the Franks, they departed, but Saxon influences increase more and more in the course of the 6th century AD. Eventually the Saxons themselves came into conflict with the Franks.
Until the 8th century AD, cremation was still common among some Saxons, while other parts of the population had already switched to inhumation from the late 5th century onwards. This illustrates the heterogeneity of the members of the tribal confederation.
The departure of the Lombards and the conflict between Franks and Thuringians created a power vacuum in the Middle Elbe-Saale area, which the Saxons filled. Large cemeteries such as the one at Hornhausen, Börde district, were used by several groups at the same time. Settlement agglomerations are not known at present, apparently they settled in small units in coexistence with the remaining population.