Zeitleiste_neu Altsteinzeit Mittelsteinzeit Jungsteinzeit Bronzezeit Urnenfelder Kultur Hallstattzeit Latene Zeit Roemer und Germanen Mittelalter

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Information about the film "Grave fields of the Hallstatt period"

When a person from the middle of the society died, the preparations for the funeral began. The organization was probably traditionally done by a priest and his advisers. At first it was necessary to determine the place of the tomb. This was likely to be adjacent to existing grave hills near the immediate family (father and mother). At the designated area, the removal of humus took place first. The circular space created along with it was provided with a ditch on the outside in order to create a stone wreath. It could be very different in size and according to finds was 5m, 8m, 12m or 15m in diameter. In Kinding / Ilbling a hill of 30 meters in diameter was discovered. After that, the stones needed for the construction had to be brought in. One possibility was to transport them down from the Alb plateau into the valley. Up there, Jurassic rock could in most cases be excavated near the surface. Perhaps, however, they had already created their own quarry near the burial ground. It is also possible that the many small hills on the plateau between Beilngries and Kinding represent stone depots, in order to have stone material available if necessary.
The next step was to make the wooden oak burial chamber. When you were done with this and the cover panels were ready, you could think of a date for the burial ceremony, the funeral. This event certainly affected not only the family or clan of the deceased, but the whole settlement, perhaps also neighboring settlements, depending on the social status and the name recognition of the deceased. The burial ceremony was probably embedded in a general festival with collective dances, songs and games, as well as the actual funeral feast. Even today we celebrate the "funeral meal", which follows the funeral in our cultural area.
At that time, clayware was used for the meal, which was partially decorated on the surface. Perhaps making one or more vessels for the dead and decorating them was also one of the preparations for the funeral. The festivities culminated in the burying of the deceased. The dead person wore traditional clothes and was equipped with the jewelry that he had worn in his life and which used to be his property. The divided burial chamber was filled with numerous vessels, which again were originally filled with the food of the funeral meal. There were probably also objects made of transient materials, textiles, skins and other things that we can only guess, because no traces could be preserved. With men, for example, the bronze-studded bridle worn by horse-drawn carriages, or, as in Beilngries, iron fire dogs and skewers could have been buried.
When the burial was over, the people probably said goodbye to the dead in a procession, which is only to be suspected. The conclusion of the ceremony was the covering of the burial chamber with planks or round timber. Above that limestones were stacked. This process is also conceivable as a collective activity in which all the guests took part. The last act consisted of covering the grave with soil, an act which might have included the use of baskets. In very special cases, the hill was crowned with a stone. Though not to be found in Beilngries such stone settings are documented in a lot of records in the area of the Hallstatt period.

Rhyton in 3D

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About the Rhyton

Animal-shaped cult or ritual vessels have existed since around the beginning of the Neolithic Age. The objects are rare and don’t appear frequently in the finds of excavations. These vessels give us a small idea of the spiritual world of the people living at that time, we know so little about.
The Rhyton of Beilngries is a mythical animal and may remind you a bit of a cow. Even the image of a hind is conceivable. Probably, the vessel was used for "collective intoxication drinking" during festive ceremonies.

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