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Hallstatt Culture

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Excavation "Im Ried-Ost"

The cemetery "Im Ried-Ost", one of the most important Hallstatt cemeteries in southern Germany, mainly became known through the excavation done by Dr. med. Th. Thenn, who unveiled numerous graves between 1889 and 1917. Affected by the construction of the Main-Donau-Kanal (Main-Danube-Canal) in the Ottmaringer Tal (valley) east of Beilngries, the Bavarian State Office for the Preservation of Monuments had to carry out extensive rescue excavations between 1988 and 1992 in order to preserve this significant grave field. Furthermore, 232 graves and numerous individual objects were documented on this excavation area of 21,000 square meters.

according to: Michael Hoppe: Das hallstattzeitliche Gräberfeld von Beilngries "Im Ried-Ost", Lkr. Eichstätt, Oberbayern. Rahden/Westf. 2005



This plan shows the excavation area in 1988 to 1992 as well as further excavation sections and an Urnfield-time settlement area further in the east. LfD
This excavation plan used in 1988 to 1992 shows Hallstatt grave buildings and numerous fire pit graves.
This plan shows the partial similarities of the excavations by Dr. Th. Thenn (blue) and the excavation by the State Office for the Preservation of Monuments (black). LfD

Grave 17

In this grave there lay the skeleton of a woman wearing a lot of traditional clothes consisting of a set of two massive bronze chokers, two iron bow fibulas, two bronze bracelets and five bronze spiral-shaped rings on the left hand. In the head area there were a total of 16 studded rings made of bronze. Around her waist she wore a belt held together by an iron hook. The set of dishes consisted of five vessels. Grabung in den Jahren The following pictures of the State Office for the Preservation of Historic Monuments show the circumstances of the discovery during the excavation in the years 1988/89.


Grave 17
Grave 17
Grave 17
Grave 17
Various collars
Various collars

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Grave 18

The grave, in which a woman was buried, contained extensive traditional costume components such as a five-piece neck ring set, two melon bracelets and seven bronze knob rings as hair accessory. Particularly noteworthy is the pair of crescentic pendant fibulas. The set of dishes consisted of 17 vessels.

A digital treatment of the funerary can be found on the multimedia page.

Grave 18
Grave 18
Pompous fibula
Grave 18
Grave 18
Grave 18
Grave 18
Grave 18
Grave 18
Pompous fibula
Grave 18
Pompous fibula
Pompous fibula
 
 

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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.











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Pair of hanging fibula with animal figures

Pompous fibula, LfD
Pompous fibula, LfD
Pompous fibula, LfD
 

Rattling protects against evil ghosts

An Kleidung, Frisur und Schmuck kann man in traditionellen Gesellschaften erkennen, woher eine Person kommt, welcher gesellschaftlichen Gruppe sie angehört, ob sie verheiratet oder verwitwet ist und welchen Rang sie innehat. Dies lässt sich bis heute an Trachten im ländlichen Milieu ablesen.By clothes, hairstyles and jewelry, you can recognize where a person comes from, which social group they belong to, whether they are married or widowed and what rank they have. This can still be seen today in dressing in the rural milieu. Aus der Vorzeit sind uns nur Schmuckstücke oder Kleidungszubehör aus unvergänglichem Material überliefert. From prehistoric times, we are handed down only pieces of jewelry or dress-accessories from imperishable material. Dazu gehören Fibeln aus Metall in verschiedenen Formen und Größen, die wie Sicherheitsnadeln funktionieren und zum Verschließen des Gewandes dienten.These include fibulae made of metal in various shapes and sizes that functioned as safety pins and served to close the robe. Sie wurden seit dem 7. Jahrhundert v. Since the 7th century B.C. they have been used frequently and are therefore particularly suitable to make statements about the people who wore them.

Unter diesen in der Hallstattzeit regelmäßig vorkommenden Fibeln gibt es besonders prächtige Exemplare: Sie besitzen eine große halbmondförmige Scheibe und reiches Klappergehänge aus dreieckigen Blechen an kleinen Kettchen. Among these fibulae, which occur regularly in the Hallstatt era, there are particularly magnificent examples: They have a large crescentic disc and rich rattling hanger of triangular sheet metals on small chains. Verbreitet waren diese Fibeln zwischen Slowenien und dem bayerischen Voralpenraum bis in unser Gebiet. These fibulae were common between Slovenia and the Bavarian pre-Alpine region into our region. Sie wurden paarweise auf der Brust getragen und gehörten zur Tracht von reich geschmückten Damen. They were worn in pairs on the chest and belonged to the dressing of richly decorated ladies. Die Dame aus Beilngries trug neben einem solchen Fibelpaar einen Halsringsatz aus fünf gerippten massiven Bronzeringen mit verdickten Enden. In addition to such a pair of fibulae the lady from Beilngries wore a neck ring set of five ribbed solid bronze rings with thickened ends. Am rechten und linken Unterarm trug sie je ein Melonenarmband. She wore a melon bracelet on her right and left forearm. Das kleine Eisenfragment ist wohl der Gürtelhaken eines Ledergürtels. The small iron fragment is probably the belt hook of a leather belt. Sieben Noppenringe aus Bronze dienten als Haarschmuck. Seven bronze knobbed rings served as hair ornaments.

Ihre beiden Fibeln zeichnen sich dadurch aus, dass sich auf der Innenseite des Bügels zwei Pferde- oder Vogelfigürchen gegenüberstehen. Their two fibulae are characterized by the fact that on the inside of the bow two horse or bird figurines face each other. Dieses Detail ist eine Eigenheit, die vor allem an halbmondförmigen Fibeln aus Hallstatt im Salzkammergut sowie aus Ober- und Niederbayern zu beobachten ist.This detail is a peculiarity, which can be observed especially in crescentic fibulae from Hallstatt in the Salzkammergut and from Upper and Lower Bavaria. Das Besondere an halbmondförmigen Fibeln sind die Blechanhänger, die bei jeder Körperbewegung Klappergeräusche verursachen.The special feature of crescentic fibulae is the sheet metal pendant, which causes rattling noises with every body movement. Amuletten gleich werden ihnen magische Kräfte zugeschrieben, da das Geklappere böse Geister fernzuhalten vermag.Like amulets, magical powers are attributed to them, as the rattling can keep away evil ghosts. Frauen innerhalb der südbayerischen Gesellschaft der Hallstattzeit bedurften offensichtlich dieses Schutzes oder konnen ihn sich leisten.Women within the southern Bavarian society of the Hallstatt era obviously needed this protection or could afford it.

nach Karin Mansel: Archäologische Staatssammlung München – Glanzstücke des Museums. According to: Karin Mansel: Archäologische Staatssammlung München – Glanzstücke des Museums

Berlin/München 2010 Berlin / Munich 2010

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Grave 19

The woman from the grave wore two bronze spiral fibulae and two cast bronze bracelets, at the head a bronze knobbed ring, an amber ring and a jet ring were found. Der Geschirrsatz bestand aus 12 Gefäßen.

The dinnerware set consisted of 12 vessels.

Die nachfolgenden Bilder zeigen den Zustand nach der Fundbergung bzw. während der Restaurierung (alle Bilder LfD).The following pictures show the state after the find salvage or during the restoration (all pictures LfD).

Lengthways ribbed, cast bronze bracelets
Stone circle with a diameter of approximately 11 to 12 m from grave 19 with the 6 x 6 m burial chamber
Rings of jet and amber
The handle bowl with roller-stamping which is painted with graphite stripes still has residues of the white incrustation.
One of two double spiral fibulae
Step bowl with line decoration and white incrustation
Step bowl - detailed view
Step bowl - detailed view
Step bowl - detailed view

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Grave Plans

Overview plan, LfD
Overview plan, LfD
Overview plan, LfD

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Excavation Pictures

Graves 20 and 21
Graves 20 and 21
Vessels from grave 137
Vessels
Stone circle
Vessels

Urn Graves

The mostly inconspicuous cremation graves are often grouped at the foot of the hill and thus represent a striking reference to the burial mounds. In rare cases, they are also randomly distributed in the burial ground. In der Art der Anordnung von Grabhügeln und Brandgräbern kommt nach allgemein üblicher Interpretation eine Gruppen- beziehungsweise Sozialgliederung zum Ausdruck, wie sie die großen, aufwendig konstruierten und reich ausgestatteten Grabhügel im Gegensatz zu den schlichten, mit bescheidenem Inverntar versehenen Brandgrubengräber deutlich veranschaulichen.

As is widely considered to express the group or social structure, the manner of the arrangement of burial mounds and cremation graves clearly illustrates the large, costly constructed and richly equipped burial mounds in contrast to the simple cremation pit graves provided only with modest inventory.

In der Fläche K1 konnte südlich eines Grabhügels ein Brandgrab freigelegt werden, das in diesem Zusammenhang Anlaß zu einigen Spekulationen bietet.In area K1, a cremation grave was uncovered south of a burial mound, which in this context gives reason to some speculation. Neben einem steelenartigen Kalkstein von 0,57 m Höhe befand sich eine Urne, die sorgfältig ausgelesenen Leichenbrand enthielt.Next to a columnar limestone of 0.57 m height was an urn, which contained carefully selected ashes. TheSteele und Urne müssen in einer Grabgrube gestanden haben, deren sandige Verfüllung sich jedoch nicht vom umgebenden Erdreich unterscheiden ließ. pillar and the urn must have stood in a burial pit, whose sandy backfill however could not be distinguished from the surrounding soil. Dies erscheint nur dann möglich, wenn bei sofortiger Wiederbefüllung mit dem Aushubmaterial kein anderes Erdreich in die Grube kommen konnte.

This only seems possible if no other soil could enter the pit at immediate refilling with the excavated material. Folglich ist anzunehmen, daß sich zur Zeit der Grabanlage am Hügelfuß kein Mutterboden befand, da dieser sonst mit in die Grabgrube gelangt sein müßte.Consequently, it has to be assumed that at the time of the grave construction there was no topsoil at the hill base because this would have otherwise entered the grave pit. Wahrscheinlich wurde für den Aufbau des Grabhügels Erdreich aus der unmittelbaren Umgebung verwendet. Probably, soil from the immediate surroundings was used to build the burial mound. Nach einem ersten Eindruck zu urteilen, gehören die Funde aus dem Grabhügel in die entwickelte Stufe der älteren Hallstattzeit, so daß für das Brandgrab ein gleiches oder nur geringfügig jüngeres Alter anzunehmen sein dürfte. Judging from a first impression, the finds from the burial mound belong to the developed stage of the older Hallstatt era, so that for the cremation grave an equal or only slightly younger age should be assumed.Die sorgfältig Auslese des Leichenbrandes gibt ferner Anlaß zu der Vermutung, daß die Totenverbrennung an einem Ort außerhalb des Friedhofes stattfand und der Leichenbrand sogar längere Zeit in der Urne aufbewahrt wurde, bevor diese in die Erde gelangte. The careful selection of the cremation also gives reason to the estimation that the cremation took place in a place outside the cemetery and that the ashes were even kept in the urn for a long time before they got into the ground. Im Gegensatz dazu ist bei der überwiegenden Zahl der Brandgräber der Leichenbrand mit stark humosem und holzkohlehaltigem Erdreich vermischt. In contrast to that, in the vast majority of cremation graves the ashes were mixed with soil containing a lot of humus and charcoal. Obwohl noch direkt Belege für einen Verbrennungsplatz im Gräberfeld fehlen, darf man in solchen Fällen wohl von einer Leichenverbrennung vor Ort ausgehen, da ein weiter Transport des Verfüllungsmaterials ausgeschlossen erscheint. Although direct evidence of a cremation ground inside the burial mounds is still missing, in such cases it may be assumed that the cremation took place there, as further transport of the filling material seems to be out of the question.

nach K.-H.according to K.-H. Röhrig: Das archäologische Jahr in Bayern 1990. Stuttgart 1991 - Foto LfD Röhrig: Das archäologische Jahr in Bayern 1990. Stuttgart 1991 - Photo LfD

Found Objects from the Old Excavations

Hollow bead ring, Component of the Hallstatt women's costume, At Ried-East, grave 13; Photo: Archäologische Staatssammlung Munich, S. Friedrich
2 hollow bead rings made of bronze sheet, each consisting of 2 halves, each of them decorated with 3 ribs on the outside and rows of humps all round, 6th century B.C., Beilngries, Im Ried-Ost, grave 13; Photo: Archäologische Staatssammlung Munich, S. Friedrich

"Im Ried Ost", Grave 15

The stone cist burial, excavated by Dr. Th. Thenn im Jahr 1905 ausgegrabene Steindeckengrab enthielt naben der Keramik einen Halsringsatz aus 4 massiven Bronzeringen mit Haken- und Ösenenden, 2 gegossene Tonnenarmbänder, 2 Schlangenfibeln und 2 Schwanenhalsnadeln.Th. Thenn in 1905, contained - apart from the ceramics - a neck ring set of 4 solid bronze rings with hook ends and eyelet ends, 2 cast tons bracelets, 2 snake fibulae and 2 gooseneck needles.

Neck ring set, Im Ried Ost, grave 15
Hook ends and eyelet ends of the neck rings, Im Ried Ost, grave 15
Tons bracelet, Im Ried Ost, grave 15
Shiny black vessel with a cone-shaped neck and double handle and geometrically incised decoration, which was formerly designed in white (white filling added), height 18 cm, 7th century A.D., Beilngries, Im Ried Ost, grave 49
The same vessel with a cone-shaped neck, the right half of which is in the state of its discovery without any recognizable white encrustation; Fotos: Archäologische Staatssammlung München, S. Friedrich Photos: Archaeological State Collection Munich, S. Friedrich
A vessel consisting of three parts with formerly white filled circular stamps, Beilngries, Im Ried Ost, grave 126; Photos: Archäologische Staatssammlung Munich, S. Friedrich
Amber rings from grave 102
Amber stone beads, Im Ried Ost, grave 102