The Heuneburg Celtic Settlement
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member RakeInTheCache
N 48° 05.685 E 009° 24.640
32U E 530577 N 5326912
Quick Description: Heuneburg is the site of a large early Iron Age (Hallstatt culture) hill fort near Riedlingen, Württemberg, in Germany. The site has been partially excavated and there now stands some reconstructed Celtic buildings and a segment of the wall.
Location: Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Date Posted: 4/6/2007 1:11:56 PM
Waymark Code: WM1CPG
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member RakeInTheCache
Views: 226

Long Description:
The fort occupies a strategic site on a spur overlooking the River Danube, with a single line of earth ramparts and a counterscarp (outer bank) facing the level approaches from the west.

The occupants of the hill fort had strong links with the Mediterranean, importing amphorae of wine and exotic pottery from the Greek colony of Massilia, modern day Marseilles. During the 6th century BC the defences of the fort were remodelled along the lines of Greek fortresses, with mudbrick bastions on stone foundations. It has been suggested that this represents the Celtic city of Pyrene mentioned by Herodotus (Book 2:33).

The rise of the Roman Empire as the dominant power in ancient Europe was intimately connected to the fate of a people collectively known as the Celts.

Their historical significance is indicated by the reports written by C. Julius Caesar during the six years he spent subjugating the Gauls, the Celtic tribes who inhabited modern-day France during the last centuries AD. Caesar's Roman perspective on the Celts is documented in "The Gallic Wars" ("de bello gallico"), still an important part of contemporary Latin courses, and continues to define the Celts today, even in the form of popular comic strips.

Two hundred years of settlement history can be archaeologically documented through the construction and leveling, due to decay and destruction, of ten fortification wall systems and 14 successive occupation phases on the hillfort plateau. As a result, the Heuneburg provides us with an unusually complete glimpse of the dynamics of a prehistoric settlement over time.

The hill fort was destroyed in the later 6th century BC and then rebuilt with three circuits of walls. Several high status burial barrows dating to the same period are located at nearby at Hohmichele. The fort was also destroyed early in the 4th century BC, as the older Hallstatt culture gave way to the newly dominant La Tene peoples.

My translation of the information panel on the defensive wall.

Sporadic clues about the construction of the battlements and roof existed in the form of charred timbers and planks which fell to the ground when the limebrick wall was destroyed by fire.

In some cases an entire framework was preserved.

Accordingly, a timber framed construction filled with limebricks is surmised and with respect to the roof, only the rain gutters which ran parallel to the wall give an indirect indication of the extent of the roof projection.

My translation of the information panel at the workshop (Werkstatt).

The northern building has a surface area of 10.6 x 7.4 m (78.5 m2).


According to the archeological findings, the building was used as a bronze foundry. Numerous small bronze pearls were set into the lime floor. Furthermore, a 3.1 m large fire reddened surface pointed to the location of an oven. Directly next to it, four small approximately square ordered posts were situated. Because such post squares are often overlaid with respect to ovens, a flue was brought to mind, which assured the circulation of air in the building. Therefore, here was identified one of those non-ferrous metal workshops, which are often found on the Heuneburg and in the surrounding area. The workshop was regularly in operation which was supplied with raw material and likewise distributed a finished product.

As a matter of fact, the bronze products of the Heuneburg have been recognized in archeological finds across a wide area.

My translation of the information panel at the grain storage building (Getreidespeicher).

By reason of its small measurements of 3.4 by 2.6 m, it could only have been a grain storage building.

The entrance on the south side was marked by two narrow adjacent posts. The large cross section of the corner posts suggest a construction which was raised above the ground in order to protect the stores from rodents.

In the reconstruction, therefore, a raised platform was built. It supports a low block construction of combed planks. Due to its insulation qualities, a thatched roof was chosen. With a slant of at least 40° the roof surface offers a reliable protection from rain, as long as additionally the seams of the two sides of the roof are sealed with turf.

There are no remaining clues about what was stored here. From other finds dating to the same period, mainly emmer wheat, spelt wheat, einkorn wheat, and dwarf wheat are common. Furthermore, the origin of the grain is unclear, because the tight surroundings of the Heuneburg were settled and therefore didn't allow for areas under cultivation. So it is supposed that the stores of this property did not come from cultivation by the settlement, but was from the agricultural operation of the surrounding country received in trade for indigenous products.

My translation of the information panel at the living quarters (Wohnhaus).

The southern building occupies a floorspace of 8.5 by 5.6 m (47.6 m2).


This was most probably living quarters because the other buildings on this property were used for crafts and domestic economic activities. In this case, an open hearth on the floor would be expected, although it could have been completely eliminated by newer layers of floor.


Only a very few finds provide information about the inner arrangement of the living house. A few ceramic pots were found on the floor of the inhabited towers of the limebrick wall. Furthermore, sleeping places in the form of a simple bed are supposed. Moreover, in the customary lodging there were chests for the safekeeping of clothes and other items of wealth.
Admission Fee (local currency): €3.00

Opening days/times:
1. April - 1. November: Tuesday to Sunday 10.00 - 16.30 in July and August 10.00 - 18.00 Closed Mondays (except holidays)

Web Site: [Web Link]

Condition: Partially Reconstructed

Visit Instructions:
No special requirements.
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