Heidengraben bei Grabenstetten - Elsachstadt
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member RakeInTheCache
N 48° 32.050 E 009° 26.160
32U E 532186 N 5375765
Quick Description: The Celtic Oppidum or settlement of the Heidengraben site existed in the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C. (Late Latene period). The settlement center, the so-called "Elsachstadt", lay on the south of the plateau and was around 153 hectars large.
Location: Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Date Posted: 1/20/2007 12:06:49 PM
Waymark Code: WM15AE
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member RakeInTheCache
Views: 70

Long Description:
Elsachstadt was completely surrounded by a wall, parts of which today are still visible in the area as a mighty rampart. Four gates in total (A-D) led inside the settlement.

The excavations between 1994 and 1999 at different sites yielded finds from the late Celtic period. A pithouse partly dug out of the cliff and a post construction were discovered in the northern part. Somewhat south of that, pieces of a scale with weight stones and chains as well as a mill stone were uncovered by a plow and dug out. A complete cup along with the bottom part of a pot were found at the bottom of a ditch which indicated a trash heap.

West of Elsachstadt, in the pasture "Strangenhecke", an elongated fire pit filled with scorched stones and charcoal was found which possibly served as a flax kiln. Iron-smithing slag from the dig at Gate B proves that iron was worked in the Oppidum. Alongside pottery and animal bones, were found glass jewelry, garment clasps of iron and bronze, some coins as well as numerous fragments of Italian amphoras. This substantiates far reaching trading relationships of the inhabitants of the Oppidum.

There are, as yet, no known finds at Elsachstadt from the period immediately before the founding of the Oppidum (approx. 300-150 B.C., intermediate Latene period). This is also true of the Hallstatt period burial mound at Burrenhof which lies northwest of Elsachstadt.

However, west of Elsachstadt, a settlement in a territorial spur in the pasture "Strangehecke" near a spring, dates even earlier, in the late Hallstatt and early Latene period (6 - 4th centuries B.C.) therefore contemporaneous with the burial mounds.

The first finds were already made in 1923. With the excavations of the 1990s, several pithouses, storage, waste, and post pits were discovered. In one of the pithouses, a part of a spinning wheel, and iron sewing needles provide evidence of weaving.

The size of the settlement, numerous finds including early wheel thrown pottery, animal bones, mainly of chickens, garment clasps of bronze and iron, small beads, as well as the evidence of metalworking, point to a certain meaning of the early Celtic place.
Admission Fee (local currency): Free

Opening days/times:

Web Site: [Web Link]

Condition: Original function apparent in the remains

Visit Instructions:
No special requirements.
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