Monday, July 31, 2017

Heuneberg Site: Eberdingen-Hochdorf Princely Burial Mound

Landesmuseum Württemberg:
"In the more than 140 year history of research into early Celtic rich burials, the 1978/79 excavation of the Eberdingen-Hochdorf burial mound is unique.  For the first time, modern excavation techniques and research methods enabled scientists to thoroughly examine an undisturbed early Celtic ‘princely tomb.’  

"The monumental mound covering the tomb was once 60 meters across and about 10 meters high.  At its core, surrounded by a seond chamber, was the tomb itself, an oak-timbered chamber of 4.7 meters by 4.7 meters.  To protect it against looters, the entire structure was covered with 50 tons of stones.  The extraordinary state of preservation of both the burial site and the finds has yielded the most detailed insights so far in the world of the early Celtic elite.’4987:  A variety of objects found near the upper part of the body of the deceased draw a very personal picture of the ‘prince.’  Two bronze brooches held his shrouds together.  For his hair and body care there was a finely sawn comb as well as a razor and a nail cutter, both made of iron.  The nail cutter lay on the dead man’s chest together with three fishhooks and a small iron knife in a fabric bag with a leather clasp and bronze fittings.  Five lathe-turned amber beads round off the ‘prince’ of Hochdorf’s personal inventory.  Near his head were a knife in a carved wooden scabbard and a black poplar rootwood quiver with bronze fittings holding fourteen arrows.  Hunting and fishing were pastimes of the early Celtic ruling classes."  

"A find unrivaled to this day is the large bronze couch which served as a bier for the deceased.  It is held up by eight small female figurines cast in bronze, inlaid with coral and standing on tiny movable wheels.  The curved backrest is adorned with embossed scenes that are unknown in Hallstat motifs.  Representations of similar couches can be seen on eastern Alpine and Venetian situlae.  A few of the decorative details point to a northern Italian rigin.  However, the appearance of the female figurines, reflecting traditional dress accessories of the northern Alpine Hallstat culture, suggests local production.  The couch could never have been produced without exact knowledge of artistic trends south of the Alps.  Signs of wear and antiquated pictorial elements show that it had been used for a long time before being placed in the tomb."  

"In the metal ages, riding vehicles or carriages were privileges reserved for the elites.  As befitting their status, particularly in the early Iron Age, chieftains were buried with resplendent four-wheeled carriages that were among the best products of Celtic metal and wood craftsmen."  

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