The Heuneburg is a pre- and early historic hilltop settlement on the upper reaches of the Danube River in the district Hundersingen the town of Herbertingen , about 14 kilometers east of Sigmaringen in Württemberg Baden- Sigmaringen district . The fortified core of the early Celtic prince's seat from the 6th century BC Chr. , 300 meters long and up to 150 meters wide. It is one of the most famous sites from the Celtic period in Central Europe.
The Heuneburg is strategically located on a mountain spur at a height of 605 meters; The slope drops steeply towards the banks of the Danube. On the approximately three hectare plateau there is a good view over the Danube valley for buses (767 m). When the weather is nice, the view extends as far as the Alps .
The complex is divided into the long-known core castle in spur location above the Danube valley , its outer castle and the more recently known 'outer settlement', which extends over approx. 100 hectares on the terrace above the valley.
Archaeological excavations have been carried out in the Heuneburg area since 1950 . The excavations carried out by Adolf Rieth , Kurt Bittel , Egon Gersbach and Wolfgang Kimmig from 1950 to 1979 provide evidence of settlement since the Middle Bronze Age (16th – 13th centuries BC). It was one of the most important and groundbreaking excavations in German archeology. The excavations were largely limited to the inner castle.
From 2004 to 2010 a priority program of the German Research Foundation (DFG) on early Celtic princes' seats in Central Europe ran, within the framework of which extensive excavations took place in the outer area of the Heuneburg since 2004. Wood finds were made on the northern tip of the Heuneburg. From 2004 the fortified outer bailey was also examined. The stone foundations of a monumental city gate from the 6th century BC were discovered in the northwest in front of the Heuneburg core complex, which was uncovered between 2005 and 2008 and which is so far unique for the Hallstatt period north of the Alps. As with the actual "city" wall, limestone blocks were mainly used for the base. Air-dried mud bricks had been built over the stone plinth on the plateau . These should actually have dissolved over time due to the rain. To counteract this effect, the walls were probably whitewashed regularly. Therefore, today's model of the Heuneburg is shown with a white wall.
In addition to the scientific research excavations, there are also educational excavations of the Society for Archeology in Württemberg and Hohenzollern . At the northern tip of the Heuneburg, students from the Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen and students from France, Romania, Cyprus and England examined a system of trenches in a scientific teaching excavation in 2008, 2009 and 2010 . On December 28, 2010, a chamber shaft grave with rich jewelry items, discovered in summer 2010, was completely recovered not far from the Heuneburg; Based on the grave goods, it is assumed that it is a princess from the Heuneburg nobility. The magnificent tomb from the early Celtic period was dated 583 BC. BC, as demonstrated by dendrodatings . The entire burial chamber was recovered as a 7.5 × 6 meter large and around 100 ton heavy block of earth.
Under the direction of Jörg Bofinger , many new discoveries were added to the sites known from conventional aerial archeology using the investigation method of airborne laser scanning ( Lidar ) and archaeological structures were made visible using computational methods. This includes, among other things, the course of the wall ditch system in the area of the Heuneburg outer settlement, which only gives an idea of the dimensions of the system. So today it can be said that probably only a third of it was dug.
While previous excavations were mainly dedicated to the actual castle hill, the outer bailey and the over 100 hectare outlying settlement of the city complex, from 2014 the research will apply to the area around the Heuneburg, in which the associated villages, courtyards, burial grounds, streets, fortifications etc. were located. More recent discoveries were made during excavations at the Viereckschanze at Hohmichele . This is not far from the Heuneburg in the "Speckhauwald" near Altheim - Heiligkreuztal and, according to current research, was probably a large Celtic homestead surrounded by a rectangular wall. On the so-called " Old Castle ", a plateau in the Warm Valley near Langenenslingen , there was an early Celtic fortification with a cult site.
In the 2010s, the grave goods of a high-ranking personality from around 600 to 450 BC A ceramic vessel with remnants of human blood and organs was found in which the pathogens of the Crimean-Congo fever were found, which could indicate an epidemic in the region.
The oldest documented settlement took place in the Middle Bronze Age , i.e. in the 15th to 13th centuries BC. When the mountain spur was transformed by the creation of mighty ramparts and ditches so that it was even better suited for a light defense. Then the two-hectare plateau was secured with a wooden box wall. With the beginning of the Urnfield Period in the 12th century BC The settlement was abandoned again without any traces of destruction being found.
The fortified settlement from the Hallstatt period is particularly outstanding . Around 600 BC A so-called prince seat of the Hallstatt culture was built here . Front terraces and surrounding burial grounds such as the grave mounds "Gießübel-Talhau", the grave mound " Hohmichele ", the grave mound field "Hohmichele-Gruppe" or the grave field Bettelbühl illustrate the position of the Heuneburg as one of the great Iron Age prince seats of southern Germany. In the 5th century BC BC the complex was destroyed by fire, traces of the following early La Tène period are missing, although related centers of wealth such as the Hohenasperg still lived through this period, which was mainly characterized by a new art style.
New research showed that the castle complex itself still included extensive outlying settlements, which were probably also fortified. At its peak, the population was around 4,000 in the center and around 17,000 in the surrounding area. Finds at the end of the 2005 excavation campaign with rich grave goods of a two-year-old child ( Etruscan gold pendants and gold brooches) indicate that the social structure of the Celts was more structured than previous assumptions. The necessary division of labor is evidence of workshops or even craft districts that no longer only produce for their own use. The artisan quarters were in the southeast of the castle. Here, metal objects made of bronze and iron were made, which were also intended for export. However, it is unclear where the materials used came from.
A large number of finds testify to the trade contacts with other peoples and cultures: Greek imports, amber from the Baltic Sea , croissant brooches from Slovenia and transport amphorae from Marseille .
Even in the Middle Ages, the Heuneburg was used again and again as a strategically favorable place, without, however, emerging as a permanent settlement again.
The fortified settlement of the Hallstatt period is often referred to in research as the “princely seat”, although the term has now been heavily criticized, especially by the Tübingen prehistoric man Manfred Eggert .
The Heuneburg is one of those Celtic settlements on the upper reaches of the Danube for which there is a connection with that of Herodotus in the 5th century BC. In the case of the Heuneburg , the town of Pyrene was supposed to be the oldest literarily mentioned settlement north of the Alps. Herodotus mentions Pyrene in a geographical statement about the origin of the Danube , which arises "with the Celts and the city of Pyrene", but refers here to Celts who "beyond the pillars of Heracles " in the vicinity of the "Kynesians" or "Kyneters" , who from his point of view was the most western peoples of Europe and therefore lived in an area of the Iberian Peninsula near today's Algarve , where settlement by Kyneters is attested by a probably pre-odotic tradition exhausted by Avienus and Celtic presence in inscriptions since the first half of the 6th century BC. Is proven. The presumption that there could still be a connection with the Heuneburg is based primarily on the fact that the Heuneburg is located in a region not far from the actual Danube sources, its defensive system possibly goes back to Greek models and was in any case in Greek trade relations, while on the other hand that of Herodotus Erroneously stated Iberian region a city Pyrene so far and also in the Mediterranean foothills of the Pyrenees , where it is mostly suspected based on other ancient traditions, at least could not be proven beyond doubt.
In recent years, not least with the inclusion of funds from the LEADER project , a community initiative of the European Union, attempts have been made to present prehistoric times in museums. For this purpose, the Heuneburg Museum, which provides information about the Heuneburg as an important center of power in the Hallstatt period, was set up in Hundersingen. An open-air museum with reconstructions was built on the Heuneburg. In addition, the Heuneburg circular hiking trail was laid out. Both can be easily reached by bike from the Danube Cycle Path .
The Herbertingen community, to which Hundersingen belongs, is the bearer of the internationally significant cultural asset. The land belongs to the state of Baden-Württemberg.
On June 22, 2008, the Herbertingen community announced that it felt unable to maintain and possibly further expand the museums on its own. For this reason, the application for the title UNESCO World Heritage Site was made . On December 11, 2012, the Herbertingen municipal council decided not to continue operating the open-air museum and the Heuneburg museum in the village of Hundersingen. The two license agreements with the state of Baden-Württemberg on the use of the plateau and the parking lot for the Celtic open-air museum Heuneburg were terminated on October 31, 2013. As a result, it was agreed that the community would keep the museum in the village and continue to operate it on its own, while a new sponsor would be appointed for the open-air museum from November 1, 2013. For an initial three years, the "Society for Archeology in Württemberg and Hohenzollern eV" took over the sponsorship in cooperation with the state of Baden-Württemberg and the Heuneburg Museum e. V. On April 4, 2014, the Heuneburg Open Air Museum opened its doors under the new sponsorship.
The Heuneburg Museum , also known as the Heuneburg Celtic Museum , was set up in the former tithe barn of the Heiligkreuztal monastery in Hundersingen as a result of the scientific processing of the thirty-year excavations on the Heuneburg . In order to be able to present the research results and original finds from the Heuneburg and the Celtic princely graves to the public, the former tithe barn built in 1783 was completely renovated. The historical structure of the outer walls and attic forms the contrast to the sober interior fittings for the renovated museum, which also combines the past and the present in terms of content. In addition to the excavation finds shown on the first floor, the museum on the ground floor gives an overview of more than a hundred years of research in the area of the Heuneburg with the methodological principles of the systematic excavations. This is followed by a detailed presentation of the most important settlement stages and fortifications of the Heuneburg from the Neolithic to historical times. The permanent exhibition is supplemented by a slide show. The top floor is usually reserved for special exhibitions that change every year. The Heuneburgmuseum e. V. received the Württemberg Archeology Prize in 1985 for his work.
Heuneburg open-air museum - Celtic town of Pyrene
The Heuneburg Open-Air Museum has been in existence since 1997, when the Herbertingen community cleared the plateau with its building yard and built the Heuneburg Open-Air Museum there between 1998 and 2001 . Since then there have been numerous reconstructions on the fenced-in area, such as that of a “Danube author” with an 80-meter-long, faithfully reconstructed mud brick wall, as well as several buildings, including a manor house, a residential building, a warehouse and a workshop building. The wall reconstruction consists of air-dried clay bricks on a limestone base. In contrast to the Mediterranean region, the construction technology north of the Alps is unique.
Heuneburg circular hiking trail
The Heuneburg circular hiking trail, an archaeological educational trail , has been leading since 1993 over a circular route of a total of eight kilometers from the Heuneburg Museum in Hundersingen to the most important sites of the early Celtic settlement center on the upper Danube. The Heuneburg circular hiking trail leads from the museum to Lehenbühl, a large grave mound from the first half of the 6th century BC. BC, and follows the edge height above the Danube. At this distance the remains of the medieval are Baumburg (Buwenburg), which may decline in the core to an Iron Age United grave. From there, the path continues at the Talhof to the Heuneburg open-air museum located about three kilometers northeast of the village. The nature trail now leads north, to a group of four large grave mounds in Gießübel / Talhau, and into the forest. Via the Soppenweiher you get to the Wiedhauhütte, then to the Hohmichele , one of the largest still preserved burial mounds in Central Europe, and finally to a Celtic square hill . From there it goes east through the forest, later south over a dirt road to Hundersingen. The archaeological monuments are provided with detailed explanatory panels.
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- Bettina Arnold, Matthew L. Murray, Seth A. Schneider: Final examinations on a Hallstatt burial mound belonging to the Hohmichele group in the “Speckhau”, Heiligkreuztal mark, Gde. Altheim, Biberach district. In: Archaeological excavations in Baden-Württemberg 2000. Theiss, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-8062-1518-9 , pp. 67–70.
- Bettina Arnold, Matthew L. Murray, Seth A. Schneider: Investigations on a second Hallstatt-era burial mound of the Hohmichele group in "Speckhau", Heiligkreuztal mark, Gde. Altheim, Biberach district. In: Archaeological excavations in Baden-Württemberg 2002. Theiss, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-8062-1780-7 , pp. 80–83.
- Jörg Bofinger : Archaeological investigations in the bailey of the Heuneburg - settlement and fortification systems at the early Celtic prince seat on the upper Danube, Gde. Herbertingen-Hundersingen, Sigmaringen district. In: Archaeological excavations in Baden-Württemberg 2004. Theiss, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-8062-1957-5 , pp. 82–86.
- Jörg Bofinger: Stone by stone ... surprising findings in the area of the fastening systems of the Heuneburg outer bailey, Gde. Herbertingen-Hundersingen, Sigmaringen district. In: Archaeological excavations in Baden-Württemberg 2005. Theiss, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-8062-2019-0 , pp. 73-78.
- Kurt Bittel, Wolfgang Kimmig, S. Schiek: The Celts in Baden-Württemberg. Stuttgart 1981, p. 372 ff.
- Ursula Brosseder, Eckart Sauter: Comments on Heuneburg and its publication. In: Praehist. Magazine 78, 2003, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, , pp. 60-98.
- Egon Gersbach: The Middle Bronze Age fortifications of the Heuneburg near Hundersingen aD In: Arch. Korrespondenzblatt. 1973, 3, pp. 417-422.
- Egon Gersbach: The timpani fibulae and the chronology of the Heuneburg near Hundersingen / Danube. In: Find reports from Baden-Württemberg. 6, 1981, pp. 213-223, doi: 10.11588 / fbbw.1981.0.26355 .
- Egon Gersbach, Jochen Böhm: The Heuneburg on the upper Danube in the Middle Ages. Stuttgart 2012, ISBN 978-3-8062-2793-2 .
- Leif Hansen, Roberto Tarpini, Dirk Krausse, Andreas Striffler, goldsmith's workshop for the Celtic princess? - Final excavations in the area of the northern tip of the Heuneburg. In: Archaeological excavations in Baden-Württemberg 2015. Theiss, Stuttgart 2016, ISBN 978-3-8062-3375-9 , pp. 128-131.
- Sabine Hopert, Jürgen Wörner: Final follow-up examinations in princely grave mounds near Hundersingen, Herbertingen community, Sigmaringen district. In: Archaeological excavations in Baden-Württemberg 1989. Theiss, Stuttgart 1990, ISBN 3-8062-0830-1 , pp. 103-106.
- Wolfgang Kimmig: The Heuneburg on the upper Danube. In: Preservation of monuments in Baden-Württemberg. 4th year 1975, issue 1, pp. 31-33, doi: 10.11588 / nbdpfbw. 1975.1.14642
- Wolfgang Kimmig: The Heuneburg on the upper Danube. (= Führer arch. Denkm. Bad.-Württ.). Theiss, Stuttgart 1983, ISBN 3-8062-0360-1 .
- Frieder Klein: New excavations in the southeast corner of the Heuneburg near Herbertingen-Hundersingen, Sigmaringen district. In: Archäologische Ausgrabungen in Baden-Württemberg 1998. Theiss, Stuttgart 1999, ISBN 3-8062-1406-9 , pp. 92–95.
- Friedrich Klein: Probe excavations in a hill of the group "Salzet-Süd" near Ertingen-Binzwangen, Biberach district. In: Archaeological excavations in Baden-Württemberg 2004. Theiss, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-8062-1957-5 , pp. 74–76.
- Friedrich Klein: At the end of the probe in the “Salzet-Süd” burial mound group, Ertingen-Binzwangen, Biberach district. In: Archaeological excavations in Baden-Württemberg 2005. Theiss, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-8062-2019-0 , pp. 83–85.
- Dirk Krausse, Inga Kretschmer, Leif Hansen, Manuel Fernández-Götz, Die Heuneburg - Celtic prince seat on the upper Danube. Guide to archaeological monuments in Baden-Württemberg 28. Theiss 2015, ISBN 978-3-8062-2975-2 .
- Dirk Krausse , Leif Hansen and Robert Tarpini, ed. Society for Archeology in Württemberg and Hohenzollern e. V .: Freilichtmuseum Heuneburg activity report 2014-2016 , undated , undated
- Dirk Krausse, Nicole Ebinger-Rist, The Secret of the Celtic Princess. The sensational find from the Heuneburg. Theiss 2018, ISBN 978-3-8062-2801-4 .
- Siegfried Kurz : Follow-up examination in the princely grave mounds near Herbertingen-Hundersingen, Sigmaringen district. In: Archaeological excavations in Baden-Württemberg 1988. Theiss, Stuttgart 1989, ISBN 3-8062-0583-3 , pp. 71-74.
- Siegfried Kurz: New excavations in the run-up to the Heuneburg near Hundersingen on the upper Danube. In: Germania. 76, 1998, pp. 527-547.
- Siegfried Kurz: Investigations into the development of the Hallstatt period settlement on the Heuneburg. In: Preservation of monuments in Baden-Württemberg. 29th year 2000, issue 1, pp. 20-25. (PDF)
- Siegfried Kurz: The Heuneburg outer settlement. (= Findings and finds, research and report on prehistory and early history in Baden-Württemberg. Volume 72). Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-8062-1521-9 .
- Siegfried Kurz, Siegwalt Schiek: Burial places in the vicinity of the Heuneburg. (= Research and report. Pre- and early study Bad.-Württ. Volume 87). Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-8062-1693-2 .
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- Siegfried Kurz: The Heuneburg near Herbertingen-Hundersingen, Sigmaringen district, and the surrounding area. At the end of the DFG project. In: Archaeological excavations in Baden-Württemberg 2003. Theiss, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-8062-1876-5 , pp. 62–65.
- Siegfried Kurz: New research in the area around the Heuneburg near Herbertingen-Hundersingen, Sigmaringen district. In: Archaeological excavations in Baden-Württemberg 2004. Theiss, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-8062-1957-5 , pp. 87–91.
- Siegfried Kurz, Joachim Wahl: To continue the excavations in the Heuneburg outlying settlement on the Ertingen-Binzwangen mark, in the Biberach district. In: Archaeological excavations in Baden-Württemberg 2005. Theiss, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-8062-2019-0 , pp. 78–82.
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- Amei Lang: The grooved turntable ceramics of the Heuneburg 1950–1970 and related groups. (= Heuneburg Studies Volume 3; Röm.-German. Research Volume 34). Berlin 1974.
- Heinz-Werner Dammer: The painted ceramics of the Heuneburg. (= Heuneburg Studies. Volume 4; Röm.-German. Research Volume 37). Mainz 1978.
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- Daniela Fort-Linksfeiler: The bowls and bowls of the Heuneburg. (= Heuneburg Studies. 7; Röm.-German. Research Volume 47). Mainz 1989.
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- Hillshade map Heuneburg and grave mound Data source: LGL, www.lgl-bw.de
- Press release from January 29th, 2020 by the State Office for Monument Protection BW
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