Rethinking Early Iron Age urbanisation in Central Europe: the Heuneburg site and its archaeological environment

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Abstract

The Heuneburg on the Upper Danube has been one of the best-known archaeological sites of Early Iron Age Europe since the first excavations of the 1950s. Fieldwork carried out during recent years, however, has radically changed our accepted understanding of what was clearly a central place of supra-regional importance. In addition to the three-hectare hilltop fortification with its famous mudbrick wall, an outer settlement some 100ha in extent has been discovered. Its investigation has given new insights into the centralisation process that took place from the end of the seventh century BC. Moreover, recent discoveries from the richly furnished burials in the surrounding area offer significant clues to issues of social hierarchy and status transmission within Late Hallstatt communities. The results provide an entirely new picture of the earliest stages of urbanisation north of the Alps.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-487
Number of pages14
JournalAntiquity
Volume87
Issue number336
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Central Europe
  • the Heuneburg
  • Early Iron Age
  • centralisation
  • urbanisation

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