- Hallstatt culture
The Hallstatt culture was the predominant
Central European culture in the 8th to 6th centuries BC (European Early Iron Age), developing out of the Urnfield cultureof the 12th century BC (Late Bronze Age) and followed in much of Central Europe by the La Tène culture.
By the 6th century BC, the Halstatt culture extended for some 1000 km, from the
Champagne-Ardennein the west, through the Upper Rhineand the upper Danube, as far as the Vienna Basinand the Danubian Lowlandin the east, from the Main, Bohemiaand the Little Carpathiansin the north, to the Swiss plateau, the Salzkammergutand to Lower Styria.
It is named for its
type site, " Hallstatt", a lakeside village in the Austrian Salzkammergutsoutheast of Salzburg.The culture is commonly linked to (pre-) Proto-Celticand Celtic populations in its western zone and with (pre-) Illyriansin its eastern zone.
1846, Johann Georg Ramsauer discovered a large prehistoric cemeterynear Halstatt, which he excavated during the second half of the nineteenth century. Eventually the excavation would yield 1,045 burials.
The community at Hallstatt exploited the
salt mines in the area (note 'halen' is salt in Modern Welsh), which had been worked from time to time since the Neolithicperiod, from the eighth century to fifth century BC. The style and decoration of the grave goods found in the cemetery are very distinctive, and artifacts made in this style are widespread in Europe.
The Hallstatt culture, extending from about 1200 BC until around 500 BC, is divided by archaeologists into four phases:
*HaA: 1200–1000 BC
*HaB: 1000–800 BC
*HaC: 800–650 BC
*HaD: 650–475 BC
Hallstatt A-B are part of the Bronze Age
Urnfield culture. Phase A saw Villanovan influence. In phase B, tumulus( kurgan) burial becomes common, and cremationpredominates.
The "Hallstatt period" proper is restricted to HaC and HaD (8th to 6th centuries BC), corresponding to the early
European Iron Age. Hallstatt D is succeeded by the La Tène culture.
Hallstatt C is characterized by the first appearance of iron swords mixed amongst the bronze ones. Inhumation and cremation co-occur.For the final phase, Hallstatt D, only daggers are found in graves ranging from "c." 600–500 BC. There are also differences in the pottery and
brooches. Burials were mostly inhumations.
Two culturally distinct areas, an eastern and a western zone, have been postulated by Kossack (1959). [N. Müller-Scheeßel, " Die Hallstattkultur und ihre räumliche Differenzierung. Der West- und Osthallstattkreis aus forschungsgeschichtlicher Sicht" (2000)] The dividing line runs across the Czech Republic and Austria, at about 14 to 15 degrees eastern longitude.
*The western Hallstatt zone includes:
France: Champagne-Ardenne, Lorraine, Alsace
Switzerland: Swiss plateau
Southern Germany: much of Swabiaand Bavaria
Czech Republic: Bohemia
Austria: Vorarlberg, North Tyrol, Salzkammergut
*The eastern Hallstatt zone includes:
Austria: Lower Austria, Upper Styria
Czech Republic: Moravia
Slovakia: Danubian Lowland
Hungary: Little Hungarian Plain
Slovenia: Lower Styria
Croatia: Hrvatsko Zagorje
The main distinction is in burial rite and
grave goods: in the western zone, members of the elite were buried with sword (HaC) or dagger (HaD), in the eastern zone with an axe. The western zone has chariot burials. In the eastern zone, warriors are frequently buried in full armour.
The approximate division line between the two subcultures runs from north to south through central
Bohemiaand Lower Austria, and then traces the eastern and southern rim of the Alps to Eastern and Southern Tyrol.Fact|date=April 2008
Hallstattis regarded as the dominant settlement of the western zone, a settlement at the Burgstallkogel in the central Sulm valley (southern Styria, west of Leibnitz, Austria) was a major center during the Hallstatt C period. Parts of the huge necropolis(which originally consisted of more than 1,100 tumuli) surrounding this settlement can be seen today near Gleinstätten.
Culture and trade
Trade and population movements (very probably both) spread the Hallstatt cultural complex into the western
Iberian peninsula, Britain, and Ireland. It is probable that some if not all of this diffusion took place in a Celtic-speaking contextFact|date=February 2007.
Greeceis attested by finds of Attic black-figure potteryin the élite graves of the late Hallstatt period. It was probably imported via Massilia ( Marseille). Other imported luxuries include amber, ivory( Gräfenbühl) and probably wine. Recent analyses have shown that the reputed silkin the barrow at Hohmichelewas misidentified. Red dye( cochineal) was imported from the south as well (Hochdorf burial).
The settlements were mostly fortified, situated on hilltops, and frequently included the workshops of bronze-, silver-, and goldsmiths. Typical sites are the
Heuneburgon the upper Danubesurrounded by nine very large grave tumuli, Mont Lassoisin eastern France near Châtillon-sur-Seinewith, at its foot, the very rich grave at Vix, and the hill fort at Molpírin Slovakia.
In the central Hallstatt regions toward the end of the period, very rich graves of high-status individuals under large tumuli are found near the remains of fortified hilltop settlements. They often contain
chariots and horse bits or yokes. Well known chariot burials include Býčí Skála, Vix and Hochdorf. A model of a chariot made from lead has been found in Frögg, Carinthia. Elaborate jewellery made of bronzeand gold, as well as stone stelae (see the famous warrior of Hirschlanden) were found in this context.
The material culture of Western Halstatt culture was apparently sufficient to provide a stable social and economic equilibrium. The founding of
Marseilleand the penetration by Greek and Etruscan culture after ca 600 BC, resulted in long-range trade relationships up the Rhone valley which triggered social and cultural transformations in the Hallstatt settlements north of the Alps. Powerful local chiefdoms emerged which controlled the redistribution of luxury goods from the Mediterranean world that is characteristic of the La Tèneculture.The biggest deposit of Hallstatt bronze artifacts from Europe was found in Romania.
*Barth, F.E., J. Biel, et al. "Vierrädrige Wagen der Hallstattzeit" ("The Hallstatt four-wheeled wagons" at Mainz). Mainz: Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum; 1987. ISBN 3-88467-016-6
*Bichler, P. (ed.) "Hallstatt textiles: technical analysis, scientific investigation and experiment on Iron Age textiles." Oxford: Archaeopress; 2005. ISBN 1-84171-697-9
*Eibner, A. "Music during the Hallstatt period. Observations on Music as depicted on Iron Age circumalpine vessels." Paris: Maison des sciences de l'homme; 1996. ISBN 2-7351-0577-6
*Hermann Parzinger, "Chronologie der Späthallstatt- und Frühlatene-Zeit. Studien zu Fundgruppen zwischen Mosel und Save," Quellen und Forschungen zur prähistorischen und provinzialrömischen Archäologie 4, Weinheim 1988.
*Potrebica, H. "Some Remarks on the Contacts Between the Greek and the Hallstatt Culture Considering the Area of Northern Croatia in the Early Iron Age." Oxford: Archaeopress; 1998. ISBN 0-86054-894-5
*Pydyn, A. "Exchange and cultural interactions: a study of long-distance trade and cross-cultural contacts in the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age in Central and Eastern Europe." Oxford: Archaeopress; 1999. ISBN 1-84171-026-1
*Rom, W. "AMS 14C Dating of Equipment from the Iceman and of Spruce Logs from the Prehistoric Salt Mines of Hallstatt," from Radiocarbon 41, #2; 1999: 183 (16 pp.) ISSN 0033-8222
*John Haywood's [http://faculty.mville.edu/justing/maps.htm#Hallstatt%20Culture%20in%20Central%20Europe Atlas of the Celtic World] ; London Thames & Hudson Ltd., 2001; Pgs.30-37.
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