is a hill located ca. 32 km to the north-east of Frankfurt at Glauburg. The hilltop was fortified in antiquity.
The earliest known fortifications might be pre-Celtic, but they reached a high point in terms of size and elaboration around the 6th or 5th century BC. They remained in use until the 2nd or 1st century BC. Their extent and dimensions mark the Glauberg
as one of a network of fortified sites (or oppida) that covered most of south and west central Germany.
The northeast edge of the hill, where the slope is least severe, was disconnected from the adjacent ground by the erection of a massive ditch and bank, perhaps originally forming a promontory fort. The southern and northern edges were also fortified with walls. The walling techniques included drystone walling, the murus gallicus (a typical Celtic technique of wood and stone) and perhaps also mudbrick.
The small hilltop pond would not have sufficed to ensure water supply for the population of so large a settlement. For this reason, an annex was added to the north, with two walls running downslope, enclosing an additional triangular area of 300 x 300 m, including a spring. The point of that annex contained a huge water reservoir, measuring 150 by 60 m. At this time, the fortification was 650 m long, nearly 500 m wide, and enclosed an area of 8.5 ha.
At least two gates, a main one to the northeast and a smaller one to the south, gave access to the interior. They are fairly complex in shape, designed to make access for a possible attacker more difficult. An outer fortification was placed beyond the northeast edge of the oppidum. Walls or banks to the south probably played no defensive role.
Such settlements probably housed populations numbering in the thousands. For this reason, combined with their centralising economic role, Celtic oppida are sometime described as proto-urban. Nonetheless, little is known about settlement and other activity on the interior of the site. Evidence from the sites at Manching or Oberursel-Oberstedten suggests that there was probably a village or town-like settlement with houses, workshops and storage areas.
The discoveries at Glauberg have added several new perspectives to the understanding of early Celtic Europe. They have somewhat expanded the known extent of early La Tène civilization, they have thrown much light on the early development of Celtic art, and most importantly of sculpture. The warrior figure and other material support suggestions of links and contact with the civilisations of the Mediterranean at this early point. The ritual complex surrounding the tomb has added a whole new monument type to European prehistory.
Sites like Glauberg, sometimes referred to as Fürstensitze (seats of princes), indicate a parallel development of social hierarchies developing across late Hallstatt Europe. Elite sites, characterised by massive fortifications, the presence of imported materials and of elaborate burials developed along the important trade routes across the continent. Glauberg must now be considered a proto-urban centre of power, trade and cult, of similar importance to such sites as Bibracte, or Manching, but especially of other "princely" fortified settlements, such as Heuneburg, Hohenasperg and Mont Lassois.