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The Glauberg 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.

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Glauberg also serves as an excellant backdrop for other kinds of interest as can been seen in the following photograph which I have submitted in a contest for a 2010 calendar.


This is one of my favorite stops whenever I'm out and around that area (Wetterau).
P.S. on the calendar thingy, those poles are part of a calendar.




http://glauberg.totallyexplained.com/


A piece of the puzzle is missing. I'll have to search for this and add it here to give the calendar idea a foundation. There's not a lot on the web. Most of what we know about the calendar was explained to us by one of the Profs on site during one of the events the Boss and I attended. But let me tell you this much.....

the place is magical!
I think I found a part of it.




I'm sitting in front of a PC on a desk in a house located on the horizon in the distance in the direction of the middle post from the left group of three posts. The hilltop the left post of the left group of three posts is "Eichelkopf". The Eichelkopf was covered with Oak trees, a few of which still stand, but as exposed to the winds as it is, many of the trees have been knocked down. The hill is difficult to reach. No road leads to the top, no trodden path, no signs. I went there a few years ago, prior to the Glauberg sensation, and I sat there checking the place out for oh, maybe three hours or so. I came down from the hill certain it was once fortified and occupied. But of course the ones that lived at Glauberg had been to the top of Eichelkopf. It's obvious. The celts in this region took to the hilltops. They somehow communicated with one another, from hilltop to hilltop, perhaps via smoke signals.
Interesting reading, at the source of the above three pictures. In German, so not absolutely digestable for each "reader", Waldo will be pleased to see his name mentioned. By the way, Boss & I attended the event this webpage describes;

"Sensationelle Forschungen der Archäo-Astrophysik: Europaweit einzigartige Anlage eines keltischen Kalenderbauwerks am Glauberg

Wer sich für Astronomie und keltische Kultur begeistert, ist am 1. September 2007 herzlich zur Eröffnungsfeier des rekonstruierten keltischen Kalenderbauwerks im Archäologischen Park Glauberg eingeladen. Diese, von Wissenschaftlern auf das fünfte Jahrhundert vor Christus datierte, keltische Kultstätte trug zur Zeit ihres Betriebs vermutlich den Rang eines „Heiligen Bezirks" und nahm daher überregionale Bedeutung ein. Als man sie in den 90er Jahren entdeckte, stieß man zunächst auf zwei große Grabhügel mit vortrefflich erhaltenen und reichhaltig ausgestatteten Fürstengräbern. Um diese herum förderten Ausgrabungen ein komplexes System aus Gräben und Pfostenreihen zu Tage, sowie eine lebensgroße Statue aus Sandstein.

Auffälligster Bestandteil des Grabenwerks ist bei dessen Betrachtung zunächst ein etwa 10 Meter breiter Ringgraben, der den großen Grabhügel 1 umgibt. Nach Südosten hin mündet er in die sogenannte „Prozessionsstraße", die sich als zwei parallele Gräben schnurgerade etwa 350 Meter in diese Richtung erstreckt. Nördlich des großen Grabhügels stießen Archäologen, neben einem komplexen System weiterer Gräben, auf 16 gruppenweise angeordneten Pfostengruben, welche mit vermutlich etwa 8 bis 9 Meter langen Holzstämmen bestückt waren.

Obwohl die genaue Bedeutung dieser Anlage bis jetzt ungeklärt ist, gehen die Wissenschaftler davon aus, dass die durchdachte, geometrische Anordnung der Gräben und Pfosten, nicht nur kultischen, sondern auch astronomischen Zwecken gerecht wurde. Mit Hilfe der Pfähle und verschiedener Visierpositionen war es von der Stätte aus möglich, bestimmte Punkte am Horizont genau anzupeilen, wodurch man die tägliche Verschiebung des Sonnenaufgangspunktes genau bestimmen konnte. Auf diese Weise gelang es den keltischen Gelehrten, die Tage kalendarisch zu fixieren und anhand des Sonnenstandes den Beginn des keltischen Jahres, sowie dessen Feiertage und die Zeit der Aussaat und Ernte festzulegen und vorauszuberechnen. Außerdem liefert der Grundriss der Anlage Hinweise auf die große Bedeutung des Mondes, dessen komplizierte Bahn sich ebenfalls genau berechnen ließ und vermutlich Feiertage bestimmte: die Große Südliche Mondwende etwa, welche nur alle 18 bis 19 Jahre stattfindet und vielleicht eine der wichtigsten Festlichkeiten frühkeltischer Kultur war.

Die große Feier zur Eröffnung dieses in Europa einmaligen Kalenderbauwerks beginnt am 1. September um 18 Uhr. Besucher finden dann zunächst Zeit für ein Picknick, einen Spaziergang, oder den Besuch des Keltenlagers und können sich an bereitgestelltem Essen und Trinken erfreuen. Hierbei lohnt es sich, aufgrund eines eventuellen Mangels an Sitzplätzen eigene Sitzgelegenheiten wie etwa Klappstühle mitzubringen. Die Begrüßung der Anwesenden und mehrere Grußworte finden ab 19.30 Uhr statt. Mit Einsatz der Dämmerung erfolgt ein Vortrag von Prof. Deiss (Physikalischer Verein, Universität Frankfurt) zur Bedeutung des Bauwerks, bevor gegen 20.30 Uhr griechische und lateinische Textpassagen über die Kelten verlesen werden. Für den feierlichen Ausklang der Veranstaltung sorgt ab der Dämmerung bis in die beginnende Nacht hinein eine große Musik- und Lichtschau, die von den Künstlern Dirk Raufeisen (Musik), Norbert Mohr (Licht) und Sven Waldschmidt (Akustik) getragen wird.

Seien Sie herzlich willkommen zur Eröffnung dieser einzigartigen frühkeltischen Stätte und genießen Sie die Feier!"

URL
pictures of the event can be found here. This was before the sun went down and as it went down, this place lit up, literally lit up with a light show and music. I'll try to locate something to illustrate this in case anyone is interested.

I hadn't known the Celtic world was that extensive. What's the time period for that map?
Ranges from 6th century B.C. to 4th & 3rd centuries A.D. Here where we live, the 5th century B.C.

And the Irish claim to be the Celts. LOL
Don't the Irish have a linguistic claim on that?
I would say they do, yes, because the Irish -as well as the French in the northern parts of France- but especially the Irish have kept the ancient language alive.

Okay, I looked at the wiki entry you linked to. Brittany is the one I was referring to. I know from a french feller I know that the language from his hometown is anything but french and they too claim to be the real Celts.

Up until recently, thanks to archeologists, Hesse had not been seen as a celtic (high) cultural centre. But with the discovery of the prince's grave and the unearthing of the artifacts found there, it became obvious that Glauberg was once THE centre of celtic culture. I might be climbing too far out on a limb here, as I'm not an expert on the subject. I would like to think it's true and from what I've seen of the surrounding area, the celts were here for quite some time and they do appear to have had a good relationship with the Germanen AND a most elaborate trade network reaching all the way from this area down to the mediterranien sea, or perhaps the other way around.
The Irish are Celts... as are Scots and Welsh... just ask them! Follow the rivers! I believe there could be a connection between the Niedersachens and the folk in Freistaat Sachsen.

There were Euros here in krakkerland long before the pilgrims landed... because of the Portage. Buncha French dudes was muckin about here and integrating with the Miami... but they kept mum about it as to not give away the best places for fur-trapping.

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