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Urnenfelderzeitliche Grabhügel und Siedlungen der älteren Hallstattkultur in der Steiermark
Zum Beginn der Hallstattkultur im Südostalpenraum

(Urnfield period tumuli and settlements of the early Hallstatt Culture in Styria.
The beginnings of the Hallstatt Culture in the southeastern Alpine region)


Following the idea that the common European horizon Hallstatt B3 (after P. Reinecke/H. Müller-Karpe) is to be classified as the latest period of the Urnfield Culture in central Europe, various hillfort settlements and tumuli graves in the Eastern Alpine region are still classified as relicts of the European Urnfield Culture. Neglecting the development of Early Iron Age chronology in the Southeastern Alpine region (Slovenia), as presented by S. Gabrovec and B. Teržan, with its connections to the Balkan regions as well as to northern Italy, in Styria there still exists the idea of a very prosperous late and latest Urnfield Culture with hillfort settlements and non-tumulus graves. In fact, these settlements are part of a new era, the Hallstatt Culture, and show a new model of settlement connected with the erection of tumulus graves for the upper class. Furthermore, the use of iron starts in this period, in any case within the local horizon Ljubljana IIb. This confirms that the beginning of the Iron Age should be placed within the horizon Hallstatt B3, and in terms of absolute chronology within the 9th century B.C., probably even quite early in this century. The ”Styrian pattern” has also been valid up to now with the prominent hillfort settlement of Kleinklein-Burgstall and the tumuli connected to it. The recently excavated cemeteries of Wildon and Gniebing only begin within the Early Iron Age and contain tumulus graves, such as are all the other graves published recently from Styria as ”spät- or spätesturnenfelderzeitlich”. Similarly, the tumuli from Wetzelsdorf don’t belong to the early (!) Urnfield period (Hallstatt A!) but to the Early Iron Age.

Keywords: Austria, Styria, Urnfield Culture, Early Iron Age, tumuli graves, hillforts, settlements

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