Today I'll take you on a visit to the remnants of what once was the largest Celtic settlement in Middle Europe, the Celtic oppidum Heidengraben.
The former settlement is located on a plateau of the Swabian Jura, close to the rural village of Erkenbrechtsweiler. The Heidengraben was built around the 1st century BC and stretches over an area of about 16 square kilometers.
Let's go and have a look!
The circuit starts at the burial grounds with a few dozens of mounds of different sizes.
Inside these grave hills many artefacts could be found, including pottery, weapons and jewellery, telling us a lot about Celtic culture, how they lived and what customs they had.
Anyone like me and feeling reminded of the old Windows XP theme :D
Further finds, such as an Italian Amphora prove the trade of the Celts with distant regions of ancient Europe. It is mind-bending to think about what it meant in these times to travel such distances with carts full of trade goods.
A typical view of the predominantly barren landscape of the Swabian Alb. Rainwater tends to quickly drain away into the countless cavities of the Swabian Jura limestone.
Today there is an extensive water supply network, pumping up to 6500 liter ground and spring water per second into the areas of need. Something the Celts couldn't even dream off.
Such subsidences are typical for the so-called Karst landscape of the Swabian Alb. Carbonated rainwater dissolves the limestone drop by drop until the ever thinner layers of lime finally sink in.
The oppidum was fortified with a two-ring wall of enormous size, giving the defenders the higher ground against potential attackers. The first ring was further secured with an outer ditch.
Three large gates secured the access to the settlement inside.
I hope you enjoyed this little trip back in time. If you like to dive deeper into the age of the Celts or more specifically, read up on the Heidengraben, plenty of resources can be found from the respective Wikipedia articles.
Thanks for following along and see you back next time 👋.
Photos recorded by myself with an iPhone 13 Pro. All rights reserved.