Celtic grave mounds on the Glauberg

The Glauberg is a southern basalt foothills of the Vogelsberg, adjacent to the Wetterau. At the height of the back and in its vicinity there are significant excavation sites with finds from prehistory to the Middle Ages. On the southern flank - above a grave hill - there is a museum and research center Celts am Glauberg.


The ridge (height 276.5 m above sea level. NN ) on the eastern edge of the Wetterau is a basalt foothills of the Vogelsberg in the form of Table Mountain on three sides steeply sloping flanks. Only in a northeasterly direction, the terrain drops off relatively smoothly. It lies between the confluence of Nidder and Seemenbach belongs to the municipality Glauburg. In the southwest of him Enzheimer head is upstream. In the south east, a structured high surface extends from the foothills toward the 2 km away Seemenbach.

Due to its natural conditions of the Glauberg suitable for colonization and attachment has always been: His plateau dominates the surrounding countryside by 150 m and forms a nearly flat plateau of about 800 m long and 80 m to almost 200 m wide. On the plateau there is a small pond which is filled from inflowing surface water. He led up to blasting operations after the Second World War, even in dry summers always high water.

Colonization and attachment

  • The plateau of Glauberg was settled BC since the Neolithic age in the middle of the 5th millennium.
  • To a second phase of settlement occurred during the Late Bronze Age urn field culture in the 10th and 9th centuries BC
  • The first attachment probably originated in early Celtic period in the 6th to 5th century BC Apparently enough of the ponds on the plateau no longer for water supply, and it had protective walls, so-called Annex walls are downslope built until spring horizon, so that a huge water reservoir of 150 m length and 60 m width was enclosed.
  • In the Roman period ( 1st to 3rd century AD) the Glauberg remained unsettled, probably because of its proximity (5 km) to the limit and to the castle Old Town.
  • In the 4th to the 5th century the central meaning Glauberg had again hillfort as a small Alemannic king.
  • In the 7th -9th centuries he wore a large Frankish castle.
  • In the 12th and 13th centuries the Glauberg was incorporated into the Hohenstaufen castle system, a tower-like castle building was built on the edge of the wall mounting, the basement is a Romanesque archway still preserved. From this time, the foundation remains of medieval houses were built on the northern edge of the populated area around the plateau. The Frankfurt patrician family Glauburg had their headquarters here.
  • The destruction of the Castle and the end of the colonization of the Glauberg was probably in the year 1256th

Celtic finds at Glauberg

History of Research

For decades, research archaeologist at the University of Mainz and the Roman-Germanic Commission on Glauberg after the settlement of the Glauberg and its surrounding areas in the Celtic period ( Hallstatt and early La Tène period ) .. Since 2004, these excavations by the German Research Foundation ( DFG ) in the Priority Programme " Early urbanization and centralization processes " ( DFG SPP 1171 ) funded.

In a reconnaissance flight in 1988, local historian discovered on the southern slope of the Glauberg the traces of a huge grave mound in a cornfield. Later, a second grave mound was discovered that could be located by geophysical measurements. Both hills were leveled and can not be seen from ground level. Between 1994 and 1997, led the State Conservation Office of Hesse, Wiesbaden, excavations. The grave complex was then reconstructed and since then has been to visit available. The richly furnished graves of three Celtic warrior of the 5th century BC prove the exalted position of the deceased. The graves are numbered among the Celtic princely tombs and are among the most magnificent that are known from this period.

Stone statue of a Celtic Prince

Apart from the actual grave sites the discovery of a (probably more than) life-size stone statue of a warrior was another sensation. The fully preserved to the feet stele ( statue) is provided with a dome-shaped headdress, which is interpreted as ( mistletoe ) leaf crown and was found as grave goods in grave 1. As the mistletoe loud ancient authors had an important religious connotations in the Celts, this may point to the role of the deceased as a priest. This figure of the " Celtic Prince Glauberg " is so far the most important discovery of the La Tène culture in Hesse.

Original Large copies of the statue can be seen in the local museum in Glauburg and in the Wetterau Museum in Friedberg. Fragments of three other statues that resemble the first in detail, but have different proportions, were also found.


Furthermore, post-holes were of 16 wooden posts found at the foot of the large grave mound, whose exact function is not known. One of Bruno Deiss, a Frankfurt professor of astrophysics, established theory is it, this is a Celtic calendar structure, which was used for astronomical determination of holidays. The thesis that the calendar structure is based on the national importance of the Glauberg in early Celtic times, is as controversial as the thesis that for an alleged traffic advantageous geographical location of Glauberg was crucial. A possible reconstruction of the putative Calendar building was inaugurated on 1 September 2007.

Since the wooden posts were erected at longer intervals, came more recently, however, the view, this would not have had the function of a calendar structure and also not served astronomical terms, but were presumably intended to various architectural purposes. According to the former Hessian archaeologists Fritz -Rudolf Herrmann this memory, bridges or a temple might have been.

Archaeological Finds

The most significant finds from the tombs themselves are a golden choker and a Celtic flagon. The finds were displayed in the Hessian State Museum in Darmstadt until its closure for refurbishment. In autumn 2007, started the construction of a museum with a research center in the vicinity of the grave mound on Glauberg. The charges by the State of Hesse cost of construction amounted to around 9 million euros. The museum was opened on 5 May 2011. There, all original finds, including the stele of the Celtic warrior can be seen.