Jastorf culture


  • Jastorf culture
  • Early Nordic Iron Age
  • Harpstedt - Nienburger group
  • Celtic groups
  • Przeworsk culture
  • House Urn Culture
  • Ostbaltische forest zone cultures
  • West Baltic Tumulus Culture
  • Zarubincy culture
  • Estonian group
  • Gubener group (of the Przeworsk culture influences )
  • Oxhöft culture
  • Getic and Thracian groups
  • Poieneşti - Lukaševka culture (of Przeworsk and Jastorf Culture influences )

The Jastorf culture is a North Central European archaeological cultural level and cultural group from the period of about 600 BC until the turn of time ( Pre-Roman Iron Age ), which is considered a predecessor culture of Elbgermanen. This culture was named by Gustav Schwantes for a place in the urn field Jastorf ( Uelzen district ) in Lower Saxony.

Culture Group

The previously suspected immigration from Denmark and southern Sweden ( Scandinavia) is no longer represented by archaeologists. Today it is believed that the developed Jastorf culture from the Hallstatt culture under the influence of the more northerly Nordic Bronze Age. With the following Celtic La Tène culture is a strong cultural exchange has been demonstrated. The spread of Jastorf culture was initially limited to Schleswig -Holstein and Lower Saxony. There followed a rapid expansion direction resin, and about 500 BC reached the culture today Thuringia, the Lower Rhine and Lower Silesia.

The Jastorf culture and their temporal correspondence in the preceding Nordic Bronze Age are considered Germanic or vorgermanische cultures. The Nordic Bronze Age forms a distinct culture during the simultaneous existence of the northern urn field culture, which emerged from the central urn field culture. The northern urn field culture or Tumulus Culture ( Tumulus culture) was the vorgermanische culture of the late Bronze Age.

Chronological framework and temporal parallelism with the simultaneous South and Central German cultures:

  • 600-500 BC Jastorf A corresponds to Hallstatt D
  • 500-400 BC Jastorf B corresponds Latene A
  • 400-350 BC Jastorf C corresponds to the La Tene B
  • 350-120 BC Ripdorf corresponds Latene C
  • 120-0 BC Seedorf corresponds Latene D

Found so far mainly burials with grave mounds, flat graves and fire pit graves. Grave goods were rare and rather poorly, weapons offerings missing.

The research considers the Jastorf Culture as the basis of the company resulting from their Germanic tribes and the Germanic language and cultural community. The find material already shows some differentiation, which manifests itself in clothing, jewelry and ceramics.


The 16 -year-old Gustav Schwantes discovered in 1897 in the awareness Bracker heather moor at Jastorfer a pristine urn cemetery, which he dug with his brother and two friends. The 42 found urns containing their content of iron and bronze parts he brought in the Natural History Museum Hamburg, where they were assigned to the La Tène period. Schwantes noticed that significantly differentiated the offerings of its urns of the finds of the museum. Even more discovered by Schwantes finds north of Jastorf on a sandy field at the Ilmenau showed these deviations. There were 160 graves with urns found in the course of a few years. Due to the differences in the theory to allow current began to falter that the iron is first passed through the Celtic Latènezivilisation to northern Europe. Schwantes found that the Jastorf culture had already begun before the La Tène what the prehistorians Carl Schuchardt 1935 praised as a scientific achievement. Schwantes examined further urn cemeteries in the northeastern Lower Saxony. The extensive archaeological material enabled him to Jastorf culture time in three stages ( Jastorf A, B Jastorf, Jastorf C) to divide.