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Posts Tagged ‘celts’

My local history research continues apace, but it was blown out of the water last [week] when I (FINALLY) discovered the interactive aerial satellite map that marks and describes all the archaeological sites in Bavaria. It’s called the BayernViewer-Denkmal.

It doesn’t contain very much specific information, though, and as I was reminded [the day I started writing this post], it lists everything (I think) that has ever been logged — not which sites are visible today. This is obvious when it comes to graves or settlements paved and built over with street grids and new houses. But not so obvious when it’s something in the middle of the woods or a field — and since the Google Satellite images seem to be significantly out of date, I often can’t tell whether something will be there or not when I show up. Theoretically, that is okay; it’s exciting just to be in a place where I know something was once upon a time. But in practice, when you’ve walked a couple miles out into a field and you find nothing, and aren’t sure if you are in the wrong place or just aren’t seeing something or whether there’s nothing left to see, and then have to turn around and walk back — it’s a bit deflating. That’s what happened to me [the day I started writing this post] — and then I got lost in the woods because of my dumb map — so to cheer myself up I’m going to post about some of my recent successful finds!

So, let’s see. Sometime in the spring I visited another three Keltenschanzen (Celtic ring forts), a different part of the Roman road, and my first ever BARROW MOUNDS or grave mounds with Peter-language-exchange-friend, but in a terrible stroke of unluck (as the Germans would say) I had forgotten to bring my camera that day. So I don’t have pictures of those first mounds — I might go back by myself in the two weeks before I leave, just because those schanzes and the road were more impressive than others that I’ve seen, and I’d like pictures of them. But in the meantime, I finally did my homework and found out (pre-BayernViewer) that I had some in my own backyard: in the woods near Allach, the village just to the north of my own.

Actually, as I mentioned on Facebook, I read through my books and found maps and located where I thought the grave mounds would be, and then as I was leaving the house, I took along the map of Munich that I bought on my first day in Germany. And it was marked: “Grabhügel.” So much for my research skills! And I still got lost, as you’ll see.

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Last Saturday (look how prompt I am! this post is not even a week old!) I took the afternoon to ride to a little village not too far away so I could find MORE CELTIC RING FORTS. (Or whatever I should be calling them — in German they are Viereckenschanze or Keltenschanze, referring to the fact that they are raised earthworks which are rectangular in shape and/or were made by Celts. See how that works?) Here is a link to the Wikipedia article, if you want to hazard Google Translate (or, I guess, if you read German).

You might remember that I visited one a couple of weeks ago when I explored the Roman roads — but that site had been excavated and studied, and was set up like a (modest) tourist or cultural site. This time I found one that was just out in the woods and has never, apparently, been closely studied. Then I came home and realized that there is a second enclosure in the same part of the woods, which I wasn’t aware of and so didn’t look for — AND there are also some remains of an old castle or fortified watchtower, further up in the woods. So I’ll definitely have to go back another time and find those, although it’s hard to locate them exactly on the map. (more…)

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