The large Celtic settlement on the Sandberg

Historical sites


Located between the villages of Roseldorf and Platt and around 340 metres high, Sandberg was home to an important centre of Celtic culture over 2,000 years ago.

Although the Sandberg is not a particularly striking hill, the location must have seemed so advantageous to its inhabitants at the time – the site is visible from a distance and on clear days you can see as far as the Alpine foothills – that the largest Celtic central settlement currently known in Austria was built here.

The first large settlements in Central Europe
Large settlements of about 40 ha that provided space for more inhabitants than ever before are a phenomenon of the middle La Tène period around 260 to 150 BC. This was accompanied by political and social developments that resulted in the development of a complex settlement landscape.
The Roseldorf settlement has been known for quite a long time, but systematic research conducted by the Natural History Museum Vienna only began in 1995. Most of the settlement was documented by large-scale geomagnetic surveys; archaeologists were able to study selected objects, e.g. six of the seven shrines, in specific excavations.

How the Celts lived
The settlement was protected by a fortification ditch and a palisade. Inside, it was heavily built-up: around 450 pit houses, pits, post holes and undeveloped (probably public) areas were identified. The seven shrines are an exceptional feature of the settlement. They are square enclosures measuring 10 to 17 m in length in which offerings (weapons, parts of harnesses, dress accessories, etc.) and in some instances animal and human bones were found. These ritual sites probably played an important part in the rise and political importance of this large settlement.

A regional trade centre
The Sandberg settlement was probably a regional centre where grain and other agricultural products from surrounding villages were delivered, stored and distributed. Evidence was found of crops such as dill and cultivated wine, indicating that there was contact with the Mediterranean region. Potteries, forges, metal or glass workshops and what is presumed to be a mint for coins suggest that the settlement was of transregional importance.

Tip: one of the ritual sites has been reconstructed on the open-air site at MAMUZ Schloss Asparn/Zaya.

Location and how to get there

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    Die keltische Großsiedlung auf dem Sandberg

    Am Sandberg
    3714 Roseldorf

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