March 2021





Dear readers, dear friends of the Iron Age Danube Route,
Or shall I venture out still further and address you in an even more fitting manner?  How about, dear Adventurers into the Past? For surely that is what you wish to become – unless, of course, you already have!
It is with great pleasure that we now present to you the first issue of the Newsletter of the Iron Age Danube Route. We are launching it in the hope that in time you will embrace it as a welcome means to obtain fresh and relevant information about the Route and everything that surrounds it – its events, the museums and archaeological sites, the sights and landscapes, the people.We plan to drag you out on trips in the nature, take you away from your offices and make you forget your screens, at least for a little while (so you see, we have set before ourselves reasonable and attainable goals – but mind you, our mid- and long-term ones with you in focus are much more ambitious!). With us, you will not exactly be living in the Iron Age, however, you will be awarded a chance to learn about it, to experience its tastes, appreciate its artifacts and go behind—or even straight to—its scenes and sceneries.
For all the academic background and irreproachable scholarly record of the Route’s designers, we beg you not to hold this against us too harshly. The real and as yet unspoken, underlying truth is hopefully far more revealing: the Iron Age Danube Route was concocted by a daring and adventurous force whose main goal was considerably more ludic, or self-indulgent, if you will – it is to learn about the Iron Age so that we may enjoy and relish it in the present day.
By subscribing to this Newsletter, we invite you to join us in this everlasting quest of ours!
Sanjin Mihelić, President of the IADR Association


Iron Age Danube Route and the EU project Danube´s Archaeological eLandscapes

On 1st July 2020, the EU project "Danube's Archaeological eLandscapes'' was launched by more than 20 partners and associated partners from the Danube region. For a total of 30 months, the partners have set themselves the goal of making the archaeological heritage and, in particular, the archaeological landscapes of the Danube region more visible and thus more attractive at regional, national and international level with the help of state-of-the-art technologies. By incorporating Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies, museum visitors are encouraged to explore the rich archaeological heritage not only in museums, their collections and exhibitions, but also in the context of the wider landscapes these finds have come from. The project, which is co-financed by the EU-programme Interreg Danube Transnational Program, gives new impetus to the digitization of Europe's archaeological heritage. The project will not only be present in the virtual space, but through the integration of the Iron Age Danube Route and the development of new archaeological cultural routes also in the archeologically particularly interesting regions of the Danube basin. Stay tuned for more!
Visit the project Homepage and follow us on social media!



Signposting of the Archaeological Trail In the Footsteps of the Warriors - Iron Age in the Golden Valley

In 2019, the archaeological trail In the Footsteps of the Warriors: Iron Age in the Golden Valley has been created by the Archaeology Museum Zagreb at the Early Iron Age archaeological site of Kaptol in Požega Valley (Eastern Croatia) during the Interreg Iron-Age-Danube project.
Kaptol is considered to be one of the most prominent Early Iron Age sites in continental Croatia. Eleven different thematic boards are posted along the trail, presenting and explaining various topics from Early Iron Age everyday life. The topics range from the history of research of the site, Kaptol’s networks during the Iron Age and its place in it, the status of warrior elites and women during the Iron Age, as well as our insights about the Iron Age environment. As one of the trails on the IADR, it is constantly being improved for better visitor experience. During the last few months, IADR members - the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb, the Papuk Nature Park, the Kaptol Municipality, and the Center for Prehistoric Research have, in cooperation with Croatian Forests, put up signs along the Trail with IADR labels. In addition, the Trail’s infrastructure is being further developed and enhanced.



Poštela and the Early Iron Age heritage of the Podravje Region
The Poštela archaeological site was one of the most important centers of the Hallstatt period, i.e. the Early Iron Age, between the eastern Alps and the Pannonian plain. It consists of a fortified settlement, i.e. hillfort, with monumental ramparts and, still clearly recognizable, terraces and associated cemeteries. The hillfort is strategically located on a high ridge on the eastern fringes of the Pohorje massif, and overlooks a wide section of the Drava River valley (the Podravje region). The cemeteries are divided into several groups, stretching from the Habakuk plateau just below the hillfort to Pivola and Spodnje Hoče in the Drava River valley. Although cremation was practiced for all the deceased, some of them were buried in shallow pits in urns on the, so-called, urn field, while others were buried in elaborately prepared burial chambers made of stone and wood and covered by earthen barrows, some of which reached a diameter of more than 30m. The graves included the personal belongings of the deceased, such as, for instance, jewelry, tools and weapons, but also gifts in the form of ceramic vessels filled with foodstuffs prepared for the journey to the afterlife. Some members of the elite were also accompanied by their horses, and, possibly, humans.
The site has a long history of research which began in the 19th century, and remains a subject of investigation to this day. It yielded important insight into the Early Iron Age population of the region and their extensive connections with their counterparts in the wider area. Most of the finds are exhibited in the Regional Museum in Maribor. The hillfort and its cemeteries can also be visited in their natural environment. For this reason, archaeological trails have been laid out in the forests of Pohorje, leading you around the hillfort and the nearest cemeteries, as well as in the Botanical Gardens of the University of Maribor in Pivola, where you can see the largest preserved groups of burial mounds, in addition to a small exhibition partly dedicated to the Early Iron Age and its heritage.



Cult Wagon of Strettweg

In 1851, while out in his field north of Strettweg, the farmer Ferdinand Pfeffer came across a massive accumulation of stones, which revealed the remains of a burial chamber set in the centre of a burial mound that had been built for a chieftain of the Hallstatt period. Among the stones Pfeffer found a large number of fragmented bronze and iron objects belonging to grave goods, such as weapons, jewellery, banquet utensils and drinking vessels, as well as fragments of a wagon with a cauldron, which was presented to the Landesmuseum Joanneum in 1853 and became one of Austria’s most famous prehistoric finds, known as the “Cult Wagon of Strettweg”.


Test your knowledge about the Iron Age!

Our colleagues at the Hungarian National Museum have created various online contents and events for these days when museums have to keep their doors closed. Gamification is a very important part of the museum’s didactic outreach programs and represents an example for an online solution to the closure of museums. In addition, gamification has been raising attention in the context of education as it offers a variety of benefits linked to learning outcomes, e.g. the great combination of knowledge transfer and enjoyment. The Hungarian National Museum offers a game, which guides visitors through four different tasks about the Iron Age. For the first and the last task, the user will have to rely on previous knowledge, but the second and third test provide further help in the form of amazing artefacts and findings which can be found in the exhibitions. An additional video with breath-taking pictures of the Iron Age landscapes in the Danube region concludes the game, which is available in English and Hungarian, made by Dániel Ligeti. It is recommended for all ages. The development of Hallstatt, Scythian and Celtic versions is in currently in progress. Our colleagues at the Hungarian National Museum hope to see you soon in museum, where you can discover the treasures of the Iron Age.
Click on the photo to play the game!



The Cult Wagon from Strettweg - restoration and reception of an archaeological icon in the Murtal Museum

The Murtal Museum in Judenburg (Austria, Styria) will take visitors on an exciting journey to the Iron Age and back again. On the exhibition treasures from the rediscovered “cult wagon grave” and the sensational “helmet grave” are shown. The graves contain masterpieces of Hallstatt pottery art and magnificent weapons made of bronze and iron. The finds from the barrows in Strettweg tell of culture and trade connections, as well as of the elaborate funeral customs and the innovations of the Hallstatt period.
On May 21, 2021 the Murtal Museum in Judenburg is presenting its first special exhibition The Cult Wagon from Strettweg - restoration and reception of an archaeological icon in cooperation with the Department of Archeology and Coin Cabinet at the Universalmuseum Joanneum. The focus of the exhibition is the long and exciting history of research and restoration of the Cult Wagon from Strettweg. Another topic of this special exhibition is the public's impact and the reception of the cult wagon, which was not only depicted uncountable times in scientific publications, but can also be found in school books, advertising brochures and on postage stamps, and it had inspired numerous artistic works. For the first time, it has been made clear how this archaeological find became an international advertising medium and a symbol of Styrian identity, as well as one of the "icons" of the Hallstatt period.


Stories from the Crossroads - new catalogues for the new permanent exhibition at National Museum of Slovenia

The National Museum of Slovenia recently published the last in a series of catalogues for the new permanent exhibition "From the Crossroads".

Recently published catalogue The Earliest Stories from the Crossroads reveals the reveal the most distant and mysterious past of the Slovenian territory, as evidenced by archeological findings from the life of Paleolithic nomadic hunter-gatherers (Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans) to the Stone Age and to the great changes caused by the achievements of Copper and Bronze Age metallurgy, like appliqués from Lake Bled, the oldest gold objects from the Slovenian territory.
In the first millennium BC, great changes radically shaped both the territory of Slovenia and the wider European area. Iron Age Stories take us to an age of highly developed metallurgical technologies, elaborate figurative art, the beginnings of the monetary economy and the development of local writing styles.
This area was also part of a large, well-organized Roman Empire. Among the more than a thousand objects at Roman Stories, the original setting of a gilded bronze statue of the Emona citizen and the imperial building inscription, a first-class document on the formation of the Emona colony, occupy a special place.
The narrative continues through Medieval Stories, with exceptional material from the period of the collapse of the Western Roman Empire to the end of the Middle Ages. The creators of the exhibition and catalogs have taken care to show the valuable equipment and jewelry of the inhabitants of that time, as well as a representation of their homes and habits.
You can take a stroll through all the Crossroads also virtually, from the comfort of your home.

European Archaeology Days 2021

Since 2019 the European Archaeology Days are dedicated to popularization, education and promotion of archaeology to the public. During EAD researchers, research organizations, universities, museums, as well as associations dealing with archaeological issues are encouraged to organize innovative, original, and interactive activities for the public.

The 2021 European Archaeology Days are scheduled for June 18, 19, and 20.

IADR Association fully supports this initiative, and is, in cooperation with its partners, organizing programmes aimed at promotion of the archaeological heritage of member countries.


Hallstatt Days, Kaptol (Croatia)

Hallstatt Days 2021, are a part of this year’s EAD and are going to be held for the fourth time on on June 19 and 20, 2021. The event is organized in in cooperation with the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb, the Department of Archaeology of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Center for Prehistoric Research, the Kaptol Municipality, the Zlatni Papuk Tourist Board, the European Association of Archaeologists, and the Iron Age Danube Route.
This year lecture on the results of current archaeological research will be given, and a series of workshops related to the site and the way of life of Early Iron Age warriors will be held, followed by guided tour on the In the Footsteps of the Warriors archaeological trail.

Join us in Kaptol (see full programme here)!
Don't miss out! Find IADR Event Calendar here!
Join our team
We are looking for new members for our Editor Board!
The Iron Age Danube Association wants to offer new insights into the Iron Age heritage in Europe. The goal of the team is to prepare content for digital and social media.
Would you like to make your work more visible? Please send us information about Iron Age related exhibitions, publications, events and other activities in your region!
For more info and to apply contact  
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Iron Age Danube Route Association · Trg Nikole Šubića Zrinskog 19 · Zagreb 10000 · Croatia