April 2021



Inauguration on behalf of the Scientific Committee

It was less than a month ago that Sanjin Mihelic, president of the IADR Association, launched the Newsletter. This time it is my turn to congratulate the Association on the creation of this online forum and provide a short overview of its wide-ranging contents in the name of the Scientific Committee.
The short and catchy titles of the recurring columns already show the scope of the topics touched upon in the Newsletter. This variety is partly due to the fact that participants cooperating in various programmes, experts and volunteers working in museums, open-air exhibitions, and other institutions, have different skills and are coming from different backgrounds. However, they cooperate efficiently in this transnational organization in order to fulfil the Association’s goals. Within this framework, restorers, museum experts, archaeologists, natural scientists, and specialists of digital applications can motivate and help each other while conveying their results to the public.
This monthly publication aims to briefly inform on the development of the heritage trail that is in the focus of our Association. The Newsletter helps visualizing the less-known landscapes of pre-Roman times and the networks embedded in it, and makes research results more accessible for visitors and readers. Despite destruction in the past centuries, traces of the one-time landscape are still visible in the Danube region and in the Pre-Alps, which used to be the home of people of the same culture in the Iron Age. Presenting less-known archaeological sites and ongoing excavations along with interdisciplinary research projects and emblematic artefacts facilitates a better understanding of the life of prehistoric populations. At the same time, we would like to draw attention to the touristic potential of monuments along the route. In this spring issue, we present a selection of snippets that gives a glimpse into this international cooperation.

Erzsébet Jerem

President of the
Scientific Committee of the IADR Association

Hungarian and Slovenian Archaeologists Launch a Joint Research Project on the Early Iron Age Landscapes
The project Early Iron Age Land Use between the Alps and the Danube; comparative landscape archaeological analyses of Süttő and Poštela site-complexes examines archaeologically rich cultural landscapes in the area between the south-eastern Alps and the Danube in the Early Iron Age, i.e. the Hallstatt Period (8th-5th c. BC) by surveying some of the most spectacular sites in the region. Building on the Iron-Age-Danube project (DTP Interreg), during which the University of Ljubljana and ELTE researchers explored a number of archaeological sites, we selected two settlements, namely Poštela (Slovenia) and Süttő (Hungary), for further investigations. The two sites share many similarities and offer key data for understanding the formation of the Early Iron Age cultural landscapes in the region. Whilst at the time, fortified hilltop settlements acted as the focal points in the cultural landscapes, the latter also included extensive burial mounds and flat grave cemeteries. During the previous multi-method research project, which included geophysical and Airborne Laser Scanning surveys we uncovered traces of numerous barrows, ancient communication routes and open lowland settlements in the surveyed areas. With these foundations in place, we now seek to further examine these landscapes by using non-/semi-invasive methods, in order to better understand the chronological and spatial structuring of the two sites. The research will include extensive field walking, geomorphological drilling, small-scale excavations, and the use of archaeological and radiocarbon dating methods. In addition, we seek to investigate and potentially reconstruct the paleoenvironmental changes suspected to have occurred during the period under study by analyzing sediment cores from the Lake Balaton and comparing them to the regional palaeoecological and archaeological data.
With high expectations for the project the partners look forward to presenting new results in the near future.
(The project is funded by the National Research Development and Innovation Office (Hungary), grant number SNN 134635, and the Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS), grant number N6-0168).

Google Earth imagery of the Süttő plateau with the magnetometer map of the tumuli groups, image by S. Puszt and Z. Czajlik, © ELTE


Százhalombatta - Matrica Museum and Archaeological Park

Százhalombatta is located 27 kilometers southwest of Budapest. The town was named after the Iron Age burial mounds, százhalom meaning “a hundred mounds” in Hungarian. Hungary’s first prehistoric open-air museum opened here in 1996 as part of the Matrica Museum.
The idea of the park goes back to the beginning of the 1990s when the late Ildikó Poroszlai (former director of the Matrica Museum) started planning it and when the excavation (led by Ágnes Holport) started. The archaeological park aims to offer a glimpse into everyday life in the Bronze and Iron Age. These burial mounds are the remaining monuments of the Hallstatt Culture and now visitors can find five of them on the territory of the archaeological park. The most stunning example of these ancient monuments is probably the biggest one, which bears witness to the funerary customs and the mound’s building technique. Furthermore, visitors can discover authentic replicas – based on scientific research – of a Bronze and Iron Age village. An authentic display of prehistoric life requires the presentation of the one-time environment alongside the reconstructed houses; therefore, a horticulturist designed the landscape based on archaeobotanical and ecological studies.
Most recent research focused on the whole loess plateau at Százhalombatta. The latest survey was conducted between 2017 and 2019, within the framework of the Iron-Age-Danube project in cooperation with ELTE Institute of Archaeological Sciences and the Matrica Museum, led by Zoltán Czajlik. This survey yielded interesting new results about the Early Iron Age settlement. The main methods were archaeological photography, systematic grid walking survey, and magnetic mapping that focused on two main areas: the tumulus field and the settlement area. The results showed that the tumulus field has at least 365 mounds, more than ever hypothesized. Moreover, the settlement was inhabited for more than 4000 years with interruptions, and it reached its greatest dimension in the Middle Bronze and Late Iron Age.
Due to the pandemic, the opening hours may differ from the usual schedule. For more information, please visit the website, watch the video or download the smartphone app and discover the archaeological park from home!

Iron Age Village © Matrica Museum and Archaeological Park


Visit the Iron Age landscapes in the Danube region - digital tools of the Iron Age Danube Route

Iron Age heritage is often not easily recognizable in the landscape. The Iron Age Danube Route offers a perfect tool to train your eyes for the almost hidden heritage. We developed a joint digital application for your visit to the Iron Age landscapes in the four countries of the Danube region. For the start you can visit Iron Age landscapes in Austria, Croatia, Hungary and Slovenia, among them the micro-regions of Großklein (AT), Strettweg (AT), Jalžabet (HR), Kaptol (HR), Poštela (SI), Dolenjske Toplice (SI), Százhalombatta (HU), Süttő (HU) and Sopron (HU).
Stay tuned for more, as new regions and members join the network!

The application is made for IOS and Android systems for smartphones and tablets and is available for free in the app stores and on the GUIDE@HAND homepage.
The App offers different GPS driven guided tours in the regions and between the regions, has integrated some elements of augmented reality and an eLearning tool, which in a playable way explains the basics of archaeological research, restoring and displaying in museums. Joins us on a transnational voyage through the regions with outstanding Iron Age heritage and reconnect the once strongly connected Iron Age world.

Click on the image to download the app!


The Situla from Vače


The famous situla (decorated bucket-shaped vessel) from Vače near Litija in central Slovenia is one of the finest artifacts of the Iron Age situla art. It was crafted in the first half of the 5th century BC. This was an era of fearless warriors and women wearing stunning jewellery, as well as the time of the creation of some of the most beautiful and valuable archaeological finds on the territory of present-day Slovenia.
This situla, almost 24 cm high vessel made of bronze sheet, was excavated in 1882 at the Reber archaeological site above Klenik near Vače by a local man named Janez Grilc near the warrior's grave, along with helmet, two spears, battle axe, a bracelet and a military belt. The situla and the bracelet are now kept in the National Museum of Slovenia, the Natural History Museum in Vienna keeps the skull and the warrior's equipment.
The situla from Vače, made by a skilled local artisan, is decorated with three horizontal bands - friezes - showing human and animal figures. The scenes, which read in a kind of comic book sequence of events, tell the story of the important actions and events from the nobleman's life. The situlas are usually decorated with figural representations of wild animals - deer and other forest animals - as well as scenes of people performing various tasks. The scenes depicted indicate a distinct social stratification of Iron Age society and that members of the upper social classes enjoyed gathering for food and drink, sports, musical competitions, and hunting. Situlas are said to have been used as ritual vessels for serving drinks.

You can examine the situla from Vače with the help of the 3D digital model, admire it in the museum or see the enlarged replica at the excavation site.

Vače situla, photo by Tomaž Lauko, © National Museum of Slovenia


The Geo Info Centre at Papuk Nature Park – a place to travel back in time

The interactive multimedia Geo info centre will be a starting point where visitors will be introduced with the Papuk Nature Park and the geological, biological and cultural heritage of the Papuk Mountain.
The exhibition is designed in a modern, interactive way and adapted to visitors of different ages, levels of prior knowledge and interests.
The guided tour begins in the multi-sensory 3D/6D cinema hall where visitors become time travelers and learn about the Papuk’s past. Thanks to the technology, they will be able to smell the Earth’s geological past, hear the splashing of the Pannonian Sea, as well as the animals inhabiting the former Pannonian island of Papuk. They will also learn about Count Janković and the glassmakers of Papuk. The visitors will learn about the Iron Age burial ritual and the everyday life in Slavonia’s largest medieval fortress - Ružica Castle. Furthermore, the visitor will be introduced to the endemic species and other biological richness of flora and fauna hidden in the forests of nowadays Papuk.
In the part of the exhibition dedicated to Archaeology the continuity of human communities inhabiting Papuk will be presented from the Neolithic to the present day. Through interactive screens and panels visitors will learn about the use of different types of raw materials through different (pre)historical periods and on the Wall of Civilizations they will be able to connect Croatian and world cultural events with the contemporaneous events on Papuk.
The opening of the Centre is planned for the end of the summer 2021.

© Papuk Nature Park


Segestica and Siscia – a Settlement from the Beginning of History - Exhibition Catalogue

The Segestica and Siscia – a settlement from the beginning of history exhibition is the result of almost a decade-long museum, field and scientific work. Planned as the central exhibition project of the Archaeological museum in Zagreb in 2020, it was set up during March and authored by the curator Ivan Drnić. However, due to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and the destructive earthquake, it was never displayed to the Zagreb audience. At the beginning of October 2020, the exhibition was set up at the Sisak City Museum, but was once again, destroyed in an even more destructive earthquake on December 29, 2020.
The Segestica and Siscia – a settlement from the beginning of history exhibition shows the establishment and development of the prehistoric and protohistoric settlement, situated at the Kupa and Sava river interfluve, on the territory of today’s city of Sisak, that was recorded in ancient sources under the names of Segestica and Siscia. The settlement was founded at the end of the Late Bronze Age (10th century BC), and, during the Iron Age, became the key regional center that would hold its important status until the Roman conquest in 35 BC. Through nine topics, the exhibition displays the lavish archaeological material and contextual information spanning from the very beginnings of archaeological activities in Croatia to the latest, modernly-conducted, systematic field research. The bilingual catalogue is organized in the same fashion, linearly following individual topics through chapters, accompanied by additional publications of certain finds and general information that were not part of the exhibition. Eleven national and foreign experts from different fields of archaeology and old history authored the texts in the catalogue, and the Šesnić&Turković studio designed the exhibition display.
The fate of the exhibition was also captured in a documentary - Broken exhibition, which premiered in November of 2020 at the International festival of archaeological film in Split.

Exhibition catalogue, photo by Igor Krajcar, ©AMZ

Celtic days in Großklein (Austria), 23 May 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic keeps the successful event “Celtic days” in Großklein pending. For three years the event has been one of the highlights in the region. The “Celtic days” in Großklein are traditionally held on Pentecost Sunday (23 May in 2021) and consist of circular hike through the hilltop settlement and the tumulus cemeteries. The hiking route is accompanied with stations from local producers offering local cuisine, vine and craft products. Also guided tours by experts are offered.
Even in the case of loss of the main event this year, the region has a lot to offer. The hamuG (Hallstatt period museum Großklein) invites visitors to a unique experience of Iron Age heritage in the region. The museum is also a Heriterra information center. Heriterra is a new brand connecting archaeological heritage with an unique culinary experience. In addition, hiking and biking paths and a reconstructed Hallstatt period village can be explored. A perfect combination to experience the heritage in an almost authentic natural environment.

International Museum Day, 18 May 2021

The Future of Museums – Recover and Reimagine

With the theme “The Future of Museums: Recover and Reimagine”, International Museum Day 2021 invites museums, their professionals and communities to create, imagine and share new practices of (co-)creation of value, new business models for cultural institutions and innovative solutions for the social, economic and environmental challenges of the present.
The year 2020 has been like no other. The COVID-19 crisis has swept the whole world abruptly, affecting every aspect of our lives. Some already pressing issues have been exacerbated, questioning the very structure of our societies: the call for equality is stronger than ever.
Find events near you and participate in the IMD 2021!
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