Starting signal for the zangentor has been given
Many people come to the staffelberg, but few are aware that there was once a rude celtic settlement here. It is a great wish of the district to make the life of the celts traceable and tangible for the people. A reconstruction of the celtic zangentor, which was discovered during excavations last year, is intended to achieve this goal. On a settlement area of 49 hectares, this gate is "the largest and most important access gate to the main valley" said andreas buttner from the state office for the preservation of historical monuments.
Before the reconstruction can take place, knowledge about it must be gained through archaeological excavations. Last week, lead archaeologist markus schubmann and his team had already begun the work. The official kick-off took place on friday, together with district administrator christian meibner (CSU), second mayor hans josef stich (CSU) and other participants. Excavations are scheduled to be completed by october, with construction of the reconstruction planned for 2019. That it would come to this, they all did not think of a year ago.
When the excavations started last spring, it was unclear whether such a gate existed at all. It was a stroke of luck, said the district administrator, because by chance the cut was made in exactly the right place. And it was not just a small gate, but an imposing defensive structure. "We can talk about power architecture here", the archaeologist said.
The wall was found to be three to 3.5 meters high, followed by a floor for sentinels and a roof. The gate itself was seven meters wide, so that two roads passed through it. "We could even find that there was something like right-hand traffic", said schubmann enthusiastically. On the right side of the road, rubble was laid out to make it easier to climb up.
It is fascinating what conclusions can be drawn from the findings. "We have even found parts of a trophic shell." The celts nailed the severed heads of their enemies to the posts. "I am curious to see what else we find", joked the district administrator. Significant finds such as shards of celtic vessels or iron parts have already been made: "we have found a lot of fire debris, which was provided with iron parts." It is clear from the fire debris that the gate burned down – the archaeologists are still trying to find out exactly why. The iron nails, on the other hand, already provide information about the building material and the strength of the material. "These are very good conditions", said schubmann. Only in this way is it possible to reconstruct the building true to the original.
Authentic, but safe
"Now we are going to uncover the gate in the areas that are necessary for the reconstruction", said the archaeologist. He and his team remove about a meter of earth to reveal the posts and thus the ground plan of the gate. This is important in order to make a correct construction plan and to get the building permit from the preservation office.
It is especially important to the county that the reconstruction is done in a serious way. "At that time, only certain oaks were used for construction", explained meibner. "The bavarian state forests donate this wood to us. The trunks are currently being axed." This is extremely important. Of course, not everything can be faithfully reproduced. The mayor explains that it is not only authentic, but also "safe, i.E. Fall-proof and stable" must be constructed. This also includes, for example, that the wall is fortified with today’s means.
Citizen participation in demand
Because in such a much frequented place people can explore the zangentor for themselves. "It is interesting not only for guests, but also for local people", stressed stich. The participation of the public is very important to the county. "The construction fence is not there to spab, but the excavation is for everyone", said district administrator meibner. So there are regular tours at the excavation site. Interested parties can also inform themselves about the current situation and the background via an internet blog. There is even the possibility to participate in the excavations. In addition, on 28. April and on 21. July celtic walks took place.
In the following years, when the reconstruction is completed, visits by school classes or guided tours are planned. With this reconstruction, which will be built true to the original on site and made accessible to the public, bad staffelstein will have a unique selling point in germany. "This is an unusual project for a county", confirmed monument conservator buttner.
The authorities have approved the project after initial reservations, because the reconstruction is "reasonable and durable" is. The 870,000 euro project is supported by leaders and the upper franconia foundation. The district administrator is confident that the investment will be a complete success and said proudly: "this will not be the last step to make celts tangible in the district. But it is a massive step."