MAY 24. SEPTEMBER 1. 2002
"THE MYSTERY OF THE CELTS OF GLAUBERG"
AS FROM 24 MAY 1 SEPTEMBER 2002 , THE SCHIRN PRESENTS THE HESSIAN
STATE EXHIBITION "THE MYSTERY OF THE CELTS OF GLAUBERG," WHICH
OFFERS AN INSIGHT INTO THE FASCINATING WORLD OF CELTIC CULTURE.
When the streets of Rome resounded with the warning "The Celts
are coming!" in 387 BC, only the treacherous cackling of the geese
at night saved the city from its final defeat. Without heralding any
danger, the shout rings out again in 2002 AD. With 900 items from 60
European museums, the exhibition "The Mystery of the Celts of Glauberg
" presented at the SCHIRN KUNSTHALLE FRANKFURT from 24 May to 1
September 2002 offers a comprehensive survey of the fascinating world
of Celtic culture. The amazing archaeological discoveries made near
the Glauberg in the eastern Wetterau northeast of Frankfurt in the mid-nineties
have resulted in a number of sensational insights changing our understanding
of the Celts. The magnificently furnished tombs of a lord, a keltenfürst,
a so-called "procession street," the vast structures
surrounding the tumulus, and, above all, the four life-size sandstone
warriors, of which one has survived almost completely, constitute a
unique ensemble for the early Celtic pre-Christian 5th century. The
Glauberg finds, which have not been presented in a public context before,
form the highlight of the show. Together with numerous significant international
loans, they convey an unprecedented overall picture of the earliest
European large sculpture between the 7th and the 3rd centuries BC.
For Ruth Wagner, the Hessian Minister for Science and Art, the "state
exhibition The Mystery of the Celts of Glauberg constitutes
a crucial component within the general concept of the Hessian government
to present the numerous Celtic finds to the north of Frankfurt
which are also extraordinarily remarkable on an international level
in a European perspective and make them accessible to the general
public. The exhibition at the SCHIRN and the plan to link the various
archaeological sites in the region north of Frankfurt make up an attractive
Max Hollein, Director of the SCHIRN: "Presenting the current state
of research on the Celts in a both graphic and gripping manner, the
exhibition is an essential index for our times far-reaching interest
in this culture. The Mystery of the Celts of Glauberg is
aimed at attracting a wide manifold public and will certainly do so."
The history of the Celts poses many questions. How did these people
live? What did their structures of power look like? What kind of faith
did they have? Why are there no
written records of such a highly developed culture? Its origins are
still open although there can be no doubt that the Celts exercised a
decisive influence on the history of large parts of Europe for several
centuries. Their primary settlement area was todays southern Germany
and eastern France, as well as the region around Frankfurt. >From
there, Celtic tribes moved to Spain, Upper Italy, the Balkans, and even
as far as Asia Minor in the course of several major migrations. Conquering
various lands, they created new empires. In the 4th century BC, a Celtic
army under Brennus reached Rome and took the city. In the 3rd century
BC, Celtic bands entered Greece
and sacked the oracle of Delphi. Finally, Celtic culture lost its independence
because of the advancing Romans and Germans in the 1st century BC. Generally,
epoch (8th - 5th centuries BC) is called the Hallstatt Culture after
the archaeological site in todays Austria, the later epoch (5th
- 1st centuries) the La Tène Culture after
the Swiss archaeological site.
According to what we knew about the Celts up till now, the area of todays
Hesse was actually situated on the periphery of the Celtic world. Most
of the numerous archaeological sites of the Hallstatt and the La Tène
cultures are to be found in the south and in the middle of it. The things
discovered there elucidate the fact that culturalinfluences from adjacent
regions always played a certain part. Though the Celtic forms of settlement
still leave various questions relating to this problem unanswered, there
seems to be no doubt that the people that organized themselves in clans
and tribes initially lived in open settlements dominated by the chieftains
towering castle-like hill forts towards the end of the Hallstatt Period
and the beginnings of the La Tène Period. As documented by many
finds, such a mighty seat of power located on the Glauberg seems to
have been the center of an extensive settlement.
The discovery of early Celtic tombs on the Glauberg in the mid-nineties
is to be regarded as a sensation. Beneath the burial mound which people
reached on a "procession street" flanked by deep ditches and
absolutely unique in its kind, the then Hessian State Archaeologist
Dr. Fritz-Rudolf Herrmann came upon a magnificently furnished inhumation
grave from the 5th century BC. The splendid burial objects comprised
a wonderful beaked jug (schnabelkanne) of bronze, a golden ring with
figurative ornaments a unique specimen of exquisite quality
as well as finger, arm and ear rings made of pure gold. These wonderful
objects with their fascinating ornaments
carrying us off to the world of Celtic mythology and its oddly deformed
human, animal, and fabulous creatures point to a high-ranking personality,
a lord. A near cremation grave yielded further outstanding finds such
as a very rare flagon (röhrenkanne).
As sensational as these ensembles are, the sandstone stele discovered
at the foot of the tumulus even eclipses them. The almost entirely preserved
"Lord of Glauberg" ("Fürst vom Glauberg") excavated
besides three further nearly identical fragmentary figures is one of
the most significant recent finds of the European prehistoric world.
The exhibition presents the figure in the center of a circle of 40 large
sculptures from all over Europe. This singular arrangement illustrates
most impressively that almost identical notions concerning self-portrayal,
faith, and the belief in the hereafter seem to have prevailed in the
ruling social classes of middle and southern Europe around 500 BC. A
crucial aspect of the highly complex Celtic society was the balance
between power and wealth which was stabilized by both military ventures
and by the trade
with the Mediterranean world. Raw materials such as the much sought-after
salt were the Celts important commodities. The white gold from
the saltworks of Bad Nauheim probably also provided the foundation for
the Glauberg Celts wealth evidenced by the numerous precious burial
Relying on magnificent items, historical sources, and recent scientific
results, the exhibition "The Mystery of the Celts of Glauberg "
tells the turbulent and fascinating story of Celtic culture that molded
the face of Europe for several centuries and has lost nothing of its
mystery till today.
VIRTUAL ANIMATION AND EXHIBITION RESTORATION: This is the first show
of its kind to use the latest virtual animation techniques for the presented
finds. Another important element is an archaeological workshop where
visitors will learn about the present-day methods of the discipline
in an exhibition restoration.
EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM: The SCHIRN KUNSTHALLE FRANKFURT has developed
a comprehensive educational program titled "Following the Celts
addresses special target groups of wide sections of the public. In guided
tours aimed at the visitors immediate experience and creative
workshops based on modern
didactic strategies, as well as in scientific lecture series, both children
and grown-ups will be offered an opportunity to become familiar with
the mystery of the Celts.
Additional sources of information such as audio guides, the exhibition
homepage, and a well-researched catalog complete the offer. Please call
++49/69/29 98 82-112 for
information and bookings; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE CELTIC TRAIL: This road links the archaeological Glauberg sites.
Opening and festivities: 18 and 19 May 2002. For further information
see www.keltenstrasse.de and www.glauburg.de.
CATALOG: A catalog will be published on the occasion of the exhibition:
"The Mystery of the Celts of Glauberg. Faith Myth
Reality," edited by Hessische Kultur
GmbH, 344 pages, ca. 400, mostly colored illustrations, brochured edition
in the exhibition: 24,90 €; hardcover trade edition with dust wrappers:
introduction prize until 31
December 2002 34,90 €, after 39,90 €, ISBN 3-8062-1592-8,
Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart.
SPONSORS: The exhibition was supported by the Hessian Ministry for
Science and Art, the Kulturstiftung der Länder, the Hessische Kulturstiftung,
the Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Hessen Thüringen and donations in
kind by various firms. The educational program is sponsored by the Gemeinnützige
Hertie-Stiftung and the
1822-Stiftung der Frankfurter Sparkasse. MEDIA PARTNERS: Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung, Hessischer Rundfunk Fernsehen.
VENUE: SCHIRN KUNSTHALLE FRANKFURT, Römerberg, D-60311 Frankfurt.
EXHIBITION DATES: 24 May 1 September 2002. OPENING HOURS: Sun
+ Tue: 11.00am 7.00 pm, Wed Sat 11.00 am 10 pm.
ADMISSION (audio guide included): 8 €, reduced: 5 €, season
ticket: 15 €, reduced: 10 €. Free admission to the exhibition
"The Celtic Lord of Frankfurt Power and Funeral Cults around
700 BC" at the Archaeological Museum in Frankfurt with a SCHIRN
ticket. INFORMATION: www.keltenausstellung.de, www.schirn.de, e-mail:
email@example.com, phone: ++49/69/29 98 82-0, fax: ++49/69/29 98 82-240.