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Archaeology exhibition opened in Hallstatt to show off ancient Austrian history

08-20-2012 11:25 BJT

HALLSTATT, Austria, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- The picturesque Austrian town of Hallstatt hosted the annual "Archaeology on the Mountain" event on Saturday, giving visitors a chance to view the latest archaeological findings from around the area.

The main attraction of the event, which will run till Sunday, is a bronze basin-like vessel featuring a cow with a calf on its grip, believed to be 2,500 years old and found amongst various other items in one of many local graves initially discovered 150 years ago.

"A very special thing is that it has many signs and ornamentic patterns," said Dr. Anton Kern, director of the Prehistoric Division at The Museum of Natural History (NHM) in Vienna.

"These patterns lead us to the religious world of bronze and the Hallstatt period, or Iron-Age period," he added, referring to the historical period from about 800 to 400 B.C., in which the Hallstatt culture was the predominant Central-European culture.

"We have signs and symbols of the sun, which is one of the strongest religious signs that we have ... because the sun also stands for life," he added.

The item was painstakingly unearthed and restored over a period of two years, a process event organizers from the NHM demonstrated to visitors.

The unearthed artifacts, usually found in very poor condition due to being disturbed by earth pressure, stones, and mud, are carefully reconstructed by staff from the NHM, sometimes with help from colleagues from the Romano-Germanic Central Museum in Mainz, Germany.

Dr. Kern said he believed there were still numerous undiscovered artifacts in the area, with 100 newly-found graves examined in the last 20 years alone.

Visitors were also given an insight into how life in the region existed in the past, with ancient food dishes and other customs from bygone eras re-enacted by participants from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna.

Samples of a stew eaten in the region during the Roman era were on offer, along with unleavened bread baked in clay ovens, and wine containing various spices.

The event was held at Hallstatt's famous salt mine, believed to be both the first and the oldest currently-operating salt mine in existence, dating back 7,000 years.

 

 

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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