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Archaeological excavations on the Kristberg
Prehistoric villages & cultural landscapes from the mining period
Archaeological excavations and discoveries showed that the area on the St. Anton mountain crest above the Bartholomäberg Mountain all the way to the Kristberg Mountain was already populated around 1500 BC.
Old buildings like the St. Agatha chapel, the miners' history on the Kristberg and thrilling archaeological discoveries from prehistoric times can be visited and experienced here.
The Montafon's population
The oldest archaeological discovery on the Kristberg dates back to the Middle Bronze Age around 1500-1400 BC.
Later discoveries are from the early ice age of the 6th and 5th century BC and showed that already in those times houses were built on the middle plateau. These were probably constructed in the same formation as later cities as well as with foundation beam constructions. The exterior walls were covered in clay, something that is indicated by the red, burnt chunks of clay that were found on the “Platta”. Archaeologist also found ceramics and metal objects from this period.
Archaeological discoveries prove the 1,000 year old mining traces on the Kristberg. Around 1300 the Wals people settled in Silbertal and turned changed the landscapes around the Kristberg with their rural, cultural activities. It was also the Wals population who soon focused on mining.
First historic buildings
It is assumed that the first church on the Kristberg was already built in 1100 AD. Although documents for the first chapel can only be found in the rent records of the Bartholomäberg parish from 1230 AD onwards.
At the beginning of the 15th century AD the St. Agatha miner's chapel was built after some buried miners promised to build a small church to cherish the patroness St. Agatha should they ever get out of the mine alive. The miners were rescued and today's chapel is now where the mine's exit is assumed to have been.
Further “witnesses” of the 15th century are the Bruderhüsli and the Joss Erhard's retreat.
Sites of excavations
- It was only in 1999 that the intrenched prehistoric hilltop site on the east edge of the “Platta” was discovered by Dr. Rüdiger Krause.
- In July and August 2000 more excavations took place in Montafon's Pingerfeld on the Kristberg in an interdisciplinary research project by the universities of Berlin, Innsbruck and Tübingen. These excavations discovered interesting results: various charcoal finds are considered to be the oldest verifiable mining traces in the Montafon and Vorarlberg.
- A basement excavation close to the Kristberg Panoramagasthof resulted in another great discovery: apart from mining dumps in the excavation walls archaeologist also found leather remnants from shoes, clothes as well as ceramic shards.
Discover the interesting cultural history during your holiday in the Montafon and visit the architectonical witnesses of the thrilling mining period on the Kristberg. The Klostertal Museum in Wald is also worth a visit for everyone who is interested in times past and former ways of life.
Excavation of a prehistoric hilltop settlement in Montafon
Sensational finds at the excavation sites
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