Heiligkreuztal, Gde. Altheim, Kr. Biberach, RB Tuebingen, Baden-Wuerttemberg, (D).
Grave, rite and grave construction
Grave I. More than half of the tumulus (dm. almost 80.00 m, h. 14.00 m) was excavated in 1937-38 by G. Riek. A wooden chamber (3.48-3.50 m x 5.63-5.81 m) was built for grave I on the old ground surface. The chamber was orientated N120E and robbed when the tumulus was only c. 6.75 high, before its wooden roof had collapsed and the string of a necklace had decomposed. The robbers had dug a tunnel which was not only detected by the soil discolouration, but also by a number of glass beads on its floor, lost by the robbers. Owing to the soil conditions, no bones survived, but Riek believed that there were probably three burials in grave I. Wheel fragments and iron and bronze dust seem to indicate that the wagon was originally positioned at the E wall. Personal belongings of the deceased were strewn over the whole chamber. Judging from the organic remains, textiles and furs must have covered the floor and walls. Outside the S wall of the chamber there was a deposit comprising a wheel of a wagon, remains of two fleeces, three piles of hazelnuts and fruit stones, a miniature pottery vessel, jewellery and metal fittings, and human hair. It is uncertain whether this wheel belongs to the vehicle inside the chamber.
Year of discovery and/or excavation
Fittings of a wagon (type 6/7): fragment of an iron tyre (type VII) without visible traces of tyre nails (fig. 1, 1; 2, 2); wooden spoke fragment (inside the chamber); a few fragments of iron tyre (type VII) from a wheel (dm. 78.0-79.0 cm) with one tyre nail head preserved (type E?) (fig. 1, 6; 2, 1), belonging to a wagon (type 6/7); iron nave fragments (outside the chamber); ash wood remains from the felloes (outside the chamber).
Horse-gear: "belt" with bronze rein ornaments (fig. 1, 11; 4, 11); fragmentary hollow iron boss on a round bronze disc (fig. 1, 12; 4, 10).
Precious ornaments: textile belt, decorated with gold (fig. 1, 3; 3, 2-4).
Narrow iron fragment from a knife (?) (fig. 1, 2); bronze ring (fig. 1, 4; 3, 1); 315 complete glass beads and fragments of 70-80 others (fig. 1, 5; 3, 5b); looped glass sphere (fig. 1, 5; 3, 5a); remains of textiles, horse and cattle fur, and cords made from horse and cattle hair (fig. 1; cords also W of 1, 18; 3, 6); large rectangular fleece (fig. 1, 18); remains of a sheep’s fleece (fig. 1, 8); hazelnuts and fruit stones (fig. 1, 9. 17); rectangular iron sheet (fig. 1, 19); miniature pottery vessel (fig. 1, 13; 4, 9); 193 glass beads, rectangular amber bead and amber ring (fig. 1, 14; 4, 8); some tufts and curls of human pubic hair (fig. 1, 15; and one on each side of 1, 16); plaid of red human hair (fig. 1, 16; 3, 7).
The Hohmichele is one of the largest tumuli in Central Europe and situated 2.1 km W of the Heuneburg, among about 21 smaller tumuli. Just to the N is another group of nine tumuli and c. 0.70 km to the W are four more tumuli (including the tumulus grave code 110500).
Wuerttembergisches Landesmuseum, Stuttgart (D).
Riek and Hundt 1962.
Pare 1992, 241-242.