Hallstatt culture

The Hallstatt culture was the predominant Western and Central European culture of Late Bronze Age (Hallstatt A, Hallstatt B) from the 12th to 8th centuries BCE and Early Iron Age Europe (Hallstatt C, Hallstatt D) from the 8th to 6th centuries BC, developing out of the Urnfield culture of the 12th century BCE (Late Bronze Age) and followed in much of its area by the La Tène culture. It is commonly associated with Proto-Celtic populations. Older assumptions of the early 20th century of Illyrians having been the bearers of especially the Eastern Hallstatt culture are indefensible and archeologically unsubstantiated.[1][2]

Hallstatt culture
Geographical rangeEurope
PeriodBronze Age, Iron Age Europe
Dates1200 – 500 BCE
Hallstatt A (1200 – 1050 BC);
Hallstatt B (1050 – 800 BCE);
Hallstatt C (800 – 500 BCE);
Hallstatt D (620 – 450 BCE)
Type siteHallstatt
Preceded byUrnfield culture
Followed byLa Tène culture

It is named for its type site, Hallstatt, a lakeside village in the Austrian Salzkammergut southeast of Salzburg, where there was a rich salt mine, and some 1,300 burials are known, many with fine artifacts. Material from Hallstatt has been classified into 4 periods, designated "Hallstatt A" to "D". Hallstatt A and B are regarded as Late Bronze Age and the terms used for wider areas, such as "Hallstatt culture", or "period", "style" and so on, relate to the Iron Age Hallstatt C and D.

By the 6th century BCE, it had expanded to include wide territories, falling into two zones, east and west, between them covering much of western and central Europe down to the Alps, and extending into northern Italy. Parts of Britain and Iberia are included in the ultimate expansion of the culture.

The culture was based on farming, but metal-working was considerably advanced, and by the end of the period long-range trade within the area and with Mediterranean cultures was economically significant. Social distinctions became increasingly important, with emerging elite classes of chieftains and warriors, and perhaps those with other skills. Society was organized on a tribal basis, though very little is known about this. Only a few of the largest settlements, like Heuneburg in the south of Germany, were towns rather than villages by modern standards.

Bronze Age Central Europe[3]
Beaker2600–2200 BC
Bz A2200–1600 BC
Bz B1600–1500 v. Chr.
Bz C1500–1300 v. Chr.
Bz D1300–1200 BC
Ha A1200–1050 v. Chr.
Ha B1050–800 v. Chr.
Iron Age Central Europe
Ha C800–620 BC
Ha D620–450 BC
La Tène
LT A450–380 BC
LT B380–250 BC
LT C250–150 BC
LT D150–1 BC
Roman period[4]
BAD 1–150
CAD 150–375