Oberlöstern Burial Mounds

Wadern, Germany

The burial mounds of Oberlöstern are two burial sites from the Roman period.

In 1991, sandstone fragments with signs of craftsmanship came to light, rendering this theory obsolete since crafted stones were not expected in Celtic burial mounds. The State Conservation Office conducted excavations between 1991 and 1995. It turned out that the two tumuli were enclosed by sandstone walls, with blocks measuring up to 1.55 × 0.60 × 0.50 meters, upon which semi-cylindrical cover stones were placed. These enclosures had side lengths of 16 and 18.50 meters. Inside the tumuli, square burial chambers with walls three meters long had been created, but the excavators only found them in a robbed state. The burial chambers were originally accessible from the valley side. Each of the two tumuli was crowned with a stone pine cone.

There must have once stood a monument between the two burial mounds. It probably consisted of three god figures the size of adults, standing on a kind of altar and protected by a shed roof. The corners of the roof had heads with Phrygian caps. In front of this monument was a rectangular ash pit, which, according to dendrochronological investigations, was created in the year 123 AD. In this pit, the remains of burnt ceramic vessels were found.

The two burial mounds, which presumably also date from the 2nd century AD, were apparently built on an existing Roman cemetery with urn graves and ash pits, which belonged to a settlement about 400 meters further northeast. This settlement was located in the present-day area of 'Honigsack.' It is assumed that in the two elaborate graves, which were not constructed as flat graves contrary to the customs of the time, important individuals were buried. The names of these deceased persons are not known.

The two tumuli, but not the monument in between, were reconstructed as part of a job creation measure in the years 2000 and 2001. Information signs and an information panel inform visitors about the significance of the burial site, which is freely accessible in hilly terrain.

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Löstertal, Wadern, Germany
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Details

Founded: 2nd century AD
Category: Cemeteries, mausoleums and burial places in Germany
Historical period: Germanic Tribes (Germany)

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