Havránok is an important archaeological site in northern Slovakia. It is located on a hill above the Liptovská Mara water. The archaeologists unearthed a prehistoric Celtic hill fort and a medieval wooden castle in the 1960s, during the construction of the Liptovská Mara dam. Both objects have been partially reconstructed. During the Iron Age and the Roman Era, the shrine of Havránok was an important religious center of the Celts living in Slovakia.
The Havránok hill fort was an important religious, economic, and political center of the Púchov culture (300 BCE - 180 CE), in which the dominant Celtic tribe of Cotini mingled with the older people of the Lusatian culture. The prosperous oppidum was destroyed along with other Celtic settlements in Slovakia around the beginning of the Common Era either by the Germanic tribe of Quadi or by Dacians.
A medieval wooden castle existed near the remnants of the ancient hill fort from the 11th to 15th century CE.
The hill fort was a religious center of the Celts living in northern Slovakia. Its wooden shrine was built in the 1st century BCE around an exceptionally high wooden column, probably a totem or a statue. Excavation of a ritual pit situated near this central cult object revealed bones of at least seven people sacrificed during druidic rituals. The victims were beaten to death, quartered, and in some cases also burnt. Parts of their bodies were subsequently thrown into the pit. A large number of agricultural tools in the vicinity of the pit indicate that human sacrifices may have served to insure a good harvest.
The shrine also included a number of smaller wooden columns, with burnt offerings (mostly jewels, agricultural products, and animals) buried next to them.
In addition to the shrine, the reconstructed buildings include a fortified gateway of the hill fort with a part of the stone walls (120-50 BCE), farmstead (300-100 BCE), a pottery kiln (300-100 BCE), and huts from various periods.
In the Iron Age and the Roman Era, Havránok was surrounded by several Celtic villages. Some of them were inundated by Liptovská Mara reservoir. The small medieval castle is also partially reconstructed and the whole area of Havránok is now an open air museum. The site was proclaimed the national cultural monument in 1967.References:
The Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls was part of the federal sanctuary of the three Gauls dedicated to the cult of Rome and Augustus celebrated by the 60 Gallic tribes when they gathered at Lugdunum (Lyon). The amphitheatre was built at the foot of the La Croix-Rousse hill at what was then the confluence of the Rhône and Saône.
Excavations have revealed a basement of three elliptical walls linked by cross-walls and a channel surrounding the oval central arena. The arena was slightly sloped, with the building"s south part supported by a now-vanished vault. The arena"s dimensions are 67,6m by 42m. This phase of the amphitheatre housed games which accompanied the imperial cult, with its low capacity (1,800 seats) being enough for delegations from the 60 Gallic tribes.
The amphitheatre was expanded at the start of the 2nd century. Two galleries were added around the old amphitheatre, raising its width from 25 metres to 105 metres and its capacity to about 20,000 seats. In so doing it made it a building open to the whole population of Lugdunum and its environs.