Forum Archaeologiae - Zeitschrift für klassische Archäologie 63 / VI / 2012


The excavated settlement is located in the Laßnitz-valley close to the southern part of Wohlsdorf, in the southern slope of a small knoll situating along with the northern bank of the river. Excavation of an area of almost 2,5 acres was carried out by Dr. Gerald Fuchs (ARGIS GmbH) in 2008, as part of the Koralmbahn Project. The system of the settlement structure and the household clusters, from the late Tumulus Culture and the older and younger phase of the Urn-Grave Culture (Bz C2 to Bz D2/Ha A1 – from the Maisbirbaum-Zohor phase until the Baierdorf-Velatice phase), show a very rational and clear picture. In the western side of the territory a small part of a village with houses and pits showed up, while in the center of the hilltop a west-east segment of a settlement from different phases was revealed.
The central zone of the investigated area included a few longhouse-form with ridge-roof with central ridge-pools, leaning on two lengthwise poles. The closed household clusters are in evidence in many cases which show a slack tie between the concentrated houses of the different groups – maybe not so close familiar connections.

The houses in the western part of the area were traditional beam-foundation or post-structure houses with saddle-back and mostly were aligned NW-SE. Some of them had segmental inner room and fraction-lined gabled-roof or hip-roof. These kind of three-bayed houses are very common in Europe from the late middle-bronze age period, mostly in the area of the Central-European Urn-Grave Culture.
Besides the houses a lot of borrow pit, rubbish pit, some tan-pit along a periodic stream and a larger precinct workshop area with working pits, a baking oven and a pit house with remains of a collapsed weaving loom were found. Wells of different shapes from different periods were unearthed.
Object 728 is a simple well without built structure, a basin periodically filled up with water. This type is very common and general in this period. It’s round, cylindrical and narrow in a corniculate way without any filter system. The diameter was 1.20 and the depth was 1.00 meter.
Object 764 is the most characteristic piece of this period. The diameter of the corniculate and amorphous shaped top was nearly 2.00 meters, and the depth of it was close to 1.50 meters. The conical upper part was followed by the rectangular pit with round-cornered edges. The timber construction was made from close to 1 meter long radius oak planks. Each piece had marks of work and interlocking in the sides and in the end. During the excavation three different row of wooden, dowel-pined planks were discovered. Different types of fitting were used: notching with T-shaped mortised cog, dovetail joint, edge-bond and in some cases trapeze-shaped cogs with upper lap-joint. The postholes in the pebbly surface could preserve a mark of a pile-dwelling above the well but from the structure of the well house we have no further information.
Object 961 is a rounded well with timber construction. The diameter was 2.10 meters and the depth was 1.40 meters. During its construction, first the cornucilate top was dug then the wooden plunks were put into the rectangular pit. Presumably the structure was 1x1 meter.

© Attila Botond Szilasi

This article should be cited like this: A.B. Szilasi, Wohlsdorf: The Bronze Age Settlement and the Wells, Forum Archaeologiae 63/VI/2012 (