Project Part 08: Settlement Archaeology and Prehistoric Mining in the Montafon, Vorarlberg



Univ.-Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Krause


Dr. Claudia Pankau
Franziska Würfel M.A. 

University of Frankfurt
Institute of Archaeological Sciences
Grüneburgplatz 1
D-60323 Frankfurt am Main
Phone. 0049 (0)69 / 798 - 32122


> Abstract  

Settlement research and montan archaeology 2000-2006 (german only)  
Bodaweg fire pits - a second Bronze Age settlement (german only)   
Excavation Day 2008  


Abstract: The Montafon valley represents an almost closed inneralpine settlement chamber, which is well-suited for investigations on the course of settlement as well as the dynamics and motivations that contributed towards its habitation by prehistoric man (Aerni/Egli 1990). Until recently, only a scant number of single finds from the Bronze and Iron Ages had been reported in the Montafon area, and settlements from those periods were lacking completely (Vonbank 1966; Krause 2001). This state of knowledge has changed fundamentally through systematic field work and investigations on the history of vegetation, so that today we know that this area was settled continuously since the Late and Final Neolithic period (the beginning of the third millennium BC) and that settlement increased even more so during the Bronze and Iron Ages (Krause et al. 2004).

Large copper and iron ore deposits in this region let suggest that the exploitation of these important sources of raw material constituted a substantial motive for prehistoric colonisation. In the context of a working hypothesis it is our opinion that, in view of the archaeological data gained from our investigations so far, this habitat should be seen against the background of the prospection and exploitation of copper ores (Krause 2001). Up to now diverse habitation sites constituted by one well-fortified central establishment and several peripheral open settlements are documented, which are indicative of a certain settlement hierarchy. Thus, the subject of settlement archaeology has the rare opportunity to investigate various aspects of settlement development and dynamics in the small closed settlement chamber of the Schruns basin.

The ore deposits in the Montafon are located peripheral to the vast metalliferous zones in the Eastern Alps and – perhaps for that reason – it is poorly investigated until now. Therefore it is an important aim to compare the prehistoric (e.g. Bronze Age) mining activities and the settlement development associated with these activities in the Montafon with those known from larger prehistoric mining districts in the Inn valley, the Kitzbühl area and the Mitterberg, in order to study and better comprehend the similarities as well as the differences that are revealed between these areas.






R. Krause, Siedlungsarchäologie und Bergbauforschung: Ein interdisziplinäres Projekt zur Erforschung der inneralpinen Tallandschaft im Montafon/Vorarlberg (Österreich). In: Jahrbuch Vorarlberger Landesmuseumsverein 2001 (Bregenz 2001) 43-61.



R. Krause, K. Oeggl, E. Pernicka, Eine befestigte Burgsiedlung der Bronzezeit im Montafon, Vorarlberg. Interdisziplinäre Siedlungsforschungen und Montanarchäologie in Bartholomäberg und in Silbertal. In: Archäologie Österreichs 15/1, 2004, 4-21.


R. Krause, Eine befestigte Burgsiedlung der Bronzezeit im Montafon. Interdisziplinäre Siedlungsforschungen und Montanarchäologie in Bartholomäberg und in Silbertal. In: Bludenzer Geschichtsblätter 2004, 23-44.


R. Krause, Bronzezeitliche Burgen in den Alpen. Befestigte Siedlungen der frühen bis mittleren Bronzezeit. In: B. Horejs u.a. (Hrsg.), Interpretationsraum Bronzezeit. Festschr. B. Hänsel. UPA 121 (Bonn 2005) 389-413.



R. Krause, Zur bronzezeitlichen Siedlungskammer im Montafon. Neue Ausgrabungen in Bartholomäberg, Bez. Bludenz. In: Jahrbuch Vorarlberger Landesmuseumsverein 2005 (Bregenz 2006) 47-60.



R. Krause, The prehistoric settlement of the inneralpine valley of Montafon in Vorarlberg (Austria). In: Preistoria Alpina 42 (Trento 2007) 119-136.


K. Oeggl, Vegetations- und Siedlungsgeschichte im Montafon. Rheticus 3, 2003, 49-59.


K. Oeggl, W. Kofler, N. Wahlmüller, Pollenanalytische Untersuchungen zur Vegetations- und Siedlungsgeschichte im Montafon. In: J. Rollinger und R. Rollinger (Hrsg.), Montafon 1: Mensch - Geschichte - Naturraum. Die lebensweltlichen Grundlagen. Schruns 2005 (= Band 1 der Reihe "Das Montafon in Geschichte und Gegenwart", hrsg. von A. Rudigier) 183-207.

  A. Schmidl, W. Kofler, N. Oeggl-Wahlmüller, K. Oeggl, Land use in the Eastern Alps during the Bronze Age – An archaeobotanical case study of a hilltop settlement in the Montafon (Western Austria). In: Archaeometry 47,2 (2005) 455-470.

R. Krause, F. Würfel, Archäologie zum Anfassen im Montafon ? Archäologische Ausgrabungen am Bartholomäberg, im Silbertal und auf dem Schafberg in Gargellen. Montafoner Museen, Jahresbericht 2008, 17-21 (Schruns 2009)


R. Krause, Leben in Extremen - Besiedelung des Alpenraumes. Archäologie in Deutschland 4, 2008 (Schatzkammer Alpen).





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