Cultural Diversity in the Iron Age
In 1935, construction workers laying a water pipe in the town of Castaneda in the south of Grisons, unearthed a grave found to be over two thousand years old. Among other things it contained a bronze vessel, added as a burial object to the grave of the deceased. Archaeological research showed the beaked spout jug to originate from Central Italy, the inscription on its rim being the earliest extant piece of writing in Grisons. Its exact meaning has remained unclear to this day.
The cultural technique of writing is amongst the most important achievements of that time. Other innovations were using money for commercial transactions, the potter’s wheel in the manufacture of clay objects, and the use of iron as a raw material. Hence the name of this epoch, the Iron Age.
Three different cultures coexisted in Grisons at that time: the Lepontians from the southwest, in close contact with the Southern peoples. The display cases nearby also show objects of Celtic origin from Northern and Central Grisons, as well as artefacts from Raetian tribes living in the southeast, in the Lower Engadine, and the Münster Valley (Val Müstair).
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