Thanks to a seminar on Museum and Exhibition Conception we’re having several museum field trips this semester. The first one was to the exhibition near the Glauberg site, Keltenwelt (that’d be Celts’ World in English). The site holds among other things the burial mound of a member of celtic nobility.
I love museums, there’s actually no good reasons why I don’t visit them more often. Anyway, back to that prince’s grave and all the artifacts that come with it. The exhibition starts off with a short video introduction. I think they could have added some epic music and make it a bit louder in general (we all had problems understanding everything) if they were going on clichés anyway, what with druids and swords and painted Picts and all.
The initial excavation at the Glauberg site was a Nazi dig, and nobody’s proud of that. Alas, during WWII the shacks where most information about the campaign was stored got bombed and a lot of things got lost. They dedicated a small wall in the museum to this problematic and unpleasant phase of their focus, and the vase of rubble from the ruins is part of it.
Throughout the museum there are drawers to be opened about several pieces of the exhibition. This one is about things we usually don’t find during excavations (because organic material tends to rot, obviously).
One of the prettiest and most valuable pieces is this mask fibula. They have several ticket design (our professor called them “trading cards”), and mine had a picture of this on it.
Far more valuable yet is the neck ring they found in the main attraction grave. It’s made of gold, just like the other pieces of jewelery found beside it.
This is a reconstructed picture of the chieftain/prince/noble buried under the tumulus. The artwork is by Marvin Clifford, by the way, who also designed several touch screen games throughout the museum – a jigsaw puzzle, for example, and a dress-up game. The whole museum is very kid-friendly but still interesting enough for an adult audience (we still tried all the games, of course).
Outside there’s a reconstruction of the burial mound, set before the pretty scenery of the surrounding countryside, visible from the large panorama window of the museum.
This is the most famous piece of the exhibition, a statue archaeologists usually professionally refer to as “Prince Mickey Mouse”. The things on his head aren’t ears, of course, but a hat or crown that is supposed to resemble the leaves of mistletoe, the sacred plant.
The cutest feature is something you see at the end before leaving: A shadow wall with animated characters that you find in all the illustrations before you leave, leaving with you.
All in all it’s a nice, small museum. The concept is modern and well-thought through, with many opportunities to touch and explore things in your own time even if you’re not a professional. My biggest issue is that it’s not really connected to the public transport services and the only way to get up there without a car is by a 45 minute walk, but that’s about it.
For more info and far better pictures visit their website at keltenwelt-glauberg.de.