BZ-1 potsherd

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Classification: bowl
Archaeological type: bowl with compressed S-shaped profile
Material: pottery
Size: height: 4.9 cm, rim diameter: 8 cm, maximum diameter: 10.4 cm, thickness: 4 mm
Condition: fragmentary, restored, damaged
Archaeological culture: La Tène A, La Tène B
Date: middle of the 5th–middle of the 3rd centuries BC
Date derived from: typology, archaeological context

Site: Meran / Merano (Bozen / Bolzano, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy)
Field name: Hochbühel
Coordinates (approx.): 46° 40' 33.02" N, 11° 9' 51.34" E
Find date: 1891
Find circumstances: excavation
Current location: Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum (repository)
Inventory Nr.: 12.629

Inscription: BZ-1 (]anu[)

Sources: Torggler-Wöß 1953b: 442–443, pl. I/4
Lunz 1974: 410 [No. 73.1], pl. 73,1


Ceramic fragment.
Potsherd of a bowl with compressed S-shaped profile.
Compressed belly and short neck. Clay with a fine temper of quartz; burnished outside and inside surface of red brown in colour.
At the area of the belly wide and vertical striae.
The above-mentioned dimensions result of the autopsy by the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum. Lunz indicates an outside diameter of about 9 cm (cp. Lunz 1974: 410). Marchesini notes: "Alt max cons 4,7 cm; spess max 0,4 cm" (cp. MLR: 105).
On the bottom characters which were scratched after firing (cp. Torggler-Wöß 1953b: 442, fig. 1, and in succession Franz 1959: 228–229, fig. 3.4).
The potsherd from Hochbühel is one of the discoveries made in the 19th century. Around 1886 a minor excavation was executed by Fridolin Plant at which were found "viele, teils gut erhaltene und ornamentierte Aschenurnen, Topfscherben, auch Fibeln, Schmuckgegenstände aus Glas usw." (cp. F. Plant cited in Lunz 1974: 192). Franz Tappeiner continued the excavation between 1890 and 1891. During this campaign hundred of potsherds were discovered. Therefore the present potsherd comes from the excavation executed by Plant or from this made by Tappeiner. Mancini however indicates 1891 as exact find year (cp. LIR: 66 [BZ-21]), consequently during the excavation made by Tappeiner. 1892 the Tyrolean State Museum Ferdinandeum acquired the entire Tappeiner collection at which the discoveries of the excavations on the Hochbühel from 1890–1891 were included (cp. Torggler-Wöß 1953: 412).
According to the archaeological context the potsherd dates to the late Hallstatt period and the beginning of the La Tène period due to the typology of the entire earthenware found at Hochbühel. The major part of the pottery contains bowls with compressed S-shaped profile, wide, flat strap handles with set on edge rims, double triangle as well as retangle seal. The find situation indicates therefore a dating to Ez IV–La B2 (cp. Lunz 1974: 193). In accord with the typology it can be stated that the origins of the compressed S-shaped bowls date to the end of the 7th century BC and in particular to the entire 6th century BC. However the timeframe related to the bowls with compressed S-shaped profile and stamped decorations must be associated esp. with the 4th and 3rd centuries BC (cp. Gamper 2006: 16; in relation to the age determination of the pottery of the Fritzens-Sanzeno culture in general cp. e.g. Marzatico 2001b: 510 et seq. and fig. 2). According to the decoration shape the striae-decoration of the ceramic fragment corresponds to the decoration shape No. 100 (cp. Gamper 2006: 38, 44). This decoration shape dates to La Tène A and La Tène B (cp. Gleirscher 1985b: 63, pl. 1.2; Gamper 2006: 38).
In the recently released study about the Raetic inscriptions by Marchesini the potsherd is listed with "MLR 74", an autopsy was effected (cp. MLR: 105 [MLR 74]).
Autopsied by the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum in November 2013.



Franz 1959 Leonhard Franz, "Rätische Inschriften im Innsbrucker Landesmuseum", Der Schlern 33 (1959), 228–229.
Gamper 2006 Peter Gamper, Die latènezeitliche Besiedlung am Ganglegg in Südtirol. Neue Forschungen zur Fritzens-Sanzeno-Kultur [= Internationale Archäologie 91], Rahden/Westfalen: Leidorf 2006.
Gleirscher 1985b Paul Gleirscher, "Zur Entwicklung der Fritzens-Sanzeno-Kultur", Mitteilungen der österreichischen Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Ur- und Frühgeschichte (MUAG) XXXV (1985), 57–63.
LIR Alberto Mancini, Le Iscrizioni Retiche [= Quaderni del dipartimento di linguistica, Università degli studi di Firenze Studi 8–9], Padova: Unipress 2009–10. (2 volumes)
Lunz 1974 Reimo Lunz, Studien zur End-Bronzezeit und älteren Eisenzeit im Südalpenraum, Firenze: Sansoni 1974.
Marzatico 2001b Franco Marzatico, "La seconda età del Ferro", in: Michele Lanzinger, Franco Marzatico, Annaluisa Pedrotti (Eds), Storia del Trentino. Vol. 1: La preistoria e la protostoria, Bologna: Il Mulino 2001, 479–573.