BZ-23 potsherd

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Classification: bowl
Material: pottery
Size: height: 2.7 cm, base diameter: 8 cm, thickness: 7 mm
Condition: fragmentary
Archaeological culture: Hallstatt D, La Tène A, La Tène B
Date: end of the 6th–middle of the 3rd centuries BC
Date derived from: 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: end of the 19th century
Find circumstances: excavation
Current location: Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum (repository)
Inventory Nr.: 2.574

Inscription: BZ-23 (?(?)u)

Sources: Torggler-Wöß 1953b: 442 [No. 2 Standringe]


Ceramic fragment.
Foot rim, part of a bowl with a bulbous indentation. The central omphalos is in the middle of a larger round coil. Medium-fine clay from dark grey to red brown in colour, on the bottom black in colour, with a moderate temper of fine grained sand and cast gold; the sherd indicates an oxidation/reduction firing.
The above-mentioned dimensions result of the autopsy by the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum. Torggler-Wöß indicates "unterer äußerer Durchmesser 8,5 cm" (cp. Torggler-Wöß 1953b: 442; cp. also IR: 284 [No. 69]: "Fondo di ciotolina di mm. 85"). Marchesini notes: "Diam 8,5 cm; spess 1.2 cm" (cp. MLR: 271).
Inside characters which were scratched after firing (cp. Torggler-Wöß 1953b: 442, fig. 1 [only transcription of the inscription]).
According to Mancini the present sherd was unpublished. Mancini classifies the potsherd into the group of objects with unknown resp. uncertain background. Cp. IR: 284 [No. 69] with focal point on the inscription. In consequence of Mancini, Schumacher arranges the inscription into the group of objects with Herkunft Unbekannt (cp. Schumacher 2004: 197, "HU-2"). The ceramic fragment however presents one of the discoveries from Hochbühel 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." (Fridolin Plant cited by Lunz 1974: 192). Franz Tappeiner continued the excavation between 1890–1891. During this campaign hundred of potsherds were discovered. Therefore the present potsherd derives from the excavation executed by Plant or from this 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). Therefore the present potsherd belongs in the same context like BZ-1 potsherd.
According to Lunz the potsherd dates to the late Hallstatt period and the beginning of the La Tène period due to the typology of the 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 the recently released study about the Raetic inscriptions by Marchesini the ceramic fragment is listed with "MLR 301" among the "Iscrizioni di provenienza incerta", an autopsy was effected (cp. MLR: 271 [MLR 301]).
Autopsied by the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum in November 2013.



IR Alberto Mancini, "Iscrizioni retiche", Studi Etruschi 43 (1975), 249–306.
Lunz 1974 Reimo Lunz, Studien zur End-Bronzezeit und älteren Eisenzeit im Südalpenraum, Firenze: Sansoni 1974.