A large Bronze Age Scandinavian meeting hall has been unearthed near the burial mound of the legendary King Hinz at Seddiner in Brandenburg, Germany.
The “King’s Tomb” was discovered in 1899 during quarrying operations. It is considered the most important burial site from the 9th century BC in North Central Europe.
Since spring 2023, archaeologists have been carrying out extensive excavations in the vicinity of the royal burial mound, with the Brandenburg State Office for Monument Protection cooperating with archaeologists from the University of Göttingen.
The meeting hall measures 31 x 10 meters and dates to the 9th to 10th century BC. According to the researchers, the discovery is “unique for the Bronze Age; an important discovery for Germany, if not for Europe as a whole.”
Dr. Immo Heske of the University of Göttingen: “This is the largest building of its kind. We only know of four such large buildings from this period, from a period of 1000 years.”
Archaeologists suggest that the building was used as a meeting hall by the legendary King Hinz, who ruled in Prignitz, but little is known about this ruler except that he is said to have been buried in a coffin made of gold.
The connection of this hall to the enigmatic monarch has added to the excitement. King Hinz, who is said to have ruled Prignitz justly and benevolently, is an elusive figure in history, with few details known about his reign.
The hall was originally up to 7 meters high and was built using wooden planks covered with a layer of clay plaster. Due to the building’s considerable height, researchers suggest that the structure probably housed more than one level. Excavations also uncovered a centrally located fireplace and a miniature vessel that may have been used for ceremonial purposes.
Tobias Dünow, Brandenburg State Secretary for Science, said: “Here we have the opportunity – like hardly anywhere else in Europe – to gain an insight into the way of life, the culture, the building of houses and to get the burial culture in the Bronze Age.”
The study may provide answers to questions about the Bronze Age societies of northern Central Europe. The great hall, which may have been the property of King Hinz, reveals the complexity and social structure of the period, leading to a reassessment of prehistoric Germanic cultures.