Special exhibition 2021

Much Earlier than Imagined! Königstein Hill in the Bronze Age

2 June to 31 October 2021, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Magdalene’s Castle, 2nd floor

In April 2016, archaeologists made a discovery on Königstein hill‘s plateau, which led to the table mountain’s earliest history being rewritten:
During civil engineering works, an excavator cut into an untouched refuse pit, which contained 55 shards. The seemingly unimpressive find proved to be scientifically spectacular: The shards are from the late Bronze Age and are around 3,000 years old. This proves beyond doubt that Königstein hill was already inhabited by humans in this prehistoric era – more than 2000 years before it was first mentioned in a document!

This discovery is the reason for the special exhibition
“Much Earlier than Imagined! Königstein Hill in the Bronze Age”
There are no written testimonies from this long past era. It is, thus, archaeology that sheds light on this period of time that dates so unbelievably far back. With numerous Bronze Age objects, the exhibition shows which culture the shard find from Königstein hill is assigned to and what is known about the people who lived during this era.

Highlights of the Exhibition:

  • Archaeologic Sensational Find from Königstein Hill
    Until now, only occasional finds bore witness of human life during the Bronze Age in the rugged rocks of Saxon Switzerland. Until into the Middle Ages, the area between Dresden’s Elbe valley and the Bohemian Basin was mainly used for transit. It was known, however, that there already was a fortified place more than 3,000 years ago near Königstein hill, at the neighbouring Pfaffenstein hill.
    All the more so, the discovery at Königstein hill with 55 shards was a scientific sensation. The exhibition shows this find and more Bronze Age traces from the same region.
View of Saxon-Bohemian Switzerland’s table hills in the direction of Bohemia Bronze Age finds were made at Lilienstein hill, Pfaffenstein hill, and Königstein hill. © Festung Königstein | photo: Matthias Hultsch
  • Ceramic - Jewellery – Tools – Weapons
    Furthermore, finds from the Late Bronze Age of Dresden’s Elbe Valley are shown. They illustrate the life of people at the time with regard to housebuilding, craft, diet, jewellery, but also warfare activities, and the burial ritual.

Fascination Bronze

A flat green patina has evolved on the original bronze exhibits. To make the bronze’s original golden gleam visible, experimental archaeologists have produced objects with Bronze Age means and methods for the exhibition.

In a documentation film (here: short version), you can see the production of a bronze winged axe from the ore smelting to the casting. The complete film is shown in the exhibition.