Chronological Systems of the Late La Tène Period from the Iberian Peninsula to the Lower Danube


Comparative Studies of Ideas and Cultures (3rd level)

Millenia between the Adriatic and the Danube

Course code: 16 

Year of study: Without 

Course principal:
Assoc. Prof. Anton Velušček, Ph.D.


Workload: lectures 60 hours, seminar 30 hours

Course type: general elective 

Languages: Slovene, English

Learning and teaching methods: lectures, discussions classes


Course Syllabus


At least a passive understanding of German, English, Italian, and French is recommended.


Content (Syllabus outline)

Adequate chronological systems are indispensable for relative and absolute determination of closed-find complexes (e.g., graves, hoards, settlement objects and closed complexes, and wells) and archaeological material that cannot be closely dated based on its find environment (e.g., water finds, metal detector finds from settlements, and finds from unpreserved grave groups). The existing chronological systems differ in the number of phases, their names, their content and absolute age. Special attention will be paid to presenting the archaeological sources available for creating relative chronological phases. To determine absolute chronology, rare dendrochronological data as well as some imported objects (e.g., Roman republican coins, pottery, silver and bronze vessels), archaeologically recognizable historical events (e.g., the capture of Alesia in France), and shipwrecks can be used. Imported objects (e.g., silver and bronze vessels) enable parallelization of the chronological systems of the Late La Tène period from the Iberian Peninsula to the Lower Danube.


1. Chronological systems of the Late La Tène period:

  • History of research
  • Archaeological sources
  • Relative chronology
  • Absolute chronology
  • Continuity and discontinuity
  • Local, regional, and supra-regional chronological systems


2. Regional chronological systems:

  • Iberian Peninsula, southern France, northern Italy, south-eastern Alps, Croatian-Serbian Danube basin, Lower Danube


3. Parallelization of regional chronological systems of the Late La Tène period


4. Supra-regional chronological system



  • Božič, D. 1981. Relativna kronologija mlajše železne dobe v jugoslovanskem Podonavju. Arheološki vestnik 32: 315-347.
  • Božič, D. 1999. Die Erforschung der Latènezeit in Slowenien seit Jahr 1964. Arheološki vestnik 50: 189-213.
  • Božič, D. 2008. Late La Tène-Roman cemetery in Novo mesto. Ljubljana.
  • De Marinis, R. 1986. L’età gallica in Lombardia (IV – I secolo a.C.): risultati delle ultime ricerche e problemi aperti. V: Atti del 2° Convegno Archeologico Regionale, Como: 93-173.
  • Duval, A., J.-P. Morel in Y. Roman ur. 1990. Gaule interne et Gaule méditerranéenne aux IIe et Ier siècles avant J.-C.: confrontations chronologiques. Paris.
  • Feugère, M. in C. Rolley ur. 1991. La vaisselle tardo-républicaine en bronze. Dijon.
  • Guštin, M. 1991. Posočje. Posočje in der jüngeren Eisenzeit. – Ljubljana.
  • Luik, M. 2002. Die Funde aus den römischen Lagern um Numantia im Römisch- Germanischen Zentralmuseum. Mainz.
  • Martin-Kilcher, S. 1998. Gräber der späten Republik und der frühen Kaiserzeit am Lago Maggiore: Tradition und Romanisierung. V: Bestattungssitte und kulturelle Identität, Köln: 191-252.
  • Rustoiu, A. 1997. Fibulele din Dacia preromană (sec. II î.e.n. – I e.n.). Bucureşti.


Objectives and competences

One of the main conditions for recognizing the historical development of prehistoric communities (characterized by romanization in the Late La Tène period) is adequate age determination of finds and sites, made possible by various chronological systems. The actual state of research in this research field involves several different systems. These are not compatible and are often constructed on false suppositions; in some points they are demonstrably wrong. This course provides a thorough and critical familiarity with the existing chronological systems of the Late La Tène period from the Iberian Peninsula, across southern France, northern Italy, and the south-eastern Alpine region, to the Lower Danube, and presents the archaeological sources available for carrying out relative and absolute chronologies along with a method of construction of new regional chronological systems as well as a supra-regional chronological system.


Intended learning outcomes

Scientific article.



Long written assignment (70 %), presentation (20 %), final examination (written/oral) (10 %).


Archaeological Analyses of Iron Age Non-Ceramic Finds

Assoc. Prof. Anton Velušček, Ph.D.,


Archaeology of Early Medieval Period

Assoc. Prof. Benjamin Štular, Ph.D.,


From Small Archaeological Finds to History

Assoc. Prof. Janka Istenič, Ph.D.,


Interdisciplinary Research of Archaeological Sites

Assoc. Prof. Anton Velušček, Ph.D.,



Assist. Prof. Maja Andrič, Ph. D. ,


Roman Towns between the Adriatic and the Danube River

Assoc. Prof. Jana Horvat, Ph. D.,



Assoc. Prof. Jana Horvat, Ph. D.,


The Neolithic and Eneolithic Periods in the Northern Adriatic

Assoc. Prof. Anton Velušček, Ph.D.,


The Pile-Dwelling Period in the Southeastern Alpine Region

Assoc. Prof. Anton Velušček, Ph.D.,


Tool Hoards of the La Tène and Roman Periods

Assoc. Prof. Jana Horvat, Ph. D.,