Tool Hoards of the La Tène and Roman Periods


Comparative Studies of Ideas and Cultures (3rd level)

Millenia between the Adriatic and the Danube

Course code: 21

Year of study: Without

Course principal:
Assoc. Prof. Jana Horvat, 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

Content (Syllabus outline)

Publications on hoards and synthetic literature on tools and equipment will be critically evaluated. The composition of hoards will be thoroughly analysed. Hoards from Slovenia can be divided into those with agricultural tools, those with woodworking tools, and those with a mixed composition. Students will be acquainted with possible reasons for hoard burial. This course will exhaustively present typical hoards of the La Tène and Roman periods as well as the typology, chronology, distribution, and function of selected types of tools.


1. Tool hoards as a source for studying economic activities and handicrafts:

  • History of research
  • Chronological problems
  • Composition of tool hoards
  • Possible reasons for burial


2. The La Tène period:

  • Hoards by regions: central Europe, Slovenia
  • Typology, chronology, distribution, and function of selected types of tools


3. The Roman period:

  • Hoards by regions: south-eastern Europe, central Europe, western Europe, Slovenia
  • Typology, chronology, distribution, and function of selected types of tools



  • Božič, D. 2007. The reconstruction and analysis of the Late La Tène hoard of iron tools from Vrhovlje pri Kojskem above the Soča valley. V: Le valli del Natisone e dell’Isonzo tra Centroeuropa e Adriatico, Roma: 225–235.
  • Bataille, G. in J.-P. Guillaumet ur. 2006. Les dépôts métalliques au second âge du Fer en Europe tempérée. Bibracte.
  • Bitenc, P. in T. Knific ur. 2001. Od Rimljanov do Slovanov. Predmeti. Ljubljana.
  • Božič, D. 2005. Die spätrömischen Hortfunde von der Gora oberhalb von Polhov Gradec. Arheološki vestnik 56: 293-368.
  • Depoty a symboly 2014. V: Moravské křižovatky, Brno: 615–737.
  • Dolenz, H. 1998. Eisenfunde aus der Stadt auf dem Magdalensberg. Klagenfurt.
  • Duvauchelle, A. 2005. Les outils en fer du Musée romain d’Avenches. Avenches.
  • Gaitzsch, W. 1980. Eiserne römische Werkzeuge. Oxford.
  • Gaitzsch, W. 1985. Werkzeuge und Geräte in der römischen Kaiserzeit. – V: Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt 2, Principat, 12.3, Künste, Berlin, New York: 170-204.
  • Gaitzsch, W. 2005. Eisenfunde aus Pergamon. Geräte, Werkzeuge und Waffen. Berlin, New York.
  • Gaspari, A., M. Guštin, I. Lazar in B. Žbona Trkman. 2000. Late Roman tool finds from Celje, Gradišče at Zbelovska gora and Sv. Pavel above Vrtovin (Slovenia). V: M. Feugère in M. Guštin (ur.), Iron, Blacksmiths and Tools, Montagnac: 187-203.
  • Henning, J. 1987. Südosteuropa zwischen Antike und Mittelalter. Archäologische Beiträge zur Landwirtschaft des 1. Jahrtausends u. Z. Berlin.
  • Jacobi, G. 1974. Werkzeug und Gerät aus dem Oppidum von Manching. Wiesbaden.
  • Kurz, G. 1995. Keltische Hort- und Gewässerfunde in Mitteleuropa. Stuttgart.
  • Manning, W. H. 1972. Ironwork Hoards in Iron Age and Roman Britain. Britannia 3: 224-250.
  • Manning, W. H. 1985. Catalogue of the Romano-British iron tools, fittings and weapons in the British Museum. London.
  • Müller, R. 1982. Die Entwicklung der eisernen Agrargeräte in Ungarn von der Späteisenzeit bis zum Ende der Türkenherrschaft. Zalaegerszeg.
  • Nothdurfter, J. 1979 Die Eisenfunde von Sanzeno im Nonsberg. Mainz am Rhein.
  • Pieta, K. 2010. Hortfunde. V: K. Pieta, Die keltische Besiedlung der Slowakei, Nitra: 206–226 in 337–338.
  • Pietsch, M. 1983. Die römischen Eisenwerkzeuge von Saalburg, Feldberg und Zugmantel. – Saalburg Jahrbuch 39. 5-132.
  • Pohanka, R. 1986. Die eisernen Agrargeräte der Römischen Kaiserzeit in Österreich. Oxford.
  • Popović, I. 1988. Antičko oruđe od gvožđa u Srbiji. Beograd.


Objectives and competences

Hoards of iron tools and equipment are an important type of closed archaeological find of the La Tène and Roman periods. In connection with written sources, representations on stone monuments and wall paintings, graves containing tools, and single finds of tools, they are one of the basic sources for studying the economic activities and handcrafts of this time, as well as cultural influences, technological development, cult practices, and so on. The presentation of the history of such research will include false determinations of hoards and single specimens of tools that remained in the literature until very recently. Based on selected examples, uncritical acceptance of false data and false determinations in literature will be pointed out as well as neglect of basic sources (archival documents and primary publications). This course offers a systematic and thorough acquaintance with the tool hoards of the La Tène and Roman periods in Slovenia, central Europe, the Balkans, and Great Britain, as well as the types of the tools and equipment represented in the hoards, with possible reasons for hoard burial and the need and opportunities for further research in this area. The presentation will also include economic activities and handicrafts testified by individual types of tools.


Intended learning outcomes

Intended learning outcome is a written paper in the form of a scientific article.



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


Archaeological Analyses of Iron Age Non-Ceramic Finds ǀ

Assoc. Prof. Anton Velušček, Ph.D.,


Archaeology of Early Medieval Period ǀ

Assoc. Prof. Benjamin Štular, Ph.D.,


From Small Archaeological Finds to History ǀ

Assoc. Prof. Janka Istenič, Ph.D.,


Interdisciplinary Research of Archaeological Sites ǀ

Assoc. Prof. Anton Velušček, Ph.D.,


Palynology ǀ

Assist. Prof. Maja Andrič, Ph. D. ,


Roman Towns between the Adriatic and the Danube River ǀ

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


Romanization ǀ

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


The Neolithic and Eneolithic Periods in the Northern Adriatic ǀ

Assoc. Prof. Anton Velušček, Ph.D.,


The Pile-Dwelling Period in the Southeastern Alpine Region ǀ

Assoc. Prof. Anton Velušček, Ph.D.,


Tool Hoards of the La Tène and Roman Periods ǀ

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