Close to Hannover, one can find the natural and cultural education centre and Nature Friend’s House Grafhorn. It consists of a modern education centre combined with an Iron Age like house complex with garden and indoor exhibition.
The place was built up with consultation by the Landesmuseum in Hannover. The idea for bringing this Iron Age site to life came from an excavation from the 1980s at Grafhorn. Finds included a pit house and plank house which surface was a bit below ground level. In the nearby area, more Iron Age finds were known including chains, knives, an axe, traces of iron production or iron forging and burial urns. Charcoal production sites as well as grave mounds are visible in the landscape today.
While the pit house is reconstructed, using the local find in Grafhorn, the longhouse is based on an excavation from 2002 in the Cloppenburg area dating to 600 BC. It belongs to the Nienburger Group and is the first Iron Age type house containing three naves reconstructed in Germany. This type is supposed to be the predecessor of the so-called Niederdeutsches Hallenhaus (lower German hall house). The house is divided in three naves by means of two rows of posts.
The garden demonstrates typical plants from the Iron Age as well as agricultural techniques. Nearby one can also learn about how the forest was used, how trees were managed, about agricultural practises and extensive ways of keeping animals.
The project was funded by the Region Hannover and the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU).
Image: Nakubi Grafhorn