30 July 2021
Post originally written in: Deutsch Information An automatic machine translation. Super fast and almost perfect.

On the "Hohe Birga" you can get an idea of how people in Tyrol lived 2,000 years ago. New audio guides now also provide the right sound.

The excavations and the Rätermuseum in the cozy little village of Birgitz prepare a highly interesting piece of Tyrolean history. But it is not at all dry, as one might expect. I, too, am surprised at how vividly the former culture of the Raetians is presented here.


Museum director Annegret welcomes me to the Rätermuseum in the village center. "You shouldn't miss out on a visit here," says the ethnologist with a doctorate. She knows that many people only take a look at the excavations on the nearby hill.


It is actually the pieces on display in the museum that round off the picture we will get later on site. Larger and partly also tiny exhibits line up in showcases finely sorted. Tools, jewelry, vessels of all kinds and more can be seen.


Impressive what was already made in the Iron Age! How skillful and clever people were back then. They even made glass! "The Raetians were also on the verge of a high civilization with language and writing," Annegret explains.


So that it is not boring for children and adults, you can also watch a film in the museum. Even a millstone from that time invites to lend a hand and it can be calculated in a 2,000 year old way.

A short walk away, we then stand in front of the hill that makes the heart of archaeologists beat faster. In the meantime, numerous buildings have been uncovered on the High Birga. Some have even been partially reconstructed in the meantime. Perfect, therefore, to immerse yourself in the everyday life of the people of the Iron Age.

How did they live? Where did they live? What do we know about agriculture and livestock breeding and trade at that time? There are answers to such questions via a new, free audio guide.


The excavation site itself is also freely accessible. Therefore, the dedicated association "Archäotop Hohe Birga" decided to use this modern variant of knowledge transfer.

Via an easy path we enter the forest. Right at the beginning of our walk we meet a group from the Institute of Archaeology at the University of Innsbruck.

Research, excavations, reconstruction

Excavation director Florian Müller is on site with students, as he is every summer, to continue the excavations. "Iron Age settlements of this size are rare in Tyrol," he says, underlining the importance of Hohe Birga. The fact that he is still enthusiastically at work after many years is evident.

The exposed walls of the houses are clearly visible. Of course, many a ton of soil had to be removed first. In the course of time, the area near Innsbruck naturally became wildly overgrown.

Decades of work

Since the rediscovery of the Rätersiedlung in the 1930s, however, a lot has happened. What has come to light so far amazes me. Several buildings give an insight into days long gone. The audio guide provides the relevant information. And it does so in dialog form, so that the whole thing comes across as snazzy.

Great cooperation

As we continue our walk, Annegret tells me that in addition to the local association "Archäotop Hohe Birga", the municipality of Birgitz as well as the fire department and several volunteers help to keep the "operation" running. So there is also a good portion of lifeblood involved.

I like it! If you also want to combine a nice excursion with exciting Tyrolean history, I can highly recommend a visit to the "Hohe Birga" in Birgitz. For the more active among you, a tip on the side: from Völs you can hike beautifully to the scene of the action.

My dear colleague Werner Kräutler has also written a blog article on the topic of Räter in Tyrol.

Text and photos: Tamara Kainz

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