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A Dinghof at Schiltigheim. Archaeology on all Floors

This exhibition is part of a series traditionally devoted by the Archaeological Museum to “recent excavations” in Alsace. It centres on the results of the excavation carried out by the Archéologie Alsace team under the direction of Elise Arnold at 37a rue d'Adelshoffen in Schiltigheim in 2018. For the first time the series focuses more broadly on human settlements in this town adjoining Strasbourg from prehistory to the present day.

The exhibition compares subsoil archaeology (in particular the exceptional cellars from the 14th and 16th centuries unearthed on the site), buildings archaeology (study of a house dated from the 17th and 18th centuries) and historical sources. In doing so it presents the investigation that has led us to a better understanding of the nature of a “Dinghof” in medieval and modern times, and to reflect on the long-lasting occupation of the site.

Archaeological excavations made in 2018 reveal traces of early Neolithic occupation (5,300 BC), including a fragment of a vase in the shape of a bird. This can thus be compared with a similar one already in the collections of the Archaeological Museum; the two are among the only examples of this type discovered to date in Europe. From the Bronze Age comes a silo with remarkable furnishings. The Iron Age and the ancient period do not appear in this excavation, but they are the subject of speculation on the reasons for this absence and they allow us to present the Schiltigheim site as we see it now.

Remains dating from the medieval period form the essence of this exhibition, highlighting as it does the remarkable results of a study devoted to the house of the “Dinghof”, (domanial manor). This was linked to the Chapter House of the parish of Saint-Thomas and reveals a type of organization specific to Alsace and the Germanic world in general. The visitor may then be prompted to continue on to Strasbourg's Historical Museum, where other objects will help to enlighten him on the subject. A subsequent visit to the Alsatian Museum will then throw light on the lifestyles of our region and human settlements in the Alsatian territory.

Exhibition Curator : Mathilde Villette, Archaeological Museum Curator, Elise Arnold, regional archaeologist, Operations Manager - Middle Ages, Archéologie Alsace.