A small market town in Upper Austria
, south-east of Salzburg
, where in 1846 an ancient burial
ground was discovered which gives its name to the Hallstatt culture
and style of the Iron Age
, widespread across west-central Europe, and commonly identified with the prehistoric Celt
s. It was preceded by the Bronze-Age Urnfield
culture, and followed by the La Tène
Large-scale ironworking arrived in Europe about 1000 BCE or somewhat later, and the period from then to about 400 BCE was characterized by imports of iron goods from more civilized countries such as Greece, whereas the La Tène culture achieved a high level of native craft. Chieftains, especially in the region from southern France through to southern Germany, had impressive burial mounds, a departure from the earlier Urnfield custom of urn burial.
The identification of the whole Hallstatt complex with people speaking languages ancestral to modern Celtic ones is questioned now.
Hallstatt the town shows evidence of habitation from long before this period: a drilled cave bear bone from 12 000 BCE. The area is rich in salt, and salt mining took place here in the Stone Age. In 1734 the fully preserved 2000-year-old body of a miner was found in the mine.
The town also has the oldest pipeline in the world, built in 1595.