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Excursions

The Grand Tour to the Archaeology of mountainous landscapes (five days)

31 August - 4 September

This five-day excursion leads through the famous Swiss mountainous canton of Graubünden and offers exciting insights into all areas of alpine archaeology from the Middle Stone Age to the 20th century. Visits include the cantonal capital Chur with its Rhaetian Museum, the prehistoric settlement- and the mining-landscape of Oberhalbstein, the alpine pass areas with relics of the Roman campaign in the Alpes and the famous Bronze Age spring of St. Moritz. Other highlights include the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Monastery Saint John in Müstair, the remains of the Alpine front during the First World War in the Stelvio-Umbrail region and the Lower Engadin with its millennia-old alpine cultural landscape. Participants will be guided by Thomas Reitmaier, archaeologist and director of the Archaeological Service of the canton of Graubünden.

Read more details here.

On the trail of Celts and Helvetians, with an evening under the stars (one day)

3 September

This trip invites you to discover the Celts and Helvetians of the Swiss plateau with the world-famous site of La Tène where hundreds of weapons and military ornaments were discovered in the middle of the nineteenth century, thus giving its name to the late Iron Age. The first stop is therefore the Neues Museum Biel (NMB) in the canton of Bern, where the most finds of this site are kept. Here a specialist will allow you to have a close insight on the objects and the way the site was discovered. Then off we go to the beach of La Tène for a view of the site and a well-deserved coffee-break. Afterwards, we will join the Mont Vully and meet our guide for an hour visit tour that will take you to Praz, an authentic village in the vineyard where a restaurant on the shore of the lake of Morat will host you for a typical Swiss dinner. The day will end with a talk on the perception that our antique and Celtic ancestors had of the sky, followed by an observation of the stars with professionals.

Read more details here.

Augusta Raurica (one day)

3 September

In ancient times the Rhine was one of Europe’s most important transport links. Augusta Raurica owes its existence to Gaius Julius Caesar’s strategic considerations. He ordered his general Lucius Munatius Plancus to establish a first colony directly on the river, in other words at the junction of the North-South / West-East road connections. The actual construction of the main town of the colony started around 15 BC.

The town quickly developed into a regional center with market places, theaters, thermal baths and temples and more than 10,000 people lived there in its zenith around 200 AD. The decline started in the 3rd century: The former town center around the forum was abandoned and the army built a mighty fort directly on the Rhine, which developed into the modern Kaiseraugst in the early middle ages. With the development of the city of Basel in the 7th century, the settlement lost its importance and became a small fishing village.

Read more details here.

On the fortifications of the city of Fribourg (half-day)

4 September

This guided tour of the fortifications of the city of Fribourg will introduce you in the past and in the medieval history of this city. The immersion will take you on the steps of History, to discover the towers, round paths and surrounding walls that contribute to the treasures of the medieval city's heritage. With its sandstone cliffs and the meanders of the river Sarine, the topography was favourable for its defence as a natural barrier against possible invasions. The fortifications were thus built only on the west side of the city to form important and defensive surrounding walls. These various buildings form a most important example of medieval military architecture in Switzerland.

Read more details here.

Avenches (half day)

4 September

We will discover the prestigious Aventicum, capital of Roman Helvetia, which has maintained close links with Imperial Rome for several centuries. This guided tour will retrace the evolution of the city and its place in the Roman Empire. Whether in the museum or in the archaeological repositories, you will have the opportunity to discover unique objects illustrating the different powers present in society, religious, political and economic. At the heart of the exhibition, an interactive model and a film will immerse you in the history of Aventicum and the evolution of its territory. Finally, you will visit the ancient monuments in situ, remains of this great capital.

Read more details here.

Discovering Brenodorum (half-day)

4 September

A Celtic oppidum surrounded by an imposing rampart occupied from the 3rd to the 1st century BC a loop of the Aare north of the modern city of Bern. A zinc tablet found there bears the inscription in Celtic, revealing the name of this locality: Brenodorum. Although little is known of the occupation during this period, more information exists corresponding to the middle of the 1st century, when the site covered only a very small part of the primitive surface: Outside the ramparts there was cemetery that delivered a great quantity of exceptional archaeological finds and nearby, in the Tiefenau, a deposit of La Tène weapons and iron objects was found. The La Tène period settlement developed into a Roman village, with wooden houses built on both sides of a main road. Craft trades were practiced there. The site houses baths and an important religious centre, as well as an amphitheatre. The vicus was abandoned in the 6th century and there are very few traces of a posterior occupation.

Read more details here.

On the trace of Bern city’s foundation and development (half-day)

4 September

Bern is a town founded around 1200 by the Dukes of Zähringen on a site which had not been occupied before. It was founded in the characteristic loop high above the river Aare. The initially rather insignificant city, however, rose rapidly and was from 1536 onwards the largest city state in Europe after Venice. It was primarily the wealth of the city since the 16th century that contributed to form today's cityscape. The archaeological-historical tour on the footsteps of the city's foundation and development shows how cleverly the city was planned, considering the special topography, and how much this planning still shapes the city today. The city tour will be guided by Dr. Armand Baeriswyl, the Middle Age expert at the Archaeological Service of the canton of Bern.

Read more details here.

Medieval towns at the Alps' doors: Thun and Spiez (one day)

8 September

This day trip targets two medieval towns at the gateway to the Bernese Alps: Thun and Spiez. These two towns border the Lake of Thun and are located at the feet of mountains rising up to 13 000 feet. The view is breath-taking! The excursion will start with a tour of the old town of Thun and its castle. We will then take the boat from Thun to Spiez. The second part of the day will be devoted to the town of Spiez. During the whole day, participants will be guided by the expert in medieval archaeology, Dr. Armand Baeriswyl.

Read more details here.

Beyond the surface: discovering the invisible heritage of the western Swiss lakes (one day)

8 September

This one-day excursion through the Lakes of Bienne/Biel and Neuchatel will focus on the prehistoric pile-dwellings, classified as UNESCO World Heritage. What archaeological heritage lies under the surface of the lakes? How do we make this underwater heritage visible? What technologies are used? What are the challenges of the conservation? How does the discovery of pile-dwellings contribute to the archaeological research? And, what are the current challenges of the valorization to the public? The conservation of the organic remains is exceptional and allows us to understand the daily life of prehistoric populations living by the lakes.

Read more details here.

Registration

Registration to the Annual Meeting is open. You may book your excursions before 31 May 2019.

Register now »

Limits and cancellation

Please note that each excursion has minimum number of participants necessary for the excursion to take place. Maximum number of participants per excursion is approx. 25 people.

Deadline for cancellation: 31 May 2019 
Please note that no refund is possible after this date.

Organised by


Chur. © Archaeological Service of the canton of Graubünden

© Raphael Dubey

Augusta Raurica

Augusta Raurica

Fribourg. © Aurel Cellerier

Avenches. © SMR Avenches

A zinc tablet from Brenodorum

Bern City. © Armand Baeriswyl

Spiez. © Archaeological Service of the canton of Bern

Pile dwellings in Swiiss lakes. © Fabien Langenegger