The statue of a standing man was found in the course of a 1962 excavation at Hirschlanden, near Ludwigsburg and approximately five km south of Hochdorf. The statue was discovered lying just outside a low stone wall encircling a tumulus ca. two m in height and less than twenty m in diameter. Erosion and agriculture had leveled part of the tumulus, but Zürn was able to excavate sixteen burials of the later sixth to early fifth century BCE, or late Hallstatt D (1970, 53 ff.). The excavation has been published by Zürn (1975) and studied by Pauli (1972, 66 ff.); scholarly attention has focused almost entirely on the "warrior" statue (e.g. , Kimmig 1965 ; Eibner 1982; Beeser 1983 ).
Made of local Stuben sandstone, which is quarried a mere seven km away from the find site, the statue is very badly weathered, suggesting that it stood exposed ot the elements for a long time. The lower legs were found beside the body and have been reattached in the museum; the feet and any plinth or anchoring mechanism were not found. As a result, its preserved height is less than life-size, about one and one-half m. The ithyphallic figure stands four-square with the weight distributed evenly on both legs, which are set parallel to one another. The hefty calves and legs seem inconogruous with the relatively slender upper body and the tiny head, a puzzle to art historians. The bony shoulders are pulled up and forward, emphasized by sharply delineated triangular shoulder blades. As a result, the front of the torso is very flat and slab-like. The scrawny arms are held tightly against the body; the left hand is flattened against the breat. The small head is tipped slightly back; the face has generally been considered "mask-like," although its state of preservation is quite poor.
The sculpture has been variously called a "stele," a "Kriegerstele" (stele of a warrior), and a "kouro-keltos" (Beeser 1983). It certainly is not a "stele" in the traditional mold of the archaic Greek grave stelai (e.g., Richter 1961, 1-7), in that it is carved in the round without a rectangular slab behind it or framing it. The interpretation of the statue as that of a warrior is suggested by the prominently displayed antenna-hilted dagger. Originally, the conical hat was declared to be a helmet (Kimmig 1965, 96), but since the discovery of the birch-bark hat in the Hochdorf burial, the consensus is that the Hirschlanden warrior is wearing a similar hat. There are two thin bands around his waist and a thick closed torc around his neck.
II. A "Stele"?
Stelai, whether funerary, votive or with some other function, are quite common in Iron Age Europe (Spindler 1983, 172-185). Northern Italy had a very long prehistoric tradition of carving slabs of stone with more or less stylised human features. The example from Filetto, in northern Tuscany, dates to the sixth century BCE. The figure is thoroughly armed; the uppor body is separated from the lower by two ridges, similar to the belt worn by the Hirschlanden warrior. The legs are presented in profile in shallow relief. Carved into the right side of the slab is an antenna-hilted dagger of Hallstatt type.
The area around Stuttgart is particularly rich in Hallstatt and La Tène stelai (Beeser 1983, 21 ff). Famous examples include the very flat stone from Rottenburg/Lindele, found covering a Hallstatt-period cremation burial, probably in secondary use. Its roughly triangular form has not been carved into a freestanding figure in the round like the Hirschlanden warrior. Instead, the head is only slightly offset from the rest of the slab; the surface was smoothed and the features incised. The lower part is damaged; the preserved height is only 123 m . (Reim, in Biel 1985, 47-48).
Later in date than the Lindele stele is the 162 m high example from Stammheim. The form is taller and more slender; the circular head is clearly offset from the raised shoulders; simple incised lines delineate the arms, erect phallus and legs (Biel 1985, 48). There is no question that the Hirschlanden warrior is worked in a much more sculptural, three-dimensional fashion; the upper body is quite similar to that of the Janus-headed stele from Holzgerlingen. The lobes extending above the head were broken off and have been reconstructed in the museum; comparison with a stele from Pfalzfeld and other fragmentary stone heads, as well as the recently discovered figure from the Glauberg, confirm that the early La Tène-period statues were provided with this unusual feature. Although the lower portion of the Holzgerlingen sculpture is carefully rounded and smoothed, it lacks the anatomical detail of the Hirschlanden example.
Many Celtic stelai and stone sculptures were found at or near tumuli, suggesting that they were originally placed on top of the mound. In Spindler's eyes, "there can be no doubt that the idea of crowning a grave tumulus with the stone portrait of the deceased finally arises out of the Greek world of ideas" (1983, 173). This attribution of a Celtic cultural phenomenon to Greek influence lies within the diffusionist tradition; however, it is seriously flawed. The archaic Greeks did not bury their dead in tumuli; the "portraits" of which he speaks are the marble kouroi, which were placed both on graves and as votives in sanctuaries, and their "portrait" character is very much a matter of dispute.
III. A Kouros?
The designation of "kouro-keltos" was given the warrior because the enormous legs seem disproportionately muscular when compared to the rest of the figure, reminding art historians of Greek kouroi, statues of youths placed on graves or in temples. Zürn, Kimmig, Spindler and others suggest that the sculptor was either a Greek or had been trained south of the Alps in the archaic Greek tradition. In the various scenarios, either the Greek sculptor was only responsible for the lower part of the statue, while a local craftsman carved the upper part, or else the entire statue was the work of a sculptor trained in both traditions.
If the more important part of the figure is the top half (as would be suggested by the stelai and sculptures that leave the entire bottom portion blank), and if the Greek style was esteemed more highly than the local, I fail to see why the Greek sculptor would have been selected to carve the least significant portion. Again, if only one sculptor, versed in Greek technique, was at work, why did he not carve the top part of the figure in the Greek style?
An alternative explanation has been proposed by both Eibner and Beeser. In spite of the local stone, they suggest that the entire sculpture was originally carved as a Greek kouros. It was then damaged or for some other reason was cut down and recarved by a local sculptor working in the tradition of the Celtic stelai.
In studying these theories, I composited images of the Hirschlanden warrior with potographs of Greek kouroi. Beeser dates his original kouros into the early Archaic period of the seventh century BCE (1983, 36). However, the archaeological evidence dates the Hirschlanden burials into the Hallstatt D period. The statue was probably placed on the tumulus around 500 BCE; it is conventionally explained as the portrait of the man in the final central burial. If that is so, I wonder how and why a life-size Greek kouros was cut from local stone, kept somewhere for 150 or more years, and then recut for final reuse (see Beeser, ibid.). For my composites, I use a range of archaic to late archaic kouroi. The kouroi from Volomandra and Anavyssos are up to half a century older than the Hirschlanden warrior.
The Ptoon kouros of ca. 525 BCE and Aristodikos of ca. 500 represent the Greek sculptural styles of slightly earlier than and contemporary with the Hirschlanden warrior. These are works from the same generation as the sculptor of Hirschlanden, if he was Greek, or if only Greek-trained, then of the milieu in which he would have received his influence.
The comparanda here, consisting of photographs of actual works and not hypothetical drawings, make it quite clear that the Hirschlanden warrior was not cut down from a Greek kouros. Nor was it sculpted by a Greek sculptor. The contemporary movements in Greek sculture find no expression in the Hirschlanden work; there is nothing in the proportions, stance, scale, material, or surface modeling to indicate any influence from Greece. If the work had originally been Greek or Greek-inspired, one owuld have to explain the enormous effort that would have had to be made in order to transform the work into one entirely Celtic in style and iconography. The fact alone that the space between the legs was carved out and that the legs are well-rounded does not suffice ot point to a Greek origin. The oft-cited similarities to the Capestrano warrior, found in l'Aquila, and to the contemporary Lunigianese stelae from northern Tuscany, in addition to the Etruscan hand gesture noted by Megaw (1989, 45), suggest that a degree of late-Hallstatt-period contintuity obtained among sculptural workshops throughout the south German to north Italian area.
In sum, the Hirschlanden warrior is a fascinating and enigmatic local work. It should no longer be cited as evidence for Hellenization of the late Hallstatt Celts. Perhaps it could tell us a great deal more if studied in the context of its tumulus, its region and its north Italian contemporaries.