Montchaibeux: A fortification of the Late Latène period in the Delsberg basin

Montchaibeux: Prospektion

Abb. 1: Bei der Prospektion 2019 konnte das interuniversitäre Team trotz widriger Wetterbedingungen zahlreiche spätlatènezeitliche Funde mit dem Metalldetektor finden (Foto Anna Müller).

Montchaibeux: Untersuchung der Befestigung

Abb. 2: Bei der Forschungs- und Lehrgrabung der Universität Basel wurden die Befestigungen von den Studierenden genau untersucht (Foto Daniel Wacker).

Montchaibeux: Vernissage

Abb. 3: Eine kleine Ausstellung mit Funden vom Montchaibeux kann im JURASSICA-Museum in Porrentruy besichtigt werden. Impression von der Vernissage (Foto Dunja Mehr).

Since 2019, the Department of Prehistoric and Early Historic Archaeology has been conducting archaeological research on Montchaibeux in cooperation with the Section d'archéologie et paléontologie (SAP) of the Canton of Jura. This has been known as an archaeological site since the 1840s, but has not been further archaeologically investigated since the last soundings by Auguste Quiquerez in 1861.

The project started in 2019 with a metal detector survey in which the University of Basel, the University of Lausanne and volunteers participated. Numerous objects from the Late Latène period were recovered and it quickly became clear that the site still had great potential.

An excavation and evaluation project was therefore launched, with financial support from the Loterie Romande. In a research and teaching excavation (2020), the fortification ramparts from the Late Latène period, which are clearly visible in the terrain, were investigated. For this purpose, soundings were made at three points with a small excavator, which were subsequently examined in detail by students from the Universities of Basel and Neuchâtel and documented using modern methods. Due to technological improvements in metal detectors, another small prospection was carried out in 2022. A final small sounding is planned for autumn 2023 to clarify open detailed questions.

All known information about the site has been evaluated in master's project work and a master's thesis by Raphael Berger. Some of the finds from Montchaibeux have been presented to the public since September 2023 in a small exhibition at the Museum JURASSICA in Porrentruy (Master's project work Tamara Westphal). The exhibition is accompanied by a small bilingual brochure with the most important results of the research project. The publication of the results of the master's thesis is in preparation.

Publications that have appeared so far within the framework of the project

R. Berger/P. Brand/R. Fellner, Rossemaison/Courtételle JU, Montchaibeux. Jb AS 103, 2020, 105–106.

R. Berger, Rossemaison JU, Montchaibeux. Jb AS 104, 2021, 167–169.

R. Berger/T. Westphal, Les découvertes du Montchaibeux : Traces d'occupation de l'âge du Fer à aujourd'hui / Fundort Montchaibeux: Nutzungsspuren von der Eisenzeit bis Heute. Begleitbroschüre zur Ausstellung.


Presentations on the Project

R. Berger, Die spätlatènezeitliche Befestigung auf dem Montchaibeux. Ein Werkstattbericht aus der UFG Basel. Jahresversammlung Collegium Beatus Rhenanus, 3.12.2021, Strasbourg (F).

R. Berger, Le Montchaibeux (Jura, CH), un site fortifié de La Tène finale. État de connaissance. Colloque : Actualités de l'archéologie du haut Jura transfrontalier, 14.10.2022, Pontarlier (F).

R. Berger, Der Montchaibeux (Jura, CH), eine Befestigung der Spätlatènezeit. Journée d’actualité du Groupe de réflexion sur les 2e et 1er siècles avant notre ère, 9.2.2023, Bern (CH).

R. Berger, Der Montchaibeux (Jura, CH), eine Befestigung der Spätlatènezeit. Resultate des Forschungsprojektes (mit einer Prise Theorie). Forschungskolloquium IPNA/UFG/PRA („Kränzli“), 2.10.2023, Basel (CH).