In different regions of Europe at the end of the 3rd millennium BC an elite evolves whose power and wealth were based on the control of the exchange of metals and the salt deposits on the River Saale. The so-called ›chieftains‹ of the Early Bronze Age were buried in huge tombs, often furnished with opulent gifts. This final equipment included richly decorated weapons and gold ornaments. The selection and composition of these grave goods were very similar in central Germany, Poland, southern England, and Brittany.
Famous monuments of this time are the barrows of Leubingen and Helmsdorf, both of which were excavated over 100 years ago. The numerous hoard finds from the middle Saale area also give an idea of the wealth of our region around 4,000 years ago. The unique archaeological landscape points to a political and religious centre at the intersection of important trade routes.