Fierce People in the Rhein and Neckar area

With this exhibition, the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen take visitors to the Early Medieval Ages in the Rhein and Neckar area. More than 1200 archaeological finds tell the story of the so called “Fierce People”, a young, brutal and mobile society, living here in rural settlements during the reign of the Franks.

Written sources from the 6th century report the ferocity of the people on the eastern bank of the Rhein River. Archaeological evidence reveals fates of single persons and their everyday life. The richly furnished graves are equipped with clothing, jewellery, tools, weapons and vessels full of food, since men, women and children were buried according to their social rank.

The objects presented in the exhibition bear witness to the artistry of the blacksmiths, bone carvers, glass blowers, bead makers, and potters. The men brought back opulent booty from war raids in Italy. In addition, exotic goods hailing from the Baltic and the Near East as well as gems from India and ivory from Africa reached the region.

The development of Mannheim from its beginnings as a village called “mannenheim” to the metropolis of the Palatinate is shown at the end of the exhibition. A cinematic reconstruction of this process can be compared to prestigious objects found in settlements ranging from the Late Middle Ages to Modern times.