Quintessential of all the Iron Age Saxon settlements, Feddersen Wierde is located on the marshy coastland of northern Germany. It was first occupied around the first century BC and continued without break until the 5th century AD.
While the first settlement at the site was basically a single farmstead, by the first century AD, the settlement had grown to four or five rectangular long-houses or Wohnstallhaus, measuring up to 30 m (98 feet) in length and 10 m (32 feet) in width. One end of these houses was for human occupants; the other end for cows: the occupants of Feddersen Wierde were primarily cattle herders
, and they kept their livelihood close by. As the centuries rolled on, the site gradually grew in elevation, built on the remains of earlier structures and garbage, as is true for most long-occupied settlements.