For over two and a half thousand years, a tomb from the Iron Age has been filled with treasures made from such valuable materials as gold, amber, and bronze. Why has no one had an interest in it?
Well, it has been near the Danube River ever since then and no one has stumbled upon it until one day a farmer and his wife discovered a rare relic in their plowed field. What they found was of untold historic significance and value. They could hardly beleive it.
These treasures, filled with glitz and glamor, were lining the tomb of a woman who seemed to have been between the ages of thirty and forty when she died. The way she was festooned suggests that she was a high-ranking member of an old Celtic society back around 600 B.C.
Archaeologists believe the woman was buried in present-day Germany at a fort that was named Heuneburg.
The lead archaeologist of the research excursion, Dirk Krausse of Germany, believes that because there were petrified mollusks and sea urchins from the sea present in the tomb that the woman could be labeled as a priestess of her era.
Krausse also told reporters that the archaeological dig process was accelerated thanks to tunnels that were dug between that tomb and the others nearby that were pillaged and looted over the course of many years in many other graves from the chambers.
Krausse claimed that the new grave they stumbled upon is a remarkable one that is the first of its era to be adorned with many rich objects and furnishings.
The hill fort that belongs to prehistory, Heuneburg, is not only close in proximity to the Danube River, but it is also said to have been known for many hundreds of decades.
It was a city-state that was established in the sixth century of B.C. and was created by Celtic societal members. One philosopher from Greece by the name of Herodotus even mentioned the site in his writings about the Danube and its history.
Archaeologists only began excavating the site, however, in 1950. Until recently, though, nothing was found in this location that is situated near to the Alps.
The late archaeologist, Siegfried Kurz, passed away in 2014, but nine years prior to that, he set the wheels in motion to find these grave-littered chambers when he discovered a golden brooch in an empty field.
The grave that was excavated after this discovery featured a young girl, around the age of a toddler, who was buried in a chamber that was much less lavish and made of wood.
Since archaeologists were worried that any other activity from farmers on the field would disturb other graves with potentially earth-shattering realizations, they decided to excavate the entire area, which they then named Keltenblock.
The grave they excavated was, of course, discovered to hold a great many valuable and interesting artifacts, including the aforementioned gold jewelry and carved wood. It also included many extravagant furs and ornaments made from bronze and the horns of boars. Archaeologists expect that those would be used to attach to a horse.
Alongside one of the individuals, a bronze sheet was found that was adorned with many varying patterns. After researchers used a CT scan on the item, it was found to also include the remains of a bit made of iron for a horse, leading many to believe that the sheet was also a piece of equipment used on horses.
If the sheet is what researchers believe it to be (a chanfron, as Krausse claimed), then it will officially become the first ever to be found at Heuneburg and only the second from that era in the Alps.
Krausse made the obvious connection that many readers have surely already concluded by this point of the article by drawing a correlation between the noble woman and a potential affinity for horses.
The researchers were able to pinpoint the exact dates on some of the burials as 583 B.C. thanks to the counting of tree rings on the wood that was used to craft the entirety of the chamber’s floor.
With this date uncovered, the grave is said to belong to the culture of the Hallstatt, which is the name of central Europeans from the 583 B.C. timeframe.
The objects and treasures that were found, on the other hand, have drawn peculiar connections from archaeologists between the jewelery of a noble, elite woman and the jewelry of the aforementioned young girl, who resided fewer than seven feet from the grave of the priestess.
Because the jewelry between the two skeletons bore such a dense amount of similarities, the archaeologists believe they were buried at relatively close times to one another.
In terms of the jewelry’s style, not just its wealth, the researchers found a match between what she was festooned with and what cultures boasted in places like Italy and Greece.
Because the excavations seem to point to the notion that the jewelry was crafted at the Heuneburg site, archaeologists seem to think that the local artists were strongly influenced by cultures that were much further south than theirs.
Krausse was especially delighted by this new wealth of information, which was published in a journal known as Antiquity earlier this year, because it also gives a historical context to the relationships between cultures north and south of the Alps and between countries like Italy and Greece and the Danube River surrounding city-states.
These new discoveries seem to suggest that there was a much stronger relationship between the regions than archaeologists thought previously.