jueves, 17 de julio de 2014

Elite Gallic chariot burial revealed (France)

A team of French archaeologists at Warcq, Ardennes (northern France), recently completed the excavation of a remarkably preserved high status Gallic tomb complete with chariot.
Chariot burials commence around the 7th century BCE, however they are more commonly found in the Ardennes region from the beginning of the second Iron Age (5th-4th centuries BCE).
The large tomb (5.50 x 2.80 m) was intact to a depth of over a metre. The timber ceiling collapsed directly onto the floor of the burial chamber in antiquity, preserving the remains of the deceased as well as the grave goods.

Finely decorated chariot

This individual was buried with a two-wheeled chariot, finely decorated with inset bronze coins, and inlays of dark yellow and blue glass on the body and hubs. Several sections of the chariot still retain the gold leaf detailing including the interior of the iron wheel bands.
One of the most spectacular elements of the burial is its four horses. One is in the southwest and another in the norwthwest corner, while the other two are placed at the front of the chariot, under the yoke. A whole pig is laid out as a food offering.
The deceased, who had a bent sword scabbard, is laid on the chariot framework and wears an exceptional gold necklace, and a fibula which would have held his cloak in place. He was also buried with a pair of tweezers and an iron razor at his side. Three complete ceramic vessels were crushed in the collapse of the ceiling.
The presence of four chariot horses and the sword scabbard, folded in half, is a practice more common in Celtic Northern Italy and is little recorded within Gaul.
Even before a more precise chronology is prepared from scientific analysis, many indicators allow the archaeologists to assign the tomb to the late 2nd or early 1st century BCE (La Tène D1).

Source: Past Horizons: http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/07/2014/elite-gallic-chariot-burial-revealed

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