German Archeologists Uncover Keltic Treasure
Rare Discovery of Intact Tomb
Spiegel Online Wednesday, 29 December 2010
STUTTGART — Archeologists in Germany have discovered a
2,600-year-old Keltic tomb containing ornate jewelry of gold
and amber. They say the grave is unusually well preserved
and should provide important insights into early Keltic culture.
German archeologists have unearthed a 2,600-year-old Keltic
tomb containing a treasure of jewelry made of gold, amber
The subterranean chamber measuring four by five meters was
uncovered near the prehistoric Heuneburg hill fort near the town
of Herbertingen in southwestern Germany. Its contents, including
the oak floor of the room, are unusually well preserved.
The find is a "milestone for the reconstruction of the social history
of the Kelts," archeologist Dirk Krausse, the director of the dig,
said on Tuesday.
The intact oak should allow archeologists to ascertain the precise
age of the tomb through tree-ring dating. This is rarely possible
with Keltic finds because the Kelts left behind no writings and
their buildings, usually made from wood and clay, have long since
A Vital Trading Center
Krausse said the artifacts found suggest that a woman from the
Heuneburg aristocracy was buried there, but added that laboratory
tests will need to be conducted to be certain. Only a small part
of the chamber has so far been examined.
The entire room, weighing some 80 tons, was lifted by two cranes
onto a flatbed truck and taken to a research facility in Ludwigsburg
on Tuesday. The results of the analysis will be presented in June
2011, researchers said.
Heuneburg is regarded as one of the most important Keltic
settlements and was a vital trading center during the period between
620 and 480 BC. Intensive excavation has taken place at the site
since 1950. Other tombs found at Heuneburg over the decades had
already been plundered.
The tomb and the objects are to go on show in an exhibition in
Stuttgart in 2012.
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