Category Archives: FRANCE

Bones of Handless Man Found Near Mysterious Medieval Dolphin Burial

Bones of Handless Man Found Near Mysterious Medieval Dolphin Burial

The body of a man without hands thought to have been buried hundreds of years ago has been found by archaeologists on a rocky islet off the coast of Guernsey, one of the British Channel Islands – just a few feet from where a mysterious medieval skeleton of a dolphin was found last year.

Phil De Jersey, a Guernsey government archaeologist, said the skeleton of the handless man appeared to have been buried much later than the baffling burial of that dolphin skeleton on the same islet, and therefore the two burials probably aren’t related. But he said that the latest find added much to the mystery of the rocky islet of Chapelle Dom Hue.

The islet lies about 900 feet (300 meters) from the west coast of Guernsey, overlooking the sea and the stones of a Neolithic burial ground on the mainland of the island.

The human remains appear to have been buried several hundred years ago on the islet of Chapelle Dom Hue.

Though Chapelle Dom Hue is only about 50 feet (10 m) across today – so small that the sea at high tide cuts it into two pieces – archaeologists say it was once larger; during the medieval period, the islet was home to a colony of a few reclusive Christian monks, they said.

The archaeological team first thought the skeleton found this year might have been that of a monk who had suffered from leprosy, which might account for the missing wrists and hands, De Jersey told Live Science.

But some details of the remains of the man’s clothes — especially the shirt buttons — made the researchers think that the body was buried in the 16th or 17th century, well after Chapelle Dom Hue was occupied by monks.”Our working hypothesis at the moment is that this is a drowning, or a body washed up,” De Jersey said.

“It was given a quick but relatively respectful Christian burial at the spot where it got washed up on that island.”

Dolphin Burial

Last year, De Jersey reported that his team had found a dolphin skeleton that appeared to have been buried on the island sometime during the Middle Ages when monks had lived there.

The carefully buried skeleton perplexed the archaeologists because it might have easily been just dumped in the sea a few yards away, without the trouble of a burial.

The dolphin carcass, De Jersey said, might have been buried with salt to preserve it for eating, and then forgotten; or perhaps it was regarded as a holy animal — although his research has not revealed why a dolphin would be regarded as holy at that time and place.

The human remains were buried only about 30 feet from the mysterious skeleton of a dolphin, found last year, that had been buried sometime in the Middle Ages.

Subsequent studies of the dolphin skeleton tended to confirm that it was buried on the islet in the early 1400s, but no further light had been shed on the mysterious burial, he told Live Science.

The human burial on the island had come to light in the last few months as a small cliff had weathered away, about 30 feet (10 m) from the site where the dolphin skeleton had been found, he said. Eventually, the weathering revealed the upper part of the foot and toe bones.

Archaeologists then excavated the site and found the remains of a man about 5 feet tall, but without any hands or wrist bones.

Mystery Man

De Jersey now thinks the human body washed up on the islet and was buried there sometime in the 1500s or 1600s.

The hands of bodies that have drifted at sea are often eaten by fish; in fact, the skull of the body showed signs of damage that could have happened when it drifted up among rocks on the shore. The lower part of the left arm is also missing, but “the feet have survived relatively well, perhaps because it had some sort of footwear,” he said.

Archaeologists think the remains may be of a seaman who drowned and floated at sea before being washed up on the islet.

The archaeological team will try to get a radiocarbon date on the skeleton, but the remains of a few buttons on his shirt suggest that it was later than the medieval period.”

Buttons in the early medieval period were quite rare and unusual, and these look to me like something later that might have been part of a sailor’s dress,” he said.

So far, the dolphin and human skeletons are the only skeletal remains found in the islet of Chapelle Dom Hue, but De Jersey won’t rule out the possibility that there still may be bones to find: “There is not a huge amount of space over there left to find more things, but who knows?”

“There was a little bit of excavation done there by an archaeologist in the 1890s,” De Jersey said. “He wrote about it, and said that he didn’t think it was worth going back there again because there was nothing more to be said about the place — and I quite like that because, really, how wrong could he be?”

Magnificent Mosaics Discovered in “Lost” Roman City

Magnificent Mosaics Discovered in “Lost” Roman City

Hidden for centuries, mosaic floors from the lost Roman city of Ucetia have been uncovered in France.

A large excavation is underway in the town of Uzès in southern France to unearth more of the remains of this ancient Roman settlement, the existence of which archaeologists had only hints of until the dig.

The nearby city of Nîmes is more famous for its Roman history, largely thanks to the A.D. 70 amphitheater, where events, including bullfights, still take place. Less is known about Uzès, once called Ucetia.

But before the construction of dormitories for a high school there, archaeologists were brought in to investigate a 43,000 square-foot (4,000 square meters) area for pieces of the city’s history.

The French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP) announced that the dig has so far been very fruitful.

Some of the walls and structures that were uncovered date to just before the Roman conquest of present-day France (called Gaul at the time).

But the most visually stunning finds are the well-preserved Roman-era mosaic floors with richly colored patterns and figures.

The archaeologists found one large structure, 2,700 square feet (250 square meters) in area, with a colonnade that suggests it was a public building, and four rooms in a row.

One of those large rooms contains a complex mosaic pavement with geometric patterns like meanders and swastikas, as well as symbols like crowns and chevrons, and animals like an owl, duck, eagle and fawn.

The archaeologists think this building dates to the first century B.C. and was maintained until the first century A.D.

In another area at the site, the archaeologists unearthed a”domus,” or a large house belonging to a wealthy Roman family. This building sprawls over 5,380 square feet (500 square meters) and dates to the early Roman Empire (first century B.C.).

A room in this family home has a mosaic floor with a geometric pattern, accompanied by stylized dolphins in the four corners.

The home also had a type of central heating system; archaeologists found a “hypocaust,” or a crawl space supported by brick columns where hot air would have circulated. And several “dolia,” or huge ceramic wine vessels, were found there, suggesting the inhabitants might have drunk homemade wine.

The 1.5 million euro ($1.6 million) dig is ongoing, and, according to INRAP, the archaeologists have recently begun excavating another large area of ancient and medieval ruins, including two roads and an intersection.

Display of 4001 Roman coins, more than 50 years after discovery

Display of 4001 Roman coins, more than 50 years after discovery

The Treasure of Garonne, an assemblage of 4001 Roman coins that went down with a shipwreck in the 2nd century A.D., has gone on display at the Museum of Aquitaine Bordeux.

This is the first time all 4001 coins have been exhibited to the public. The coins are sestertii made of orichalcum, a brass-like alloy of zinc and copper, ranging in date from the reign of the Emperor Claudius (41-54 A.D.) to that of Antoninus Pius (138-161 A.D.). It is the largest and most significant Roman coin treasure in France.

The first coins from the treasure were discovered accidentally in 1965 during dredging works on the Garonne river.

Former University of Bordeaux professor Robert Étienne recognized that there were likely more coins to be found and organized a series of systematic excavations at several sites on the river over the next six years.

Coins have continued to turn up in the decades since, donated by individuals and institutions, some even found at private constructions sites trapped in sand from the Garonne that was being used as aggregate.

One of the museum’s conservators found a coin when he was a child and he donated it so it could join its brethren in the comprehensive exhibition.

The most recent donation of an orichalcum coin from the Treasure of the Garonne was just last month.

Charred pieces of wood found in the initial discovery indicate the coins were on a merchant ship traveling upriver from Burdigala (modern-day Bordeaux) between 170 and 176 A.D.

The vessel caught fire and sank with its cargo, including thousands of orichalcum sestertii, many of which were visibly altered by contact with the fire.

Estimates based on the ship’s cargo size suggests as many as 800 coins are still unaccounted for, snapped up by souvenir hunters during the initial find, embedded in the sediment still on the river bed or inadvertently built into random walls.

Recording and studying the massive number of coins has taken decades, which is why the complete treasure has never been on display until now.

The coins have been invaluable in answering questions about the composition of orichalcum, particularly its zinc content and how it changed from the first century to the end of the second.

2500-year-old Celtic aristocrat buried with cauldron of Achelous and adorned in gold

2500-year-old Celtic aristocrat buried with cauldron of Achelous and adorned in gold

Archaeologists have made an impressive excavation of a fifth-century tomb. A tomb in Lavau, Champagne, holds a 2500-year-old bronze cauldron one meter in diameter, as well as an aristocrat adorned in gold torque.

The cauldron has a lion head and the impressive head of Achelous, a River-God in Greek mythology, with three mustaches on the brim. At the center of the tomb lies the aristocrat, with other items that have remained undisturbed for 2500 years. The aristocrat was buried with a chariot, bronze vases, and more.

Achelous was believed to be a water deity who battled with Hercules and unfortunately for him, Hercules won the fight and viciously took a horn from Achelous’ head. The cauldron resembles the familiar depictions of Achelous, including the three-fanged mustache.

The gold bracelets

Who is this aristocrat that received such a king’s send off in France? This is a question that the National Archaeologist Research Institute hopes to answer. But first, they must determine the Celtic royalty’s gender, something that has perplexed archaeologists since the discovery.

In their defense, their case is not helped by the fact that the remains are severely decomposed compared to other recovered items. The unfortunate state of the corpse makes it difficult to determine the gender.

Some favored the idea that the corpse is likely male. This assumption has led many to point out that female tombs in north-eastern France indicate it is more likely that the corpse may, in fact, be female.

Heavy gold torque and gold bracelets

Whether male or female, what is known is that she or he was of high rank. Torques were favored by Celtics to denote rank. And the gold necklace protruding through the corpse’s neck weighs almost 2.5 pounds and denotes a significant figure. Compared to that of the Vix princess, this torque weighs almost 556 grams and is made of pure gold.

The aristocrat, whoever he or she was, also had gold bracelets and a lignite cuff on its left bicep. The jewelry and other items found bore resemblance to those from the tomb at Reinheim.

The manner of the burial and the items recovered has made this site an intriguing encounter. This goes together with other burial sites, many of which have been of high-ranking females. Tombs such as this one and that of the Vix princess provide a fascinating insight into the lives of people during the Iron Age.

Among other items recovered were well-preserved clothing and shoes. Next to the aristocrat’s neck were amber beads. Also recovered were two iron and coral hook attachments.

Whether archaeologists are able to determine the sex of the remains is something we will have to continue waiting for. Among the ruins lies an aristocrat adorned in gold and buried with a chariot. More questions have been answered then left unanswered.

2,000-Year-Old Grave of Child and Puppy Found in France

2,000-Year-Old Grave of Child and Puppy Found in France

The dog, outfitted in a collar with a bell, was placed next to the 1-year-old’s feet.

A bent metal rod discovered in the grave was likely a dog toy.

Some 2,000 years ago, a small child in Roman Gaul—now France—died and was buried alongside what archaeologists say was probably a pet puppy.

As Kim Willsher reports for the Guardian, researchers from the National Institute for Preventative Archaeological Research (INRAP) found an iron ring attached to a bent metal rod—likely a toy—between the legs of the dog, which was placed at the child’s feet outside of the coffin. The canine sported a collar with a bell and bronze decorations.

The child, who died when they were about 1 year old, was buried with an array of objects, including terracotta vases, half a pig and two headless chickens, as well as glass pots believed to have contained oils and medicines. The researchers are testing the receptacles to discover exactly what they held.

Given the wealth of grave goods found at the site, the team suggests that the child belonged to an elite family.

“The items that accompany this deceased are absolutely exceptional, both in terms of quantity and quality,” says an INRAP statement, per a translation by the Guardian.

“Such a profusion of crockery and butchered items, as well as the personal effects that followed the child to [their] grave, underline the privileged rank to which [their] family belonged.

A dog’s association with a young child is well documented in a funeral context, but here it is the collar and bell that are unusual.”

Dated to sometime during the first three decades A.D., more than 50 years after Julius Caesar’s conquest of Gaul, the burial is the “oldest and most important” child’s grave unearthed in France to date, according to the Guardian. At the time of the infant’s death, Gaul was becoming increasingly assimilated into the Greco-Roman world.

The wealth of goods buried with the child suggests they hailed from an elite family.

Laurence Lautier, head of the research team, tells Agence France-Presse that the burial is “unusual because of the profusion of vases and offerings. In this type of tomb we often find one or two pots placed at the foot. Here there are around 20 as well as many food offerings.”

Lautier adds that the vessels probably contained “the child’s part of the food and drink from the funeral banquet.”

Also found in the grave was an older child’s baby tooth, which was placed on a fragment of shell. The researchers say that the tooth may have been left by a sibling of the deceased.

Though the bodies of adults were normally cremated during this period, small children were often buried, reports Clyde Hughes for UPI.

The research team conducted the dig ahead of a development project at the Clermont-Ferrand Auvergne Airport in central France. Since November, the group has excavated a 7.4-acre area of the site.

In addition to the Roman-era grave, the archaeologists have found artifacts spanning the Iron Age through the Middle Ages. Highlight include pits and structures dated to as early as 800 B.C., as well as medieval-era buildings containing equine and bovine remains that indicate they may have housed a butchery operation.

The entire site is covered by a network of ditches, suggesting that locals made multiple efforts to drain the area’s marshland over the millennia.

Child’s bones buried 40,000 years ago solve long-standing Neanderthal mystery

Child’s bones buried 40,000 years ago solve long-standing Neanderthal mystery

This reconstruction shows the Neanderthal child’s burial at La Ferrassie.

We don’t know whether it was a boy or a girl. But this ancient child, a Neanderthal, only made it to about two years of age.

This short life, lived about 41,000 years ago, was uncovered at a famous archaeological site in southwestern France, called La Ferrassie. The remains of several Neanderthals have been found there, including the most recent discovery, the child, known only as La Ferrassie 8.

When the ancient remains were first found – most at various stages of the early 20th century – archaeologists had assumed the skeletons represented intentional burials, with Neanderthals laying their departed kin to rest under the earth.

Nonetheless, in contemporary archaeology, doubts now swirl around the question of whether Neanderthals did indeed bury their dead like that, or whether this particular aspect of funerary rites is a uniquely Homo sapiens custom.

In part, the asking of these questions links back to the archaeological techniques and record-keeping used in the past, as the antiquated methods used by archaeologists and anthropologists from the early 20th century (and even earlier) mean we can’t always be entirely confident in their findings.

With such a mystery on their mind, a team led by researchers from Le Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) and the Muséum national d’histoire naturelle in France has now conducted a thorough re-evaluation of La Ferrassie 8’s ancient remains, which have now been kept in the museum for almost 50 years after being discovered between 1970 and 1973.

“The discovery and context of this skeleton has generally been regarded as poorly documented, but in fact this deficiency stems from a lack of the necessary processing of the information and materials from La Ferrassie related to the penultimate excavation phase (1968–1973),” the researchers write in their new paper(opens in new tab).

“Indeed, a huge amount of data remained unassessed prior to our current study.”

In the new work, the researchers reviewed the notebooks and field diaries used by the original excavation team, as well as analysing La Ferrassie 8’s bones. They also performed new excavations and analyses at the La Ferrassie cave shelter site where the child’s remains were found.

The results of their multi-disciplinary approach suggests that – despite the substandard nature of previous research into La Ferrassie 8’s purported burial – the old conclusions were correct: the child was buried.

“The combined anthropological, spatial, geochronological, taphonomic, and biomolecular data analysed here suggest that a burial is the most parsimonious explanation for LF8,” the authors explain.

“Our results show that LF8 is intrusive within an older (and archaeologically sterile) sedimentary layer. We propose that Neandertals intentionally dug a pit in sterile sediments in which the LF8 child was laid.”

In reaching this conclusion, the team confirmed that the well-preserved bones were laid to rest in an unscattered manner, remaining in their anatomical position, with the head raised higher than the rest of the body, even though the lay of the land was inclined at a different angle (suggesting a contrived elevation by Neanderthal hands).

Further, there were no animal marks on them, which the team consider another probable sign of a prompt, intended burial. Especially when compared to the weathered state of various animal remains found in the vicinity.

“The absence of carnivore marks, the low degree of spatial disturbance, fragmentation, and weathering suggest that they were rapidly covered by sediment,” the researchers explain.

“We cannot find any natural (i.e. non-anthropic) process that could explain the presence of the child and associated elements within a sterile layer with an inclination that does not follow the geological inclination of the stratum. In this case, we propose that the body of the LF8 child was laid in a pit dug into the sterile sediment.”

It’s not the first study in recent times to claim new evidence of Neanderthals burying their dead, and it likely won’t be the last.

The French team say it’s time in a new-and-improved analytical standards were brought to bear on the varying skeletal remains of La Ferrassie 1 through to 7, giving us an updated assessment of how they too were interred.

Then, maybe, with all said and done, these very old souls might finally get some rest.

Huge Celtic Iron Age tomb with stunning artifacts discovered in France!

Huge Celtic Iron Age tomb with stunning artifacts discovered in France!

There’s a massive funerary chamber in France where Archaeologists are doing a research for what they believe was a 5th century BC Celtic Prince holding his chariot, a bronze made cauldron, a vase with a Greek god of wine and ecstasy painted on it, a huge knife and few other artifacts.

These treasure worth found artifacts in the Champagne region are “fitting for one of the highest elite of the end of the first Iron Age”, according to the French archaeological agency INRAP in the French-English “The Connexion” newspaper.

These Archaeologists, from the French National agency – INRAP, dug 40m (131feet) underground to find these valuables on the edge of a park near Lavau.

The tomb is bigger than the cathedral in nearby Troyes, the article reported. It covered nearly 7655sq. yards and was surrounded by a palisade and ditch when found in tumulus (tumulus is a burial mound or barrow).

Their page on Facebook claims that the center of the almost 44-yard diameter tumulus has his chariot “at the heart of a vast funeral chamber” of 15,3 yards squared.

Even though they’ve found only some parts of a skeleton, the Archaeologists haven’t still identified the princes’ remains. They only think that they’ve found a body of a princes’ relative among with some funeral urns and other graves, and claim that they’ve already dated some of the ashes in the urns to 1400 BC.

The tomb was found when they were inspecting the ground in order to explore it and prepare it for a new commercial center construction. The president of INRAP, Dominique Garcia, said they were sure the tomb was a princes’ because of the big knife they’ve found in it.

As reported, the Archaeologists consider the most important find was the 1meter-diameter bronze cauldron. Its 4 handles were decorated with Achelous’ head (Achelous is the river god of ancient Greeks). It also had 8 lionesses’ heads, and a ceramic oinochoe wine jug with Dionysus under a grapevine painted in it.

They assume that the wine set was a centerpiece of an aristocratic Celtic banquet. As INRAP reported, it is a “Greco-Latin” wine set which confirms that the Celts and folks from the Mediterranean region were making exchanges.

“At the time [of the burial] Mediterranean traders were extending their economic range, seeking slaves and precious metals and jewels. The Celts, who controlled the main communication routes along the Seine, Rhône, Saône, Rhine and Danube, benefited from the exchanges to get prestigious objects,” the Connexion article reported.

The Celtic peoples are in Brittany, Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, the Isle of Man and Ireland.

The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology says: “At one time, however, the Celts were spread over a large part of the [European] continent, and in 278 BC one roving band even penetrated as far east as Asia Minor, where they gave their name to Galatia.

Until the rise of the Roman power, the Celts were a force to be reckoned with. Rome itself had been sacked by them in 385 BC, a historical fact not forgotten by the legionnaires who gave Julius Caesar victory between 59 and 49 BC over the Celtic tribes living in Gaul, present-day France.

Although largely incorporated into the Roman Empire, the Celts continued to worship their own gods and goddesses right up to the time of the official adoption by the Romans of the Christian faith.”

Cuchulainn of Ireland was one of the most important Celtic heroes. Died at an early age he was slain in a heroic defense of Ulster.

Dagda (means “the good god”) was the chief Celtic God of the Irish, apparently, was very wise, knowledgeable and a great magician. As it is known, Dagda could slay his enemies with one end of his club and heal and resurrect his allies with the other. An inexhaustible bounty could’ve been served up by his magical cauldron.

During a truce before the second battle of Magh Tuireadh, Dagda visited the enemies camp – Fomorii. As the Fomorii required, he was supposed to eat a porridge of flour, fat, milk, pigs and goats, that all together could’ve fed up to 50 men, or instead, they would’ve kill him.


Mystery of ‘feminine’ skeleton found in the royal Celtic tomb

The remains of an ancient Celtic prince or princess, still found in a tomb with wealth, with a solid gold torque and sumptuous bracelets left archeologists confused.

In the Lavau district, near Troyes, the 2500-year-old royal grave, which is supposed to date to the fifth century BC, is said to have belonged to a Celtic royal family.

French tomb sheds light on Iron Age European trade

At the center of the tomb, in an ornate two-wheled chariot with a 580 g (1.2 lbs) golden tour decorated with elaborate winged monsters in the neck, the skeleton had been placed to rest. Also on the skeleton’s wrists were two gold bracelets and a jet bracelet around the left bicep.

But a sword was still found in the grave and indicated that the individual may have been a warrior of some sort. The body also featured delicately carved Greek vases and massive three-foot high Etruscan bronze chaudron.

However, French archeologists who carried out the excavation still have to establish the sex of the person in the grave, but believe he could have been a Celtic prince or Princess of Lavau.The unusual array of papers found next to the body has contributed to the mystery of who the belonged to.

There have been several tombs of princesses from fifth century BC found in north east France, including the Lady of Vix, which was discovered in northern Burgundy in 1953.

Archaeologists have described the latest tomb as an ‘exceptional discovery’ that resembled another found in Reinheim in Germany.

Bastien Dubuis, chief archaeologist on the dig, said:’The presence of a chariot, a cauldron and bronze crockery are three typical characteristics of a princely tomb from this period.

‘They’re well-documented funerary objects, objects of prestige. They were used in religious ceremonies and as a way to show off the power of the elite.’

Two gold bracelets, still on the wrists of the dead Celtic royal can be seen
A bronze cauldron which forms one of the centre pieces of the tomb had several large rings around its edge, each adorned with the horned, bearded head of Acheloos, the Greek river god

The tomb was first discovered in October 2014 and made public in March 2015, but following further excavations, experts have now released more details of the riches inside the grave.

In a statement released by the National Archaeological Research Insitute in France,INRAP, it said: ‘Lying at the centre of the tomb, at the south end, the deceased rests with its two-wheeled chariot.

‘The prince is dressed in his jewellery. It sports a solid gold torque heavier than even that of the Princess of Vix’s rigid collar.

‘In his wrists, a gold bracelet, while his left bicep was girded with a lignite [jet] armband. This furniture has similarities with that of the tomb of Reinheim in Germany.

Ceramics, including this finely decorated Greek wine pitcher inlaid with gold, were also found in the grave

It is richly decorated with a double winged monster patter. Archaeologists found several amber beads, finely worked into a necklace or hair jewellery.

‘The tomb contains funerary deposits worthy of the highest wealthy Hallstatt elites.’ The Hallstatt Celts were a early Iron age culture that spread across most of northern Europe.

However, INRAP added: ‘The poor state of preservation of the bones means it is not yet possible to determine with certainty the sex of the individual.’

The position of the skeleton in the tomb – lying slightly on its side – has meant archaeologists have been unable to examine the pelvis without damaging the remains.

Funeral deposits including bronze and ceramic dishes were found in the tomb, which is dated to the early fifth century BC

Even archaeologists involved in the dig are split over the sex of the remains. They say some of the evidence found in the grave, such as the chariot, have a distinctly masculine feel, but the skeleton itself appears more feminine.

INRAP said it appeared the prince or princess had been buried in their finest clothing, possibly a costume that had been worn for special occasions or parties.

Iron clasps and coral that perhaps held the garment together were also found and the remains of some leather along with iron rivets that sat around the neck. Lace eyelets and bronze clasps from the person’s shoes also remain.Archaeologists say it appears the person had been lavishly clothed when they were buried suggesting they were of extremely high standing.

One of the most intriguing items in the grave, however, was the enormous bronze cauldron cast in the Meditteranean style. It is not clear whether it was buried with anything inside but experts say at some point it may have been used to hold wine.The cauldron has four circular handles, each decorated with the horned, bearded head of Acheloos, the Greek river god.

The edge of the pot is decorated with eight heads of lionesses. Experts believe it may have been made either in Greece or by the Etruscan civilisation that lived in Tuscany in Italy at the time.

In some Celtic cultures warriors were buried with cauldrons for use in the afterlife. It is hoped the tomb may help to shed fresh light on the trade links between the Celts in northern Europe and the emerging civilisations around the Mediterranean at the time.

The Celtic prince or princess is thought to have died around 500BC – about the time when the ancient Greeks were beginning to flourish.

It has been widely assumed that the Greeks and Etrucans saw the cultures living in the north as barbarians, but the new discovery shows they may have enjoyed a close relationship.

Also found in the tomb was a black ceramic Greek wine pitcher inlade with gold, described as being ‘without equivalent’. The pitcher depicts Dionysius at a banquet lying under a vine opposite a female figure.

Archaeologists also found gold and silver sieved spoon for separating wine from herbs and spices. INRAP president Dominique Garcia said: ‘They are evidence of the exchanges that happened between the Mediterranean and the Celts. ‘Even in the rich Greek tombs you don’t find such objects.’