Excavating a Celtic Prince's Tomb: Photos
See photos of items recovered at the burial mound of a Celtic Prince.
An Iron Age Celtic prince lay buried with his chariot at the center of a huge mound in the Champagne region of France, according to the country's National Archaeological Research Institute (Inrap). Standing near the small village of Lavau, in northwestern France, the mound, 130 feet across, has been dated to the 5th century BC. The 2,500-year-old tomb has at its center a 150-square-foot burial chamber, housing the deceased and his chariot.
The major find so far has been a large bronze-decorated wine cauldron, most likely made by Greek or Etruscans craftsmen. Measuring about 3.2 feet in diameter, the cauldron has four circular handles which are decorated with bronze heads that depict the Greek god Acheloos.
Standing on the circular handles of the cauldron, is the Greek god Acheloos. The river deity is represented horned, bearded, with ears of a bull and a triple mustache.
More decorations are found around the edge of the cauldron. These include eight lioness heads.
Inside the cauldron, the archaeologists found a ceramic wine vessel, called oniochoe, decorated with black figures.
Decorations on the vessel include the god Dionysus, lying under a vine and facing a woman. The Greco-Latin wine set, the northernmost found so far, is typical of an aristocratic Celtic banquet.
The archaeologists also found remains of a iron wheel, which belonged to a chariot buried with the prince.