Iron Age princess ‘Princess’ discovered in France: archaeologists excavate 2,200-year-old grave of a woman dripping with blue glass beads and wearing a brass clasp
- Body was excavated outside Saint-Vulbas, about 20 miles from Lyon, France
- Woman, believed to be a princess, was buried with bracelets and belt buckle
- Separate burial was also made on the site in the 5th century BC with limestone slabs
The remains of a 2,200-year-old woman dripping with blue glass beads and wearing a copper belt have been discovered by French archaeologists.
The body, said to be a princess, was found on his back with his arms on the sides a few feet below the surface outside Saint-Vulbas, about 20 miles from Lyon.
She was one of three tombs made on site during the First Iron Age and was placed in a nine-foot-by-three-foot, and six-centimeter oak box.
The woman is said to have been buried in an oak casket
The body was found with blue glass bracelets and once reddish brown copper beads on both wrists outside of Lyon, south-eastern France. One of the bracelets is shown above
The belt buckle is shown above as found in the grave. It is surrounded by beads
Bracelets decorated with blue glass and once reddish-brown copper beads were neatly placed on each wrist, archaeologists from the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap) said.
And the presence of a two-inch-wide buckle suggested that she had worn a belt, probably made of leather. It had a clip made of a copper alloy that was used to keep it closed.
Fragments of the pelvis, including the femur, parts of the skull and the sacrum were among the bones found in the treasures.
A separate funeral at the site from the same period revealed that the individual had been cremated.
Two tombs were added in the fifth century BC and were covered by a four-post burial monument surrounded by a shallow moat.
A brass belt buckle with a clip to hold it was also found in the grave
Depicted are some of the glass beads buried in women 2,200 years ago
A stack of small, pearly discs from the tomb are shown above. The woman’s grave was one of five found on the site
In a box was placed a limestone-lined box of washed bones and bracelet fragments.
How was life in France in the 8th century BC?
The Halstatt culture dominated France around the time the bodies were buried, which is known for its emphasis on agriculture and fine artifacts.
By 800 BC. People started living in fortresses, heavily defended by walls and moats, due to increasing conflict.
Tribes had also started to trade copper and tin for making bronze and iron around this time with each other and the Mediterranean.
The archaeologists suggest that an empty space next to it could have been used to offer perishable goods, such as food.
In the others, bones mixed with charcoal from the stake are buried.
The old graveyard was discovered when workers began removing the ground to build Plaine de L’Ain Industrial Park.
The tombs lived while the Halstatt culture was in southeastern France and most of Europe, known for its fine artifacts and emphasis on agriculture and metalworking.
By 800 BC. Long-distance trade routes had been established for the exchange of copper, tin and iron linking the region to the Mediterranean.
This is also around the time hill fortresses appeared, defended with walls and ditches to ward off rival clans.
Hundreds of bodies mummified in swamps were discovered around this period, and many suffered brutal deaths.
Shown above is the outline of the four-pillar cladding from the 5th century BC discovered at the site
A separate burial had a limestone casket buried under a covering on one side
This is an artistic impression of what the cemetery in France would have looked like
The 4th century BC Tollund man had been so well preserved when found in Denmark that he was believed to have been a recent murder victim.
He was killed by hanging, the rope left deep marks on his neck before being placed in the swamp.
The Lindow man, found in Manchester, England, was found to have slit his throat and was beaten with a rope made of animal parts before being thrown into a swamp.