July 18, 2024 The sun rises from Anatolia

Unique 3500-year-old Bronze Age hoard discovered in northern Bohemia

A number of bronze artifacts, including pieces of jewelry dating back 3500 years, have been discovered in the town of Budyně nad Ohří, about 40 kilometers northwest of the Czech capital Prague.

Archaeologists from the Podřipské Museum in Roudnice nad Labem announced the discovery of the unique Bronze Age hoard.

The hoard was actually made about a year ago during a routine survey in a field near the town of Budyně nad Ohří. Using a metal detector, an archaeologist working at the site came across a collection of metal objects hidden underground.

After examining the finds, experts from the Podřipské Museum in Roudnice nad Labem discovered that they are part of a treasure trove dating back to the Bronze Age. It consists of eight relatively well-preserved arm rings, eight axes, two pins and a spearhead, all made of bronze.

According to archaeologist Martin Trefný, head of the Podřipsko Museum, it is clear that the items are part of a hoard, a collection of objects deliberately buried in the ground. While we will never know for sure why the objects were hidden, Trefný says there are three very possible theories:

Martin Trefný | Photo: Lucie Heyzlová, Český rozhlas

“First, such hoards could be used as votive offerings or gifts to the gods. The second theory is that the hoard was the result of an event that happened in the village. For example, the village may have been attacked by enemies and since the items were really valuable, people wanted to hide their goods to prevent them from being stolen by the enemy. The third theory is that it could have been a storage pit of some producers or a merchant.

Photo: Lucie Heyzlová, Český rozhlas

Experts from the Institute of Archaeology and Museology at Masaryk University in Brno have thoroughly examined the items to determine their age. Although details of the analysis are not yet available, Trefný says they are more or less certain of their age:

“If you are asking about the chronology of individual items, this is something we already know. These items that are part of the hoard are typical for the Middle Bronze Age, although an axe is even older; it dates from the Early Bronze Age. So the total age of the finds is about 3,500 years.”

Photo: Lucie Heyzlová, Český rozhlas

The exact location of the discovery will be kept secret to prevent amateur treasure hunters from disturbing the site.

The artifacts will undergo conservation treatment before being exhibited at the Podřipské Museum in the near future.

Cover Photo: Lucie Heyzlová, Český rozhlas

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