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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsArchaeologyStunning Bronze Age Jewelry Hoard Unearthed in Switzerland

Stunning Bronze Age Jewelry Hoard Unearthed in Switzerland

Bronze Age jewelry and artifacts found in Guttingen, Switzerland
Bronze Age jewelry and artifacts found in Guttingen, Switzerland. Credit: Canton of Thurgau

A valuable set of ancient Middle Bronze Age jewelry has been discovered in Guttingen, Switzerland.  This collection includes fourteen spiky jewelry discs, two spiral finger rings, and more than a hundred small amber beads, which are about the size of pinheads.

In addition to the ancient Bronze Age jewelry, a variety of ancient treasures and animal fossils were also found. These items were scattered around and included a bronze arrowhead, polished ore pieces, an ammonite (an extinct sea creature), a shark’s tooth, a bear’s tooth with a hole in it, and a clear rock crystal.

Discovery  of the ancient jewelry

Franz Zahn made this discovery in August 2023 while he was cleaning up scrap metal on behalf of an unnamed farmer in the northeastern village of Guttingen. The Thurgau Canton government issued a statement reporting these findings.

When it came to the delicate amber beads, Zahn carefully extracted them from the soil using tweezers and then informed the local Office of Archaeology about his discoveries so that they could examine the field.

The following day, a team arrived and decided to perform a block recovery, which meant they carefully removed a big chunk of earth around the artifacts. This chunk was 50x50x50 cm (about 19.68×19.68×19.68 inches) in size. They then took this earthblock to a laboratory in Frauenfeld, where a skilled expert gently exposed the artifacts.

The procedure included carefully documenting the discoveries one layer at a time. This allowed researchers to understand how and why these items ended up in the ground.

They used a method of investigation that was based on a similar discovery near Etzwilen that happened two years ago. The knowledge gained from the earlier Etzwilen find was especially helpful in this new excavation.

Spiked discs grabbed the attention of the researchers

Archaeologists have discovered that these jewelry pieces were what women commonly wore as “everyday jewelry” around 1500 BC in the Bronze Age. These unique spiked discs, which were quite attention-grabbing, were linked together with metal spirals used as separators.

Each disc had a small hole, making it easy to thread them onto a piece of thread or leather for wearing as decorations. The researchers found a total of eleven of these metal spirals.

Additionally, there were eight slightly larger spirals made from delicate gold wire, and these weighed more than twenty-one grams in total. This collection also included over a hundred small amber beads and two finger rings adorned with double spirals.

Questions arising from jewelry discovery

The captivating collection of artifacts sparks some intriguing questions. One question is whether there might have been a jewelry box at the site. Another question is whether the rock crystals, fossils, and stones were keepsakes or mementos from a visit to the Klettgau region.

Archaeologists are also considering whether these objects held a deeper meaning. Items like these were often thought to have special protective or healing powers and might have been worn as charms.

This collection of artifacts comes from a time when major advanced civilizations were flourishing in locations such as Egypt and Crete in the Mediterranean. It is important to mention that there are not many known settlements from this time in Thurgau.

For instance, in Güttingen, there was a sizable Bronze Age village built on stilts with many archaeological discoveries near the “mouse tower” a few years ago. However, this village was established around 1000 BC, which means that the newly found artifacts are older than this larger settlement.

More details about the newly discovered artifacts

Even though they didn’t find any human remains, experts think these objects were buried at the location perhaps inside a bag or some other organic container that has since decayed. However, there were no signs of a grave.

Regardless of how they were buried, researchers believe that these artifacts were important to the person who wore them and might have been thought to have protective or healing powers, as might an amulet.

Currently, the newly discovered artifacts are being restored and are set to be exhibited at the Museum of Archaeology in Frauenfeld next year.

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