It is a discovery that Pierre-Yves Milcent, lecturer at the Jean Jaurès University in Toulouse, described as "exceptional".
Hundreds of objects dating from the Bronze Age have been discovered by archaeologists in a fortified settlement dating from 800 BC located in the vicinity of Gannat (Allier).
In the bottom of two 30 cm diameter vases unearthed in 2020 and having been analyzed, there were women's or children's jewelry such as bracelets, ankle rings or even pendants (jewelry that is hangs from an earring or bracelet).
Above, one of the vases contained sharp tools and weapons: knives, sickles, spear points, etc.
In the other vase, the middle layer consisted of decorative elements of chariots, horse equipment and parts of wheels.
Bronze axes had finally been placed on top of each vase.
Pierre-Yves Milcent indicates that the analysis of these vases shows that the selection and arrangement of the objects are “very organized”.
These objects were buried "voluntarily": "they are associated with the habitat, they could be offerings such as one finds in Greece at that time, deposited during the foundation or the abandonment of the habitat. , to ensure the protection of the gods, ”explained Pierre-Yves Milcent.
Other deposits discovered this summer are being analyzed.
“Many bronze objects have been discovered since the 19th century, but rarely by archaeologists in their original context.
This discovery, with intact objects, is exceptional because it allows us to better understand how and why they were buried, ”he detailed.
Bronze, an age still unknown
The research program, launched in 2019, aimed in particular to limit the damage caused by looting in this region of southern Allier which is distinguished by the richness of its protohistoric sites.
The region had significant economic potential with a navigable river, the Sioule, and a soil rich in gold and tin, a metal mined for alloying bronze.
The area was also a crossroads of trade crossed by a major road connecting the north and the south, on the route of the current A71 and A75 motorways.
Between 2,200 and 800 BC, the Bronze Age is a key period in the protohistory of Western Europe which remains unknown.
It already presents the main characteristics of the Celtic societies which follow, in the Iron Age.
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