Last month, a beet farmer in the Republic uprooted a bronze-decorated artefact. The well-preserved clay and anonymous farmer photographed the golden treasure then sent the images to archaeologists at the Silesian Region Museum in Opava, a city in the Moravian-Silesian Region.
The thin, loose sheet of gold is estimated to have been created about 2,500 years ago.
The appearance of the bronze coins before the gold artifice. ( Muzeum Bruntál )
Fictional Supernatural Concepts in Mind
Dr Jiří Juchelka is an Opava archaeologist who leads the archaeological collection of the Silesian Regional Museum. The researcher told Radio Prague International (RPI) that the gold standard was “51 centimeters (20 inches) long” and was found in “near perfect condition” with inclusions of silver, copper and iron. Musologus said it was “decorated with raised concentric circles and topped with rose-shaped loops at the end.”
According to Live Science, museum curator Tereza Alex Kilnar said that while no one can be sure, the golden artifact was most likely “the front of a leather belt.” But this is no ordinary belt or belt, because archaeologists believe it was constructed with cosmological/supernatural ideas in mind.
3,500 years old and still shining
Dr. Kilnar now preserves and examines the belt in the Bruntál Museum. According to the moss site, this is a contributory organization of the Moravian-Silesian Region that manages the large cultural heritage sites located in northern Moravia – Bruntál Chateau, Sovinec Castle and the Scythe Maker’s House in Karlovice in Silesia.
Without testing the gold and relying solely on the style of workmanship, Kilnar suspects the gold belts to the gold buckle to be around the middle to late Bronze Age, which means the piece was made around the 14th century BC. At this time, small communities of farmers inhabited wooden houses and had not yet established the major agricultural settlements that would occur in the following centuries.
Researchers believe that the gold buckle dates back to approximately the middle to late Bronze Age. ( Muzeum Bruntál )
Putting a face to the discovery
Earlier this year, a team of Czech archaeologists published a portrait of a Bronze Age woman that was reconstructed after DNA analysis. A woman was exhumed from a grave in Mikulovice, in eastern Bohemia. According to a report in Expat.cz, she had “fair skin, brown hair, wide brown eyes, a prominent chin, and a petite figure,” and she died at about 35 years old.
It is said that “one of the richest” [Bronze Age burials] was ever found in Europe, “it was a woman from the nêtice culture, and it was found with copper and gold ornaments, a rare necklace of enamel.” This group of early farmers lived in Central Europe from about 2300 to 1600 BC, and were contemporaneous with the cultures that made up the Bronze Age and the Golden Belt.
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It is impossible to determine exactly which group made the gold buckle, because at that time (2000 BC to 1200 BC), Central Europe was a rich fusion of different cultures. Smaller communities began to come together and create a network of crafts through which livestock and crops such as wheat and barley were exchanged.
This period saw new social divisions emerging. The people who ruled the lands around the emerging trading centers represented the origins of social societies. At the time, silver and gold became the hallmarks of the economic order and Kilnar told the RPI that gold was likely to be an item in “a high-status society, because things of such value were rarely produced at such a time.”
Catherine Frieman is a Professor at the Australian National University specializing in Bronze Age European metallurgy. He nodded, and RPI said that the owner of the golden belt buckle “is someone of high standing, whether social or spiritual.”
The gold item probably belonged to someone in “a high place in society, because things of such value were rarely produced at the time.” ( Muzeum Bruntál )
Cosmology is woven into the Golden Age
Living Science reports that during the Bronze Age, gold objects and gold hoards were commonly buried “in special, isolated locations, suggesting a kind of gift exchange between the cultural elite and the supernatural.” Frieman told LiveScience that gold inscriptions on objects with circular motifs are often associated with the “Cosmological Age believed to focus on solar cycles.”
In 2013, Dr. Joachim Goldhahn at the University of Western Australia’s paper “Rethinking cosmology in the Bronze Age using a northern European perspective.” This researcher determined that the cosmology of the Bronze Age was based on “pragmatic ritual practices that are constantly repeated and recreated at specific times and occasions.”
Thus, the golden belt most likely represents the annual cycle of the sun. However, it could be more centered on a repeated ritual, and performed at specific “times and occasions” in the year, for example, perhaps symbolically marking the stages of the sun’s cycle, such as the equinoxes and solstices.
Top Image: A Bronze Age gold artifact found in a beet field in the Czech Republic. Source: Muzeum Bruntál
By Ashley Cowie