Archaeologists excavating a burial ground have discovered a grave containing ornate grave goods from the 5th century AD, a period of instability during the collapse of the Western Roman Empire.
The discovery was made by a team of archaeologists from the Museum of Eastern Bohemia in Hradec Králové (MVČ HK) back in 2019, at the village of Sendražice in present-day Czech Republic.
The results of the discovery have only now been made public, consisting of five skeletal remains that had already been disturbed and looted, with one log grave chamber remaining intact containing the burial of a woman who died around the age of 35-50 years old.
Within the chamber archaeologists found a rich collection of grave goods that includes: four clasps of gold and silver inlaid with semi-precious stones, a headdress decorated with gold, glass beads, an iron knife, a bone comb, eggshells, large pieces of textile and leather, and a ceramic vessel.
Anthropological studies show that the disturbed burials contained the remains of both men and women between the ages of 16-55. Although they had been looted in antiquity, the researchers have discovered several funerary offerings such as a short sword, knives, glass and amber beads, metal belt components, decorative shoe fittings, and antler combs.
The artifacts from all of the graves are being examined by experts from Masaryk University in Brno, the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague, the Institute of Archeology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, the Mining Museum in Příbram, and the Max Planck Institute in Germany.
Further Radiocarbon dating hopes to provide a more accurate chronological classification of the graves, whilst an analysis of the ratios of carbon and nitrogen isotopes will show what was the dominant source of protein of each individual.
Header Image Credit : Brezinova, R. Cernochova – Institute of Archaeology of the Czech Academy of Sciences