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Treasure-Trove of Golden Artefacts Excavated in Copper Age Cemetery

Archaeologists from the Herman Ottó Museum in Miskolc have discovered a treasure-trove of golden artefacts during excavations of an ancient cemetery.

The discovery was made near the village of Bükkábrány in the Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county of Hungary.

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Previous studies of the area found sixteen preserved trunks of cypress trees from one of the oldest known fossil forests, estimated to be between seven to eight million years old.

Archaeologists have been conducting ongoing excavations over the past decade to rescue any archaeological material under threat from extensive lignite mining operations in the area.

The team recently discovered a cemetery containing 34 graves dating from the Copper Age around the 4th millennium BC. Within the cemetery, archaeologists excavated the tombs containing the remains of three women who were buried with various gold objects, consisting of hoops and conical plate pendants that may have been part of a ceremonial headdress.

Researchers believe that the pendants symbolise the stylised female figure, with the embossment of punctured bumps to embody a feminine form.

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Another burial containing the remains of a high-status male was also excavated with associated grave goods, consisting of a cracked stone blade, a polished stone axe, and a copper pick.

It is speculated that the raw material for the grave-goods were obtained from the Carpathian Basin by surface ore collection and placer mining for minerals such as gold extracted from streams and rivers.

In addition to the Copper Age Cemetery, archaeologists excavated Late Copper cattle sacrifices, as well as Sarmatian villages within the area of the lignite mining operations.

Herman Ottó Museum

Header Image Credit : Herman Ottó Museum

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Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 8,000 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.
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