“Discovery of a lifetime” golden sun bowl discovered in prehistoric settlement

Archaeologists conducting excavations in a prehistoric settlement in Ebreichsdorf, Austria, have discovered a golden sun bowl dating from 3,000 years ago.

Excavations in Ebreichsdorf have been carried out since September 2019, where archaeologists found an ancient settlement dating from between 1300-1000 BC, which researchers associate with the urn field culture (related to the cremation type of funeral rites).

The bowl was found close to the wall of a prehistoric house and is decorated with a sun motif depicting the rays of the sun. It is made of very thin sheet metal, consisting of approximately 90 percent gold, 5 percent silver, and 5 percent copper.

Inside the bowl was coiled golden wire wrapped with organic material clumps that was originally fabric sewn with gold thread. The research team suggests that the fabric could have been decorative scarves, used during religious ceremonies for the worship of the sun.

- Advertisement -
Image Credit : Andreas Rausch

Archaeologist Dr. Michał Sip from Novetus said: “This is the discovery of a lifetime”, who believes that the bowl is one of the most important archaeological discoveries in Austria in recent decades.

The bowl is the first of its kind found in Austria, and the second to the east of the Alpine line, with only thirty or so such golden bowls ever being discovered throughout all of Europe.

Since excavations began in 2019, up to five hundred bronze objects consisting of pins, daggers, and knives, and various ceramic clay vessels, shells, and animal bones have been discovered near to the settlement.

Image Credit : Andreas Rausch

It is suggested that these finds were deposited in an ancient swamp or dried up riverbed, and were thrown into the water during religious rituals by the inhabitants of the settlement.

The bowl will be placed on display at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, with excavations of the settlement site to continue for the next six months.


Header Image Credit : Andreas Rausch

- Advertisement -
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 7,500 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.

Mobile Application


Related Articles

Study uses satellite imagery to identify over 1,000 Andean hillforts

A new study, published in the journal Antiquity, uses satellite imagery to survey hillforts known as pukaras in the Andean highlands.

Roman defensive spikes unveiled at the Leibniz Centre for Archaeology

In 2023, archaeologists from Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main uncovered a series of wooden defensive spikes during excavations of a 1st century AD Roman fort in Bad Ems, western Germany.

Obsidian blade linked to Coronado’s expedition to find the fabled city of gold

Archaeologists suggest that a flaked-stone obsidian blade could be linked to the expedition led by Francisco Vasquez de Coronado to search for the fabled city of gold.

Clay seal stamp from First Temple period found in Jerusalem

Archaeologists have discovered a clay seal stamp from the First Temple period during excavations in the Western Wall Plaza, Jerusalem.

Offering of human sacrifices found at Pozo de Ibarra

Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have uncovered an offering of human sacrifices at the Mexican town of Pozo de Ibarra.

Excavation uncovers preserved wooden cellar from Roman period

Archaeologists from the Frankfurt Archaeological Museum have uncovered a well-preserved wooden celler in Frankfurt, Germany.

Preserved temples from the Badami Chalukya era found in India

Archaeologists from the Public Research Institute of History, Archaeology, and Heritage (PRIHAH) have announced the discovery of two temples dating from the Badami Chalukya era.

Excavation of medieval shipbuilders reveals a Roman head of Mercury

Excavations of a medieval shipbuilders has led to the discovery of a Roman settlement and a Roman head of Mercury.