Archaeologists have uncovered a prehistoric grave containing 169 gold rings near the Biharia commune in Bihor County, Crișana, Romania.
The discovery was made during construction works for a new road that connects the city of Oradea with the A3 highway.
Excavations were conducted from march till the end of June by a multi-national team representing institutions from across Romania and Hungary, revealing three sites from the Neolithic Period, two from the middle to late Bronze Age, two from the Roman Period, and two sites from the Middle Ages.
In a press release announced by the Tarii Crisurilor Museum, archaeologists excavating near Biharia found the grave of a woman belonging to the Tiszapolgár culture.
The Tiszapolgár culture (4500–4000 BC), was an Eneolithic archaeological culture of the Great Hungarian Plain, the Banat, Crișana and Transylvania, Eastern Slovakia, and the Ukrainian Zakarpattia Oblast in Central Europe.
Dr Călin Ghemiş from the Tarii Crisurilor Museum who led the team described how the woman was buried with 169 gold rings that adorned her hair, along with a multi-spiral copper bracelet, two golden beads, and around 800 beads made from bone.
Based on an initial study of the teeth and stature of the deceased, it is believed that the burial was of a high-status woman. This is further supported by the lack of weapons normally associated with male burials from the Tiszapolgár culture.
Samples have been sent to labs in Romania and the Netherlands to obtain more accurate dating through a carbon-14 analysis, in addition to DNA sampling and further anthropological studies.
Within the project’s wider excavations, the team also found traces of two dwellings near the town of Sântandrei that contained ceramics from the 2nd century BC up to the 2nd century AD. The team also found a 3rd to 4th century Sarmatian settlement also near Biharia, and a female skeleton buried with several items of jewellery from the settlement’s necropolis.
Header Image Credit : Tarii Crisurilor Museum