SCIENCE

Ancient Chariot Among Eye-Popping Artifacts Found In Elaborate Tomb

03/09/2015 04:35 pm ET | Updated Mar 10, 2015
Denis Gliksman/INRAP

An opulent tomb made for ancient royalty has been unearthed in France's Champagne region, along with a trove of eye-popping artifacts that include elaborate pottery, a sheathed knife, and a chariot, Live Science reported. And yes, human remains were found inside.

Whose tomb is it?

"It is probably [that of] a local Celtic prince," Dominique Garcia, president of France's National Archaeological Research Institute, told journalists during a site visit, according to BBC News.

The institute has been conducting excavations at the site since last October.

Archaeologists from the institute said in a written statement on Thursday that the discovery may hold clues about how Mediterranean traders came into contact with Celtic communities on the continent.

Supporting this notion is one of the artifacts found at the site, a wine cauldron decorated with Greek iconography.

"We believe this cauldron is probably Etruscan- or Greek-made," Emilie Millet, one of the archaeologists, told The Telegraph.

The 130-foot wide burial site, which was found near Lavau in October, dates back to the early 5th Century B.C. In addition to the remains of the prince and the artifacts, the remains of an unknown woman were also found, The Telegraph reported.

"We know this tomb was built before that of the prince, but there could well be family links between these two figures," Bastien Dubuis, another archaeologist at the institute, told The Telegraph.

Discovery News reported that the excavation is expected to finish at the end of the month.

Check out photos of the new findings below.

  • Denis Gliksman/INRAP
    A feline head adorns the tomb that dates back to the early 5th Century B.C.
  • Denis Gliksman/INRAP
    A painted Greek jug from the tomb.
  • Denis Gliksman/INRAP
    A Greek wine pitcher found at the tomb.
  • Denis Gliksman/INRAP
    Excavation of a bronze cauldron of a meter in diameter from the tomb.
  • Denis Gliksman/INRAP
    Archaeologists searching the contents of the tomb.
  • Denis Gliksman/INRAP
    A moat surrounding royal burial mounds, dating back to the early 5th century B.C.
  • Denis Gliksman/INRAP
    Excavation of the tomb.
  • Denis Gliksman/INRAP
    Cauldron bronze handles decorated with the Greek god Achelous from the tomb.
  • Denis Gliksman/INRAP
    Jug found at the tomb.
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