Beaver tooth, shark and gold jewelry from the Bronze Age: an unusual treasure discovered in Switzerland (3 photos + 1 video)

Category: Archeology, PEGI 0+
1 November 2023

This treasure consists of a necklace of bronze spiked discs, two spiral rings, over a hundred tiny amber beads and spirals made of bronze and gold wire.

An amazing collection of Bronze Age women's jewelry has been found in a carrot field in Göttingen, canton of Thurgau, north-eastern Switzerland. The find dates back to approximately 1500 BC. e. and covers many unique subjects.

This treasure consists of a necklace of bronze spiked discs, two spiral rings, over a hundred tiny amber beads and spirals made of bronze and gold wire. In addition, among the unusual objects found were rock crystal, a beaver tooth, a perforated bear tooth, a bronze arrowhead, polished iron ore, a small ammonite and even a fossilized shark tooth.

The discovery was made by an amateur archaeologist named Franz Zahn while exploring a field after harvesting carrots. Zahn, who is keen on using metal detectors to locate historical artifacts, quickly recognized the value of the items and reported his find to the Thurgau Archeology Office.

With the farmer's permission, a team of archaeologists immediately arrived at the site and carried out a thorough excavation, which included removing a large soil block containing the artifacts and transferring it to the laboratory. There was no sign of a grave at the excavation site. This led the researchers to believe that these valuable items were likely left behind in an organic container or bag.

The research process took place in the Frauenfeld conservation laboratory, where each layer of the find was carefully documented. Two years ago, similar objects were discovered near Etzvilen.

This is typical “costume jewelry” of the Bronze Age, more precisely, the Middle Bronze Age, around 1500 BC. In particular, 14 bronze disks were discovered, which are known as thorn disks due to the pointed node in the center, surrounded by three concentric circles.

First, these disks were strung on a thread or leather strap, and the spirals were used as spacers between them. Eight large gold wire spirals and eleven bronze wire spirals were also found at the site.

Historical evidence shows that women in the Bronze Age wore necklaces with these attractive spiral discs. Eleven such spirals were found in Göttingen.

In addition, eight slightly larger spirals were discovered, exquisitely crafted from fine gold wire, weighing more than 21 grams in total. The ensemble was complemented by more than 100 amber beads and two rings, each with two spirals.

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