Archeologists Dig Up 2,500-Year-Old Tomb, But What They Found Had Them Running To The Bank…

I grew up in a neighborhood where there’s a large cemetery and developed a fascination with tombs; especially tombs that are thousands of years old! What could be inside? Jewels worth millions of dollars?! Our ancestors were known to bury a lot more than just their dead. My fascination with tombs only grew when I visited China in the summer of 2010 and saw the famous Terracotta Army, who’d been buried for thousands of years…

Everyone knows about the warriors, but few know about the tomb they’re guarding. It hasn’t been opened, and it’s rumored to have a river of mercury flowing through it, and a ceiling that’s been made to look like the night sky! But the Chinese weren’t only people to bury their dead in an elaborate way; surrounded by an array of unimaginable treasures. When French archaeologists opened up a 2,500-year-old tomb, they made a find worth billions

Hidden Away For 2,500 Years!

Just like the Terracotta Army, the 2,500-year-old tomb had been found accidentally when archaeologists were sent to an area rumored to contain sites of historical significance in Lavau, north-east France. But no one could have predicted that the archaeologists would make such an unexpected and truly spectacular find…

NEXT: But this remarkable discovery came at a devastating price…

History is so important. The lessons we learn from the past shape the future; it’s who we are, and the connections we are able to preserve with our ancestors reveal so much about where humanity is today…

1. The Site Was Being Developed

The site where this amazing find was made was due to be developed. In France, the government doesn’t want any areas of historical importance to be accidentally destroyed by construction works. That’s why the archaeologists were sent in: on the off chance that there was something worth discovering, and it’s a good thing that they were…

NEXT: How this AMAZING story unfolded…

The great thing about being an archaeologist is that you never know what you’ll find, but truly spectacular finds are rare. This find is comparable with the discovery of the remains of a British king in a car park in 2012!

2. The Dig Begins

The dig began in October 2015, but it wasn’t until March of 2016 that news of the archaeologists’ incredible find was released to the world. Little did they know when they began to excavate the site that they were about to unearth something that would get the world talking. It was months before they worked out exactly what it was…

NEXT: The FIRST major discovery made by the archaeologists…

Just like when the Terracotta Army was found, the first find on this site was small, but it was nonetheless a major discovery, and it provided a crucial hint about what would ultimately be found…

3. The Tumulus

A tumulus is a type of mass grave that was popular thousands of years ago. Back then, technology was basic so the best way of marking your average Joe’s grave was with stones. The word tumulus is derived from the Latin word for “small hill” as that’s what exactly they looked like (as pictured above). This tumulus spanned a huge 130 feet…

NEXT: You’ll be SHOCKED at just how old it was…

This aerial photograph shows just how big the site being excavated was. There was a lot of work to be done for the archaeologists, but they were going to be rewarded with the find of their lives…

4. It Was Incredibly Old

This tumulus was almost as old as the Terracotta Army, dating all the way back to the Bronze Age which began a staggering four thousand years ago in Europe. To put that in context, that’s twice as old as the Bible!

NEXT: The archaeologists’ SECOND find…

But it wasn’t just mass graves that the archaeologists found. They also discovered two very interesting graves. Can you guess why certain people might have been buried separately from everyone else?!

5. The Two Graves

The size of the tumulus revealed that hundreds – if not thousands – of people had been buried there throughout the Bronze Age, so it stands to reason that the two people with their own graves were very important…

NEXT: WHO was buried in the graves?! 

The graves belonged to a man and a woman. We know roughly who they were because of the objects they were buried with. I wonder what it was that made them so important?! And these graves weren’t even the biggest find that was made…

6. Who Were They?

The man was buried with a sword, suggesting that he was a warrior, and the woman was buried with two bronze bracelets, demonstrating that she was of high standing in society at the time. It was the Bronze Age, after all!

NEXT: But these skeletons weren’t as OLD as the others…

When the two skeletons were found, they were dated to a much more recent time than the Bronze Age. This revealed that the area had been used as a burial ground for even longer than it appeared to have been…

7. The Iron Age

The two skeletons were from the Iron Age, which lasted even longer than the Bronze Age in Europe. To be precise, it lasted for a staggering eight hundred years – that’s a very long time. The above picture is of a sword from the Iron Age. Now that is something you could really imagine a warrior using!

NEXT: The first sign of the archaeologists’ BIGGEST find…

The archaeologists started digging at the outside of the tumulus and slowly worked their way towards the middle. It was there that they noticed a very large structure. What could be in the middle of a tumulus?!

8. A Mysterious Structure

Something had been built in the middle of the mass grave. I wonder if it was a grave too? But why was it in the middle of a mass burial site? Could it be that it was even older than the Bronze Age tumulus?!

NEXT: The mysterious structure is IDENTIFIED…

The entire site was 130 feet across, and this structure was 14 feet across. That’s pretty big when you consider how many people would have been buried elsewhere on this very interesting archaeological site…

9. A Tomb

It was a tomb, and I bet you’re wondering who was important enough to receive such a big burial site! The possibilities are endless, but there’s no doubt that what the archaeologists were about to find was going to be amazing…

NEXT: The INCREDIBLE find they made…

The Emperor who had the Terracotta Warriors built, Qin Shi Huang, believed that you could take treasures from this life into the next one. This was a common belief in the past so the archaeologists knew there’d be treasure in the tomb…

10. The Skeleton Inside

A skeleton was found inside the tomb! As you can tell from the gold around this person’s neck and hands, they were obviously planning on transferring their wealth over into the next life! The gold weighed 1.2 lbs, and a statement issued about the dig revealed that it was “a solid gold torque heavier than even that of the Princess of Vix’s rigid collar.” Finding gold was spectacular in itself, but when you find out WHO it belonged to you’ll agree that it was an even more spectacular find…

NEXT: So WHO exactly was buried there?! 

Needless to say, this was a particularly old skeleton. 2,500-years-old to be exact. That means that the person it belonged to lived five hundred years before Jesus! This meant that finding out who the skeleton belonged to was going to be tricky. But the archeologists were determined to prevail…

11. Who Was It?

The first step in identifying this very rich person was involved working out whether or not they were male or female. Unfortunately, it was impossible to do without taking a sample that would destroy the skeleton. All the archaeologists could do was make an educated guess, and this is what they eventually agreed on…

NEXT: The STUNNING truth about who the skeleton belonged to…

The archeologists couldn’t agree on whether the skeleton belonged to a man or a woman! But most assumed it was a man, something which they determined from the shape and size of the bones. He was obviously an important person, and the objects he was buried with ultimately revealed who he was…

12. A Royal!

“It is probably a local Celtic prince,” Dominique Garcia, the Inrap president, revealed. Wow! A prince! The skeleton itself was similar to others belonging to royals who’d been found in Europe. The statement about the find went on to say that the bracelets have “similarities with [those in] the tomb of Reinheim in Germany.” He was an important royal, and he’d been buried with objects as spectacular as the one’s rumoured to be in Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s tomb…

NEXT: So WHAT else was the prince buried with?!

Can you guess how princes traveled around in France thousands of years ago?! Think about the movies you’ve seen that are set in the past. Maybe then you’ll be able to guess what was found next…

13. A Chariot

A chariot was found in the tomb too! Complete with horses! It just goes to show that people really did believe they could take anything they wanted into the afterlife. Those poor horses. We can only hope they weren’t buried alive, but they probably were. “The presence of a chariot [is a] typical characteristic of a princely tomb from this period,” it was revealed.

NEXT: Another FANTASTIC find made in the prince’s tomb…

If the Egyptians taught us anything, it’s that people liked to display images of their Gods on almost everything thousands of years ago. This prince had some elaborate carvings of Gods in his tomb too…

14. The River Gods

This strange looking little face is the Greek depiction of a River God. A lot of them were found on another object that was buried alongside the prince. The Greek river gods were believed to have dominion over the seas. Maybe this prince thought he needed their company to ensure that he sailed smoothly into the afterlife…

NEXT: This is WHAT the River Gods were attached too…

This prince had gold and a chariot, but what if he got thirsty in the afterlife? He needed something to drink from so he made sure that he brought the an elaborate drinking bowl with him too…

15. The Cauldron

The prince was buried with a massive cauldron as well. It would have typically been filled with wine in the Iron Age. A silver spoon was even found alongside it, and various other valuable objects were placed inside it too…

NEXT: The RICHES concealed within the cauldron…

If you’re a prince, you’re not going to stick your cup directly into your cauldron to fill it with wine. You need something to help you. This object was also decorated with Greek gods too…

16. The Wine Jug

A wine jug was found within the cauldron. Just look at how well preserved it is! That would fetch a lot on eBay to say the least. Live Science revealed that the jug is “decorated with images of the Greek god of wine and revelry, and was probably made by Greek or Etruscan artists.” It’s safe to say that this prince was an important guy!

NEXT: There was evidence of what the prince was WEARING too…

Amazingly, there was evidence of what the prince was buried in found in the site. It just goes to show how amazing modern archaeology is. Looking at this picture you’d think that his clothes were long gone…

17. The Prince’s Clothing

The prince was, unsurprisingly, dressed to impress in the afterlife. You’d expect him to be with jewelry that fine! Small amounts of leather were found in the site, suggesting that he’d been buried in an elaborate outfit…

NEXT: But some archaeologists are convinced it’s a PRINCESS…

We’ve all heard the stories of Cleopatra, the most beautiful Egyptian princess, but what if she had a European counterpart? Whilst most agreed that this was a prince, there is evidence that these bones belonged to a princess…

18. A Princess?!

A number of other princesses have been found in the area, including the famous Lady of Vix. That and her necklace poses similarities to the one found on Princess of Vix. What’s more is that this tomb can be dated to around 500BC which is the same date that the Lady of Vix’s tomb has been traced back to!

NEXT: There is MORE treasure to be found in the tomb…

You’d think that this find would be all that there is in this site, but amazingly there’s even more treasure just waiting to be discovered. The prince (or princess) has a chamber as part of the tomb which is yet to be opened…

19. There’s More Treasure

What else could he or she have decided to bring into the after life with them? Similar finds from the Iron have revealed other valuable objects including statues and precious gemstones. The place where objects similar to these have potentially been buried is large, so another valuable find is likely to be on the horizon…

NEXT: You’ll be AMAZED at how much is waiting to be discovered…

The chamber which was built as part of the tomb is the only part of the site which has not been opened. This is a dangerous process and the archaeologists will need to ensure nothing inside is damaged when they do it…

20. The Tomb’s Chamber

“We knew we were not on an ordinary site,” said the archaeologist who led the dig in 2016, “but a very important, well conserved funerary chamber. Its sheer size, and the luxurious aspect of the objects [found so far] told us this was probably the last residence of a major Celtic political or religious leader.” So this is a story that is far from over…

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