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19 May 2003
2,500-year-old necropolis helps identify Celtic tribe

A 5th- to 4th-century BCE necropolis containing 40 tombs has been found along the banks of the Aisne River in the Picardie region of northern France. Given its similarity, in terms of funeral practice and the style and presence of grave goods, to other Celtic burial grounds in the region such as Bucy-le-Long, Chassemy, and Cry-Salsogne, archaeologists have identified a Celtic tribe, probably under one chief, for the area.
     Items such as lances, swords, javelins, and bronze tweezers and razors have been found in the male burials of the necropolis, while amber or colored glass beads, bracelets, torques, and bronze earrings have been found in the female burials. The most significant find so far has been a small bronze pendant of a woman whose legs form a lyre, which is the oldest known Celtic representation of the lyre, extending Celtic knowledge of the instrument by two centuries.
     The excavation is part of a multi-year project studying the history of habitation, from the Neolithic to the present day, of this region of Picardie.

Source: Archaeology Magazine (May/June 2003)

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