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4 May 2015
Iron Age tumulus discovered near Paris

In France, as in many European countries, part of the planning process for any new development incorporates the requirement for an archaeological investigation of the site, before any building or ground works can commence.
     Such a procedure was being carried out on a site near Lavau, in the Champagne region of France, by the French National Archaeological Research Institute (INRAP for short). What they discovered was remarkable. It was a 40 metre wide tumulus, the burial place of an Iron Age Celtic prince. It is believed that it was constructed during what is known as the Hallstatt period, which stretched from 800 BCE to 450 BCE. Several well preserved artefacts were found accompanying the Celtic royalty, including a heavily decorated bronze Etruscan cauldron and a Greek wine pitcher.
     Dominique Garcia, president of INRAP, is quoted as saying "The pieces are evidence of the exchanges that happened between the Mediterranean and the Celts". She went on to add "The end of the sixth and the beginning of the fifth centuries BC were characterised by the rise of Etruscan and Greek city states, like Marseille, in southern France. Mediterranean merchants, seeking slaves, metals and other precious goods, opened trading channels with Continental Celts and often presented ornate goods as a kind of diplomatic gift to local leaders". Only parts of the skeleton have so far been recovered, unfortunately not enough to allow identification.

Edited from The Connexion, France 24 (5 March 2015)

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