The Reinham Burial

Like the Vix Burial, the Reinham burial contained an elite woman, whose position in society is unclear to archeologists, although it is certain that she held a very prominent position. The grave dates to fourth century BCE and is located beside the River Biles in Germany (Green, p.95).

The grave consisted of an oak-lined chamber containing about 200 items including a jewel box, a mirror, and objects made from gold, bronze, amber, coral, and glass. Like her predecessors, she was placed on chariot and vessels for food and drink were left for her in the Otherworld. The obvious wealth of the ‘Reinham princess’ is further established by the gold torc and armlets each decorated with the image of a woman that were placed on her body after her death. Green speculates that the images of the women with a bird above her head and whose hands lie on their stomachs in various positions could possibly represent the corpse of the deceased woman or an unknown goddess (Green, p.95). She further states that “the bird [is] perhaps a reflection of her apotheosis. If this is so, then either the Reinham princess was sufficiently influential to commission her own jewelry, or she was important enough in life for her corpse to be endowed with specially made ornaments” (Green, p.95).

In fact, one could speculate that the bird represented a god or goddess for which communication was her responsiblity.  On the armlet the wings surround the female figure possibly to represent that god or goddess' s help in taking the woman to the Otherworld.  Since communication with the gods and godesses was purely a duty of the Druid order, a Queen with no background in Druidism would not show herself in unison with a god or goddess.  The 'Reinham princess' certainly held power in society as evident form her wealth, however, the intricute carvings on her jewelry express her position in the sacred world of Celtic religion.  

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