Hallstatt Burials

  [audio narration]

Inside, the chamber was found lined with textiles that adorned the walls. Although bacteria-killing oxides from the metal artifacts preserved the fabric, the fabric disintegrated when it was exposed to air. The remains of the deceased indicated the occupant was a 45-year-old man who measured 6' in height. He was placed on cloths of wool and badger skin. Since there are no traces of human hair it is assumed that the body was preserved in a vat of salt. Salt mining, of course, was one of the major industries during the Hallstatt period. The flowers in the tomb were the local blooms of late summer and early autumn.

In addition to items of personal adornment, the tomb included objects for personal hygiene, a razor and nail scissors. The three fishhooks and a quiver with arrows, though no bow, probably indicate his elite status as hunter/warrior as opposed to a worker. A large drinking service comprised of nine drinking horns and a large cauldron decorated with bronze lions and a dinner set with accessories indicate the Celtic elite's enjoyment of hospitality. The cauldron held 104 gallons of liquid: probably mead, a honeyed wine drink of the elite class. The cauldron was a luxury import item, probably made in a Greek colony in the south of Italy.

Select a tomb item below to view in greater detail: