Grave of a 'Military Chief' with Gold Hilt Spatha

Initial scientific and archaeological studies verify the authenticity of the grave goods acquired in 2007. By dating the objects to the first half of the 5th century, they form a link between the late Roman graves of the ‘chef militaire’ and the early Merovingian ruler’s graves with gold-hilt spathae.

The find complex includes the gold-hilt spatha with matching equipment, including a locket with runic inscriptions, other weaponry, mounts from the belt and insignia. The high rank of the deceased is further evident in additional grave offerings of the horse harness and a rich set of glassware, bronze plates, and terra sigillata vessels. From a typological and chronological perspective, the complex appears to be a closed find. Analysis of fabrication technique and archaeometrical investigations should shed light on the cultural-historical background of the old find for which no records exist as to the exact location of its discovery.

Contact person: Dr. Marion Bertram, research associate, Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte