Hail to the Bождь (Chieftain)

Digs & Discoveries May/June 2013

(Courtesy Valentina Mordvintseva)

Russian archaeologists excavating a third-century B.C. necropolis on the slopes of the Central Caucasus Mountains have unearthed a spectacular warrior’s burial. Along with a dozen gold artifacts, including a brooch that holds a small crystal, the warrior went to the afterlife dressed in iron chain mail and armed with two iron swords and a battle-ax. One of the swords measured three feet long and was discovered between the warrior’s legs, its tip pointed toward his pelvis. “The burial goods are exceptionally rich,” says archaeologist Valentina Mordvintseva of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, who helped analyze the unprecedented trove. “He belonged to the upper class of the society and was possibly a chieftain.” The burial of three horses and a cow nearby indicate that his people held the warrior in unusually high esteem.

  • Artifacts May/June 2013


    Ceramic figurines were part of a cache of objects found at an Iron Age temple uncovered at the site of Tel Motza outside Jerusalem

    Read Article
    (Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority)
  • Around the World May/June 2013


    Read Article
  • Digs & Discoveries May/June 2013

    Albanian Fresco Fiasco

    Read Article
    (Courtesy Auron Tare)
  • Features May/June 2013

    On the Trail of the Mimbres

    Archaeologists are tracking the disappearance of a remarkable type of pottery to rewrite the story of a culture’s decline

    Read Article
    (© President and Fellows of Harvard College, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, [24-15-10/94603 + 60740377])