Unique Ornamented Golden Bronze Age Belt Discovered Near Opava, Czech Republic

A farmer found a beautiful ancient golden belt near Opava in the Czech Republic. The belt was unearthed when the farmer was harvesting beetroot. Dating back to the Bronze Age, experts say the unique belt has been well-preserved underground before being discovered by the farmer who wishes to remain anonymous.

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After having found this precious ancient artifact, the farmer contacted the Silesian Museum in Opava and it became quickly evident this was an exceptional archeological object.

Radio Prague reports Jiří Juchelka, head of the museum’s archaeology department, was impressed as soon as he saw a photo of the golden belt.

“The first hypothesis was that the thin golden sheet of metal, which is around 50 centimeters long, was a tiara. However, after examining the object in greater detail, experts now believe it was actually part of a belt:

“It is decorated with raised concentric circles and topped with rose-shaped clasps at the ends. We realized that it was too long to fit on someone’s head. So we actually think it is not a tiara, but something much rarer – a part of a belt.

mage credit: Museum of Bruntál.

“Belts at the time were made of leather and this was strapped to its front part. It was crumpled when the finder found it, probably as a result of agricultural activity, so it is a miracle it has been so well preserved. It may be missing a few tiny parts, but otherwise it is in perfect condition.”

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The thin metal sheet is made mostly of gold, along with some silver and traces of copper and iron. A preliminary analysis places its origin around the 14th century BC, says Tereza Alex Kilnarová, conservator at the Museum of Bruntál.

“It is estimated to be from the middle to the late Bronze Age, but it is only a preliminary determination based on the decoration.
“Similar decorative ornaments appear in more than one prehistoric culture; therefore, more detailed research and analysis of the metal is needed.

“It probably belonged to someone in a high position in society because items of such value were rarely produced at the time. That’s why we are talking about someone more esteemed.”

While the monetary value of the belt is yet to be determined, it is already clear that the object has an incalculable cultural and historical value, Kilnarová said.

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She added that “such objects are rarely found even during excavations, so it is a unique discovery, not only in our region but all over Czechia. It is safe to say that it will be one of the most valuable objects on display in our museum.”

The next step is now to properly examine the Bronze Age belt, and once the process is completed, the artifact will be conserved and go on display at the Museum of Bruntál.

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