General, Research, Technology

Why is the excavated Celtic shield considered the archaeological discovery of the millennium?

Archaeologists find almost every monthancient artifacts and often call their discoveries sensational. For example, recently in Egypt, 30 well-preserved and untouched mummies were discovered by Egyptians, so the researchers called their find “the largest discovery of the last century”. The British archaeologists did not distinguish themselves either, who in 2017 unearthed the remains of a Celtic shield laid in the grave of a fallen soldier. Traces of a chariot, two ponies and sacrificed pigs were also found in the burial, so scientists suggest that the warrior was a very famous and respected person. It would seem that historians report such findings almost every month, but what is so special about the aforementioned Celtic shield?

Archaeologists at the excavation site near Pocklington

Details of the archaeological discoveryThe Daily Mail reported. The burial was found near the English city of Pocklington in 2017, but it was not until two years later that they spoke about it. The fact is that the found Celtic shield required careful handling and it took quite a long time to clean it from dirt. The metal part of the protective device was well preserved, but wood and leather, which could well be its component parts, completely decomposed over time.

The same sensational shield

In England, found the shield of an ancient warrior

A shield with a diameter of 75 centimeters was laid ina chariot that also lay in the grave of a warrior. You can see jagged edges near the shield, and convex patterns are visible on its surface. Historians previously believed that such sophisticated and beautiful elements of military uniforms were used only in funeral ceremonies, but the shield was clearly used in battles. On its surface, archaeologists have found a hole from the sword, as well as traces of repairs. Until now, researchers have not been able to find patterned shields that have been in battle and that is why they consider this a great discovery.

The remains of a warrior

Besides the shield, chariots and pigs, the grave alsoclothing was found. Probably, the people who buried the warrior really wanted him to have “everything in the world”. It is noteworthy that the legs of small horses were placed in such a position, as if they were ready to jump out of the grave. Whether they were killed in battle or they were killed specifically for the funeral, scientists do not know.

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As for the warrior himself, he was a man about46 years old. On his skeleton, researchers found several traces of injuries caused by blunt weapons. However, these injuries were unlikely to be fatal and the man soon died due to illness or even old age. About 60 meters away, a young man of 17-25 years old was also buried. But he was clearly killed, because traces of at least ten iron and bone copies were found on his remains. It is unlikely that scientists will ever be able to figure out who these people were for each other.

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It is noteworthy that this is far from the first findancient shield lately. In May 2019, we talked about the discovery of a 2,300-year-old shield made of wood, which could also participate in battles. You can read more about it in our special material, although now we already doubt that it was a really effective means of protection against cold steel.