Dionysus Wine Decanter Unearthed at a Massive Royal Grave in France; Find Sheds Light on Greek Trade Expansion in Iron Age


A giant tomb dating to the fifth century B.C. has been discovered in eastern France’s Champagne region, just 60 miles from Paris, containing an important Greek find. “It is probably a local Celtic prince,” Dominique Garcia, president of France’s National Archaeological Research Institute (INRAP), said. French prime minister Manuel Valls Tweeted the news of the amazing discovery.


  Within the burial mound, his team has found a large cauldron decorated with the head of the horned Greek river god Acheleos that may have been made by Etruscan or Greek craftsmen. A Greek wine pitcher trimmed with gold depicts Dionysos, the god of wine, with a woman. Garcia says that the artifacts “are evidence of the exchanges that happened between the Mediterranean and the Celts.” The Greco-Latin wine set is typical of what would have been a centerpiece of an aristocratic Celtic banquet and was the northernmost found so far. Mr Garcia said it “confirmed exchanges between the Mediterranean and the Celts”. At the time, the Mediterranean city of Marseille, in southern France, was a Greek settlement. The burial chamber, which also holds the remains of the deceased and his chariot, is one of the largest recorded for the period. france1


1 Comment

  1. Piecing together the past can be an intricate process. Finding evidence that two major ancient cultures, the Celts and the Greeks, actually made contact helps us get a feel for how important Greece really was to the rest of the world! The fact that this Grecian decanter was typical of others found on the Celtic table makes me proud to have come from such an influential culture.

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