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Mattsies: Archaeologists discover children's grave from the 7th century!

2021-10-27T15:20:52.613Z

Mattsies - When developing a new building area in Mattsies in the Unterallgäu district, archaeologists have come across a real sensational find. As the State Office for Monument Preservation confirms, it is the remains of a boy who lay unchanged under Mattsieser Boden for around 1,300 years. And the researchers have already found out a few more exciting details, as the state office explains in a press release.



Mattsies - When developing a new building area in Mattsies in the Unterallgäu district, archaeologists have come across a real sensational find. As confirmed by the State Office for Monument Preservation, it is the remains of a boy who lay unchanged under Mattsieser Boden for around 1,300 years. And the researchers have already discovered a few more exciting details, as the state office explains in a press release.

A restoration team, archaeologists and excavation technicians from the Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation met last week in Mattsies to lift an extraordinarily well-preserved child's grave from the 7th century from the ground and gently transport it to the laboratory.

According to the State Office for Monument Preservation, they used a new method for this purpose: the contents of the grave chamber were wetted with water layer by layer and these were shock-frozen with liquid nitrogen.


Pictures from the sensational find in Mattsies: Children's grave from the 7th century discovered

Pictures from the sensational find in Mattsies: Children's grave from the 7th century discovered

The remains of the boy, who was buried with a dog, were discovered by archaeologists the week before. The sword that was placed in his grave, but above all the weapon belt adorned with gold fittings and the rich jewelry suggest, according to the curators, that the child belonged to a wealthy and socially very high family. There is something else in particular about this grave: “The finds remained almost unchanged for almost 1,300 years because the stone ceiling and walls of the burial chamber were obviously so tight that, unlike usual, no sediments entered the coffin. As a result, the finds are in an excellent condition for a grave from this period, ”explains the State Office for Monument Preservation in the press release.Even numerous pieces of fabric and leather have been preserved - from the sword scabbard, the weapon belt, but also from clothing and perhaps the shroud.


Preservation of monuments hopes for new knowledge

“This funeral is a stroke of luck for us, especially because so many scraps of fabric have been preserved.

They promise highly interesting insights into the early medieval world of fashion, ”says Conservator General Prof. Dipl.-Ing.

Mathias Pfeil, head of the Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation.

“Our intensive research in recent years gives an idea of ​​the importance of high-quality textiles and decorated leather for the representation of the status in the early Middle Ages.

From the finds that have now been recovered, we expect new insights into the textiles used at the time and how they were worn. "


However, the fact that the burial was free of sediments posed a great challenge for the preservationists. Because without the stabilizing deposits from the ground, the finds threatened to slip or be damaged during recovery and transport on the brick floor of the burial chamber. For this reason, they were frozen and then pulled out of the ground by a crane with the help of a plate that was pushed under the bottom of the coffin, as if on a tray. The decision was made to use liquid nitrogen because, with its temperature of minus 196 degrees Celsius, it ensures that the water film applied hardens immediately without any expansion effects. In this way, no structure-destroying large ice crystals are formed. The recovery took a total of 14 hours - from 3 a.m. to 5 p.m.


The burial is now in the block in the laboratory of the restoration workshops of the Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation in Bamberg, where it is initially housed in a cooling chamber and is then to be examined more closely and preserved.

For this purpose, the ice should be melted off in a controlled manner.

According to the State Office for Monument Preservation, an exact time has not yet been set.


Also noticeable are the traces of a square, eight-meter-wide building that archaeologists found in the ground.

The building dates from Roman times and was prepared a few centuries later as a prominent burial place for the child.

Not uncommon for burials of this time is the juxtaposition of objects with Christian symbolism and the clinging to grave goods.

For example, gold leaf crosses were found in the child's grave.


The boy's cause of death is not (yet) known

As additional gifts, silver bracelets, spurs and a bronze basin were placed in the burial chamber.

Its exact age can only be determined after further examinations.

Since it still had milk teeth, the researchers assume that it was hardly older than ten years at the time of death.

The dog was placed at the child's feet.

The effects of violence on the animal remains have not yet been proven.

Nothing can be said about the cause of death of the child either.


The excavations took place in the course of the development of a new building area in the Mattsies district.

Since ground monuments were already suspected at this point, the Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation was consulted at an early stage.

The community had actively supported the recovery of the children's grave with vehicles and staff from the municipal building yard.

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2021-10-27

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