Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Thousand-year-old Lombard warrior skeleton discovered
Thousand-year-old Lombard warrior skeleton discovered buried with horse in Italy
Italian archaeologists have discovered a perfectly preserved skeleton of a 1400-year-old Lombard warrior, buried with his horse.
By Malcolm Moore in Rome - London Telegraph - May 28, 2008
The skeleton, which was found in a park at Testona, near Turin, is of a 25-year-old Lombard who died of a fever. Unusually, his horse was buried alongside him.
"This is a very rare find," said Gabriella Pantò, the archaeologist leading the dig. "We have not seen many precedents in Italy. We have seen horses' heads buried with warriors, but this find shows the area is vitally important," she added.
The Lombards were a nomadic tribe of Germans who settled near the Danube and launched an attack on Italy in the sixth century.
Under the leadership of King Alboin, the Lombards stormed across the Alps in the spring of AD568 with an army of around 500,000.
Vicenza, Verona and Brescia were quickly conquered from the Byzantines, who were still suffering from battling the Goths. Lombardy was established across the whole of the north of the country, an empire which lasted for around 100 years.
The dig revealed a Lombard camp had settled at Testona, and the skeleton of a dog was also found nearby. The invaders had built an aqueduct and irrigation system and a series of small wooden huts, without any foundations.
The warrior was also buried with a treasure chest being x-rayed by archaeologists. In addition, a small bag held a pair of pincers, a bronze belt buckle and some armour.
He wore a ring on his left index finger and also had both a knife and a "scramasax", a short sword designed for close combat.
'Thousand-year-old Lombard warrior skeleton discovered buried with horse in Italy'