In Photos: Ancient Caches of Weapons, Jewelry Found in Transylvania

Two stashes of bronze weapons, tools and jewelry were discovered at a prehistoric site in what is now southern Transylvania, in Romania. They date back to a time when writing had not yet spread to this part of Europe, and minted currency hadn't emerged. Below are images of the site and bronze (and some iron) discoveries. [Read the full story on the Translyvania stashes]

Offerings to gods?

The two hoards, which date to the eighth century B.C., may have been offerings to deities, the researchers said. One hoard (part of which is shown here) holds more than 300 objects, while the second hoard has about 50 objects. Archaeologists found the goods in a ravine dotted with springs on the southern edge of the site. (Credit: © Corina Borș.)

Weapons and tools

This images shows part of the hoard with more than 300 objects. The hoards include a mix of weapons, tools and jewelry. After the passage of about 2,700 years, the artifacts in the hoards had to be carefully separated and conserved. (Credit: © Corina Borș.)

Mixed up

Before the artifacts were separated, they looked like a tangled clump of mud and metal. (Credit: © Corina Borș.)

Beautiful brooches

When the artifacts were separated and conserved, some vivid 2,700-year-old artistry came into view. Here, several bronze brooches from both hoards. All of the jewelry found in the two hoards is made of bronze. (Credit: © Corina Borș, photo by Marius Amarie.)


Curly hairpins were found in the hoard with over 300 objects. (Credit: © Corina Borș, photo by Marius Amarie.)


This image shows three bronze torques (a ring that goes around the neck) as well as part of a pendant. These items are from the hoard with over 300 objects. (Credit: © Corina Borș, photo by Marius Amarie.)

Simple jewelry

Bronze bracelets found in the hoard with over 300 objects. (Credit: © Corina Borș, photo by Marius Amarie.)


Iron spears were also found in the second hoard with about 50 objects. (Credit: © Corina Borș, photo by Marius Amarie.)

Amazing axes

Iron axe heads were found in both hoards. These axe heads were attached to the handle through a socket. (Credit: © Corina Borș, photo by Marius Amarie.)

Mix of items

An image of the second hoard (holding 50 objects) as it looked like when discovered. The archaeologists aren't sure whether a single person or separate individuals deposited the two hoards.. The fact that the two hoards have such a large number of objects indicates that whoever deposited them was wealthy and powerful, possibly a warrior chieftain, archaeologists say. (Credit: © Corina Borș, photo by Marius Amarie.)

Owen Jarus
Live Science Contributor

Owen Jarus is a regular contributor to Live Science who writes about archaeology and humans' past. He has also written for The Independent (UK), The Canadian Press (CP) and The Associated Press (AP), among others. Owen has a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Toronto and a journalism degree from Ryerson University.