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When archeologists recently excavated a 3,800-year-old palace near the eastern German city of Weimar, they discovered about 100 valuable weapons buried next to a massive structure. Now they are puzzling over how an ancient chieftain buried nearby became so rich.
In 1877, when archeology was still in its infancy, art professor Friedrich Klopfleisch climbed an almost nine-meter (20-foot) mound of earth in Leubingen, a district in the eastern German state of Thuringia lying near a range of hills in eastern Germany known as the Kyffhäuser. He was there to "kettle" the hill, which entailed having workers dig a hole from the top of the burial mound into the burial chamber below.
When they finally arrived at the burial chamber, everything lay untouched: There were the remains of a man, shiny gold cloak pins, precious tools, a dagger, a pot for food or drink near the man's feet, and the skeleton of a child lying across his lap.
The "prince" of Leubingen was clearly a member of the elite. Farmers who had little to eat themselves had piled up at least 3,000 cubic meters (106,000 cubic feet) of earth to fashion the burial mound. They had also built a tent-shaped vault out of oak beams and covered it with a mound of stones, as if he had been a pharaoh.
Originally posted by Schkeptick
This just shows it's a mistake to think people only started thinking in the last several hundred years. Just because they didn't write it down doesn't mean they didn't figure it out.edit on 2-7-2011 by Schkeptick because: (no reason given)
Küssner estimates that the "prince" and his guards kept watch over a "radius of 80 kilometers" and profited exorbitantly as a result. He believes that chieftain's gang of extortionists provided the hatchet blades in the valuable cache as a sign of their loyalty.