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Mycenaeans in Bavaria? Amber and gold from the Bronze Age site of Bernstorf

  • Anthony Harding (a1) and Helen Hughes-Brock (a2)

In August 1998 the German archaeological world was stunned when two amateur archaeologists found decorated gold-sheet ornaments on a hill in Bavaria north of Munich, near a farm named Bernstorf, in the commune of Kranzberg. A Bronze Age fortified enclosure was known there, local amateurs having excavated it earlier in the 1990s; later, permission was granted for gravel extraction, trees were cleared and it was in this disturbed area that the gold appeared. The authorities were quickly alerted. Both the Staatssammlung in Munich (Bavarian State Archaeological Museum) and the Bayerisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege (BLfD, Bavarian State Office for Monument Care) took part in inspections and, subsequently, excavations. More gold, including a ‘diadem’, appeared and, in late September 1998, perforated lumps of amber. Then in November 2000, on the edge of an area under excavation by the BLfD, came the sensational discovery of two incised pieces of amber hailed as Mycenaean.

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  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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