Biggest Golden Treasures in History
"Oldest golden treasure in the world" - Varna, Bulgaria
Approximately dated to 4560-4450 BC; Discovered in October 1972
The treasure was found in the 1970s, by tree bulgarian archaeologists when they stumbled upon a vast Copper Age necropolis from the 5th millennium BC (4,600 - 4,200 BC) containing the oldest golden artifacts ever discovered near the city of Varna, Bulgaria.
294 graves have been found in that necropolis, many containing sophisticated examples of metallurgy (gold and copper), pottery (about 600 pieces, including gold-painted ones), high-quality flint and obsidian blades, beads, and shells. There are crouched and straight inhumations. Some graves do not contain a skeleton, but grave gifts (cenotaphs). These symbolic (empty) graves are the richest in gold artifacts. Three thousand gold artifacts were found, with a weight of approximately six kilograms. Grave 43 contained more gold than has been found in the entire rest of the world for that epoch. Three symbolic graves contained masks of unbaked clay.
Bronze Age Treasures from the Bush Barrow Burial near Stonehenge - England
Approximately dated to 2000 BC; Excavated in 1808
In 1808, William Cunnington, one of Britain's earliest professional archaeologists, discovered what has become known as the crown jewels of the "King of Stonehenge". They were found within a large Bronze Age burial mound just half mile from Stonehenge, known today as Bush Barrow, part from Normanton Down barrow cemetery. Within the 4,000-year-old barrow, Cunnington found a male skeleton with a collection of funerary goods that make it "the richest and most significant example of a Bronze Age burial monument not only in the Normanton Group or in association with Stonehenge, but arguably in the whole of Britain". The items date the burial to the early Bronze Age, 1900-1700 BC, and include a large 'lozenge'-shaped sheet of gold, a sheet gold belt plate, three bronze daggers, a bronze axe, a stone macehead and bronze rivets.
The Golden Death Mask of Agamemnon - Greece
Created 1580–1500 BC; Discovered in 1876
The Mask of Agamemnon is a Mycenaean funerary gold mask. Found in Tomb V in Royal circle A at the Acropolis of Mycenae by the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann who believed it to belong to the Homeric hero Agamemnon.
In 1876, Schliemann began excavating at Mycenae on behalf of the Greek Archaeological Society. Schliemann’s workmen would soon uncover stelae marking the boundary of a grave circle about 27.5 meters (90 feet) across. It contained five late Bronze Age shaft graves. Schliemann’s excavation of the shaft graves revealed that they contained the remains of several Mycenaean chiefs, five of whom wore gold face masks.
The Eberswalde Hoard: Golden Treasure Trove - Germany
Photo credit: upload.wikimedia.org - jpg source: commons.wikimedia.org Photograph: Andreas Praefcke CC0
The hoard is dated to the 11th century BC; Excavated in an area to the north-east of Berlin, Germany in 1913
The Eberswalde Hoard or Treasure of Eberswalde (German: Schatz von Eberswalde or Goldfund von Eberswalde) is a Bronze Age hoard of 81 gold objects with a total weight of 2.6 kg. The treasure is trove that was unearthed during an excavation in an area to the north-east of Berlin, Germany in 1913. It is a largest prehistoric assembly of gold objects ever found in Germany, and is considered to be one of the most important finds from the Central European Bronze Age. It is believed that they are from either the 11th or 10th century BC. Today, it is in Russia, as part of the group of artifacts and works of art looted from Germany at the end of the Second World War.
The Treasure of Villena - Spain
Dated to 1000 BC; Found on 1 December 1963
The Treasure of Villena (known as El Tesoro de Villena) is one of the greatest hoard finds of gold of the European Bronze Age.
3,000 Ancient Gold Pieces Discovered In Saka Burial Mound In Kazakhstan
The treasure is dated to 900 BC; Excavated in 2018
A priceless treasury trove has been uncovered by archaeologists in the remote Tarbagatai Mountains in Northeastern Kazakhstan
"The Priam's Treasure" – Turkey
Dated to 800 BC; Discovered on 31st of May 1873
The treasure was discovered in 1873, in a site rumoured to be the remnants of the great city of Troy – so its discoverer, German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, named the find after Troy’s king, Priam.
The Issyk burial of famous Saka warrior "The Golden Man" - Kazakhstan
Photo credit: upload.wikimedia.org - jpg source: commons.wikimedia.org Author: Derzsi Elekes Andor CC by 3.0 Unported
Dated to 500 BC; Excavated in 1969
The Golden Man (Zolotoy Chelovek in Russian, Altyn Adam in Kazakh) is a warrior’s costume that was found in 1969 by a team of archaeologists from the Kazakh Institute of History, Ethnography and Archaeology. It is made of more than 4000 separate gold pieces, many of them finely worked with animal motifs, and has a 70 cm-high headdress bearing skyward-pointing arrows, a pair of snarling snow leopards and a two-headed winged mythical beast. A total of 4,800 gold adornments were found in the kurgan, which is the second highest number ever found in tombs, topped only by that of Tutankhamen. Radiocarbon dating estimated the age of the finds to be from the 5th century BC.