The Vix grave - Musée du Pays Châtillonnais
Vix's tomb was discovered on January 6, 1953, this tomb was located in a field, under a level tumulus of which only scattered stones remained, the vault, filled with earth, had remained inviolate.
The incredible discovery of the Vix grave and its treasure
The grave of Vix was discoverd on 6 January 1953 by Maurice Moisson, a farmer from Vix, but officially and according to the Press at the time by René Joffroy, a self-taught archaeologist, president of the local archaeological society and person in charge of excavations. The grave was situated in a field under a flattened tumulus with just a few stones on it, but it was enough to attract the attention of archaeologists and in fact the burial chamber, filled with earth, was undamaged.
Once the earth was removed under fairly difficult conditions, the tomb was found to be the chariot burial grave of a woman, quickly nicknamed Princess of Vix (or Dame de Vix), whose personality remains a mystery more than 60 years after her discovery. The tomb contained a large number of funerary items, jewels, ceramics and bronze dishes. The centrepiece of the dishes is a 1.64m high bronze volute krater weighing 208.6kg with a capacity of 1,100 litres, the largest bequeathed to us by Antiquity and without doubt the work of a Corinthian-Greek workshop in southern Italy around 525 B.C.
The vase was in a sorry state, crushed by the collapse of the burial chamber ceiling it only measured 90cm high. Its feet and handles had fallen off and its lid was broken. After being stored for several days in the courtyard of the farm belonging to the Mongenet family in Vixit, it was taken on a cart to Châtillon-sur-Seine. Two restorations were needed to restore it to its former glory.
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