A treasure trove of gold creates an archaeological controversy in Germany

A treasure trove of gold creates an archaeological controversy in Germany

A 3,300-year-old gold hoard found in northern Germany it has perplexed German archaeologists. One theory suggests that merchants transported it hundreds of miles from a mine in central Asia, but other experts are skeptical.

Archaeologists in Germany have a new unlikely hero: ex-chancellor Gerhard Schröder. They have nothing but praise for the veteran Social Democratic political smoker.

Why? Because it was he who, together with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, pushed forward a plan to bring natural gas from Russia to western Europe. For this purpose, an embankment 440 kilometers long and 30 wide had to be created from Lubmin, a coastal city in northeastern Germany, to Rehden in Lower Saxony near the northwestern city of Bremen.

The result has been a true cornucopia of ancient discoveries. The most beautiful find was made in the Gessel district in Lower Saxony, where 117 gold pieces they were found stacked close together on a piece of rotten linen. The hidden treasure has a few 3,300 years.

The 1.8 kilogram of gold that was found in a field, consists of some jewels but mainly of gold wire spirals They are linked together by 10 spirals each. It is not jewelry, but an ancient form of gold bullion.

Traveling the continent.

When Johanna Wanka, Lower Saxony's science minister, unveiled the treasure to the press in February, the story became even more surprising. He explained that tests carried out by the University of Hanover had revealed that gold It came from the Central Asian mine.

Using a mass spectrometer, we examined more than 20 elements, allowing us to determine the footprint in the metal”Explains chemist Robert Lehmann. "The gold vein has been created deep in the mountains of Kazakhstan, Afghanistan or Uzbekistan over a period of millions of years”.

Lower Saxony can now be considered the owner of what Wanka calls the “find of the century”. Merchants traded in luxury items used in the journey across the entire continentexplains state archaeologist Henning Hassmann. "10,000 kilometer trips were nothing to them”.

He suspects that the gold found at Gessel was initially brought in in caravans from the mountains near the Indus Valley, where giant riverine culture flourished about 1,800 BC. From here, Hassmann says, the merchandise was shipped by boat to Mesopotamia, and after that somehow made it to the northern plains.

‘Very Bold’.

Is it the correct explanation? Not everyone has faith in Lehmann's gold analysis. Some say that despite the advanced equipment to make tests available to you, Lehmann “he has not got experience”. Ernst Pernicka, an archaeologist who studied ancient metallurgical processes in the southwestern city of Tübingen (known for his pioneering studies of metal in the famous Nebra celestial disk), qualifies Lehmann's conclusions as “highly speculative”.

Because almost nothing is known about ancient mines in central Asia, Lehmann could compare Gessel's find with some scythian coins. But arriving at such ambitious theories on the basis of so few facts is “very bold”Says Gregor Borg, a gold deposit expert at the University of Halle in eastern Germany.

Despite the criticism, Lehmann remains undeterred, pointing out the use of first class equipment. With these devices, he says, he can also perform mass spectrometry ICP laser ablation and white light microscopy. "We are counting the individual atoms", He says.

¿Who has the reason?

The Asia connection.

For how bold the Asia connection seems, could be true. There is much evidence that human greed led to the globalization of trade more than 3,000 years. Ancient Egyptian folding chair designs reached Sweden and magnificent Spondylus shells from the Mediterranean have been found as far away as Bavaria.

Valuable metals such as tin, copper, gold and silver were favorites among these long-distance traders, who dragged them across the continent with ox carts. Ötzi, the Iceman, a natural mummy found in the Ötztal Alps, probably traded in gold and flint and died in the process.

Could the merchant networks reach as far as the remote mines in Central Asia as long as the second millennium BC? It would certainly have been worth it. A massive gold and tin belt it stretches from the Altai Mountains to the Aral Sea. A prehistoric gold mine, the largest in the central Caucasus, has recently been discovered in Armenia.

This could explain the origin of myth of the Argonauts, who in history sailed across the Black Sea to steal the Golden Fleece.

If the treasure found on the shore of the North Sea coast really originated in the distant steppes remains debatable. Lehmann has invited these critics to attend the presentation on July 13 in Hanover, where he will try to clarify the details of your investigation. “It will be a closed door meeting", He says. Apparently, Lehmann doesn't want anyone to lose in the dispute over the prehistoric gold.

Graduated in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, since I was little I have been attracted to the world of information and audiovisual production. Passion for informing and being informed of what is happening in every corner of the planet. Likewise, I am pleased to be part of the creation of an audiovisual product that will later entertain or inform people. My interests include cinema, photography, the environment and, above all, history. I consider it essential to know the origin of things to know where we come from and where we are going. Special interest in curiosities, mysteries and anecdotal events in our history.


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