Southwest Germany’s earliest known gold artefact found in Tübingen

Gold has a distinguished place in human societies from time immemorial. It is considered a precious, and symbolically pure element in the day-to-day life of humans. Recently, researchers of Universitaet Tübingen discovered the earliest known gold artefact of Tübingen. They have come across this artefact made up of gold during a regular archaeological excavation in the Ammerbuch-Reusten, Tübingen district of southwest Germany.

Spiral ring, Image credit: Yvonne Mühleis, LAD Esslingen


The archaeological site represents a late Neolithic burial consists of archaeological remains of a female in the fetal position. Apart from the female skeleton, a spiral ring of gold was also found during the excavations. According to the researchers, gold might be imported from Cornwall in Britain via ancient trade networks. The presence of a golden spiral ring shows that the female might belong to a higher status in that ancient society of Germany.


Burial of female, Image credit: Yvonne Mühleis, LAD Esslingen

The Radiocarbon C-14 dating of female remains shows that the burial belongs to a period of 1850 BCE to 1700 BCE. The elemental scientific analysis confirms the presence of 20% silver, and about 2 % copper apart from the gold element. The configuration of trace elements suggests the similarity with the gold deposits of the Carnon River area of Cornwall.


The research was conducted by the Professor Raiko Krauss of the Institute of Prehistory and Medieval Archaeology at the Universitaet Tübingen, and Dr. Jörg Bofinger of the Baden-Württemberg State Office for CRM, Esslingen.

For full research published article, click on Praehistorische Zeitschrift

Leave a Reply