The Golden Bees of the First Scientific Archaeological Publication

While we tend to consider the 17th century as ancient history, the people of that time occasionally encountered even more ancient history. In 1653, a construction project in what is now Belgium unearthed a buried treasure of gold jewelry and other objects and human bones. Among them were 300 small bees made of gold, which may have been buttons of a sort. Archduke Leopold William took possession of the find, and enlisted his doctor to study them. Jean-Jacques Chifflet documented, illustrated, and identified the artifacts, and published a book about them. They were the possessions of King Childeric I (437 – 481 AD), the father of Clovis I who united the Frankish kingdoms and established the French monarchy. The workers on the construction site has stumbled upon his burial place.

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That hoard of gold, including the 300 bees, had its own series of adventures after its excavation. It is the direct reason that Napoleon Bonaparte established the bee as his personal emblem. The collection was mostly destroyed after a heist, but thanks to Chifflet’s efforts, we still know what it’s all about. Read the chronicle of the golden bees at Just History Posts. -via Strange Company  

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Source: neatorama

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