The images you'll see as you scroll down to the current text are all part of the story telling in my novel, Realms of Gold:Ritual to Romance.

Bianca Caldwell, pen name, Bianca Fiore, is a writer for an art magazine. In each of her monthly stories she describes an object used in ancient ritual.

Museum at Chatillon Features Realms of Gold!

                                Amis du Musée du Pays Châtillonnais
                                                                                                 Trésor de Vix
No oo1  Lettre aux Amis du Musée  Automne 2014
Fédération Française des Sociétés

d’Amis de Musée (FFSAM)

Notre association est adhérente à la FFSAM à l’instar de quelque 290 autres sociétés d’amis de Musée. En plus de son rôle d’interlocuteur des Pouvoirs Publics, la fédération est un organe de promotion des Sociétés d’Amis et par voie de conséquence des musées, une source de contacts et une occasion d’échanges d’expériences. C’est ainsi qu’un article sur l’AMPC est paru dans le dernier numéro de la revue de la FSAMM. Par ailleurs nous sommes entrain d’établir des relations avec nos collègues de Bourgogne en vue de donner un second souffle au groupement régional (Bourgogne) des sociétés d’amis de musée.
Affaire à suivre.

Un roman autour de la Dame de Vix :

Les royaumes dorés par Terry Stanfill.

La Dame de Vix a inspiré un roman original écrit par une Américaine résidant en Californie, Terry Stanfill.  A l’occasion d’une visite touristique de la région, cette écrivaine eut un véritable coup de cœur pour la Dame de Vix et tout ce qui l’entoure. L’ouvrage
"Les royaumes dorés" en Anglais "Realms of Gold " imagine les circonstances dans lesquelles le vase de Vix est arrivé dans notre Châtillonnais. Naturellement, c’est une fiction : elle met en scènes divers évènements et protagonistes réels ou imaginaires. Les versions françaises et anglaises sont en vente à la boutique du Musée (15€).  


Contacts : Président Robert Fries  Tél :03 80 93 14 42
Secrétariat : 06 36 60 92 78  courriel
Permanence les jeudis de 9h. à 12h. (sur rendez-vous)

Grave of ‘Griffin Warrior’ at Pylos

A bronze age tomb filled with epic treasures was found near the palace of the legendary king Nestor 

Archaeologists in Greece unearthed the skeleton of an ancient warrior that has rested undisturbed for more than 3,500 years with more than 1,400 precious objects.

The tomb, found in Pylos, on the southwest coast of Greece, has been hailed by the Greek ministry of culture as “the most important to have been discovered in 65 years in continental Greece.”

The skeleton of the adult male was found this summer by a University of Cincinnati-led international team who was excavating what they initially believed was a Bronze Age house.

Instead, they were presented with a spectacular find.

Stretched out on his back, a skeleton lay on the floor of the grave. Weapons lay to his left, and jewelry to his right.

This gold ring found in the warrior’s grave depicts Minoan imagery of a leaping bull. Four complete solid-gold seal rings to be worn on a human finger were found. This number is more than found with any single burial elsewhere in Greece.

The remains were literally covered with objects. A bronze sword, with the ivory hilt covered in gold, was placed near the head and chest. Next to it was a gold-hilted dagger, while more weapons were found by the man’s legs and feet.

The hilt of a Minoan sword found in the tomb, which was close to the surface but lay undisturbed for 35 centuries. “So many walked over it so many times, including our own team,” said Jack L. Davis, who with his wife, Sharon R. Stocker, has been excavating at Pylos for 25 years.

A plaque of carved ivory with a depiction of a griffon with huge wings lay between the man’s legs, and nearby was a bronze mirror with an ivory handle.

A bronze mirror with an ivory handle found in a grave of a warrior at Pylos in Greece. Credit Department of Classics/University of Cincinnati

Six ivory combs were discovered within the wealthy Mycenaean warrior's tomb. (University of Cincinnati)

Gold cups rested on the chest and stomach, and near the neck the archaeologists found a perfectly preserved gold necklace with two pendants.

Removed from the earth and cleaned, details of the chain, including finials in a “sacral ivy” pattern, become clear. A unique necklace of square box-shaped golden wires, more than 30 inches long with two gold pendants decorated with ivy leaves.

A detail of the chain’s box weave.

Spread around the head were over 1,000 beads of carnelian, amethyst, jasper, agate and gold. Four gold rings, and silver cups as well as bronze bowls, cups, jugs and basins were found nearby.

A clay oil lamp was also unearthed as part of the cache. Dating from the Hellenistic period, the lamp contained some agate stones that were part of a string of beadsNested in the clay oil lamp, the agate stones are extremely well preserved, as if they were brand new.

“It is truly amazing that no ceramic vessels were included among the grave gifts. All the cups, pitchers and basins we found were of metal: bronze, silver and gold. He clearly could afford to hold regular pots of ceramic in disdain,” said Sharon Stocker who, along with husband Jack Davis, led the University of Cincinnati team.

Stashed inside a niche, one of the spelunkers first spotted two ancient silver coins. On one side of the coins was an image of Alexander the Great, while the other side portrayed  Zeus sitting on his throne. The archaeologists believe the coins had been minted in the late fourth century BC at beginning of the Hellenistic Period during the reign of Alexander the Great. 

Alongside the coins, the spelunkers found a small treasure trove: two coins of Alexander of Macedon, three rings, four bracelets, two decorated earrings, three other earrings, probably made of silver, and a small stone weight.

This is one of more than four dozen seal stones with intricate Minoan designs found in the tomb. Long-horned bulls and, sometimes, human bull jumpers soaring over their horns are a common motif in Minoan designs.
Archaeologists said the warrior society that developed on the Greek mainland liked to show off its power through high-quality goods, like Cretan sealstones and gold cups. The carvings on this carnelian seal stone show three bulls reclining.

Whoever he was, he seems to have been celebrated for his trading or fighting in nearby island of Crete and for his appreciation of the more-sophisticated and delicate are of the Minoan civilization, found on Crete, with which he was buried.

Ancient Gold Helmets

Agris helmet

A ceremonial Celtic helmet from c. 350 BC that was found in a cave near Agris, Charente, France, in 1981. It is a masterpiece of Celtic art, and would probably have been used for display rather than worn in battle. The helmet consists of an iron cap completely covered with bands of bronze. The bronze is in turn covered with unusually pure gold leaf, with embedded coral decorations attached using silver rivets.

Celtic helmet decorated with gold "triskeles", found in Amfreville-sous-les-Monts, France. 400 BC

Golden Roman helmet found in village of Berkasovo (Srem, Serbia). Beginning of IV century AD. Museum of Vojvodina, Novi Sad, Serbia  

A Scythian gold helmet from the fourth century B.C.

Brass Corinthian helmet with laurel wreath finished in gold. Worn by the Kings Bodyguard/Basilikon Somatophylax. 

The Regolini-Galassi Tomb - Etruscan Gold

In 1836 the archaeologists Archbishop Alessandro Regolini and General Vincenzo Galassi uncovered an intact tomb of a high-ranking Etruscan womanIn the western necropolis of Cerveteri, in the village of Sorbo. Following the discovery of the tomb’s spectacular treasures, which included hundreds of pieces of jewelry, all things Etruscan became fashionable in Europe. Italian goldsmiths, masters in the techniques of granulation and filigree work, developed neo-Etruscan style jewelry.

Golden disc fibula from the Regolini-Galassi tomb, 7th century BC (photo: Vatican Museum)

This grand gold fibula adorned with five tiny lions depicted striding across its surface, and a large 25 cm long plaque, decorated with depictions of animals of Eastern origin was one of the many gold items found in the tomb.The fibula has been acclaimed as masterful in technique.

Together with the fibula, this breastplate was worn by the deceased woman in the end cell who thus appeared to the amazed discoverers as literally covered in gold.

It consists of a single laminated sheet shaped and decorated with embossed work with a series of 16 different punches. The decoration is divided into strips that follow the margins, going around the central emblem, and are characterized by the serial repetition of the same motif. Starting from the outer strip we see the following series of illustrations: broken line; grazing male ibex; winged lion; chimera with two protomes; pegasus; rear view of lion; grazing deer; woman in a tunic with a palm frond; winged lion, winged woman, lion. In the central emblem: semicircular decorations with overlapping spirals and stems, winged lions, women with palms and four male figures, each holding the front paws of a pair of rampant lions.

Four of the eighteen fibulae from the Regolini-Galassi Tomb tomb that were probably used to fasten the shroud.

The arm bands came from the Regolini-Galassi tomb at Cerveteri. They were manufactured in the middle of the 7th century B.C., in the local area; each bracelet is made of a rectangular band of gold.

The central part of each bracelet is decorated with repeated scenes of three standing female figures, who hold a palm in each hand.

At each end, the bands are decorated with a more complex scene: two palms surround a woman who stands between two lions, each stretching out a front paw and leaning the other on her shoulder.

Embossed and engraved gilt silver cup, from Regolini Galassi tomb at Cerveteri (Rome)

Gold Earring Stud 530–480 BC

Gary Kurtz, Producer of Star Wars, Comments on Dennis Stanfill

Gary Kurtz and George Lucas on the set of Star Wars

"Eventually the Fox board decided they wanted to see a rough cut of the movie — at the worst possible time.

The board [including Princess Grace of Monaco] came to the mix one night. We could only work at night because the mixing theater was busy during the day. We were supposed to mix at Warner Brothers and their big stage, and we got preempted by Clint Eastwood and his film [The Gauntlet]; he was a much bigger name at Warner Brothers than we were. Goldwyn didn’t have any time either, but the head of Goldwyn said, “Well, I could let you work at night, and we’ll pull in another crew.” So, we worked from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. every day.

The board came in when we were just finishing up the [very unusual at the time] Dolby stereo mix. They came at the beginning of our session, at 8 p.m. I don’t think we had any titles then. No end titles or anything.

The board sat there and watched the film, and at the end they got up and left, not a word. No applause, not even a smile. They just got up and left. We were really depressed. Stanfill came up to me right at the very end, he was the last one to leave. He said, “Don’t worry about them. They don’t know anything about movies.”

Terry Stanfill, Princess Grace, Dennis Stanfill

Terry Stanfill comments: "We remember the Sunday night Dennis called us into his office when he signed the go-ahead payment to begin Star Wars.  Francesca has what we still call the :Star Wars desk.  He thought it was important enough to call us in to watch--but who could have possibly imagined that it would have come to this!"

Read More at Mashable 

Tesoro de Villena

In 1963, in the Spanish town  of Villena  a, jeweler  admired a similar bracelet on the arm of  on a young gypsy woman , When he examined the heavy cuff  more closely, he saw that it was pure solid and heavy gold, weighing a pound.  He summoned the director of Villena’s museum of archaeology, Jose Maria Soler to investigate.  The woman told him that her husband had found it in a pile of sand being used to mix concrete. A month later another gypsy woman was seen wearing a similar bracelet.

She insisted it was a family treasure but when Soler examined her ”heirloom” he saw that like the other bracelet, it bore fresh traces of soil. Believing the gypsies had accidentally uncovered a prehistoric find, the archaeologist obtained legal permission to confiscate both pieces until their origin could be determined. Soon after, the husband of the second gypsy, confessed he had found both while working a gravel quarry and volunteered to help the archaeologists.

Soler and his team began to dig—but no luck.  One day, when they were about to give up for the day,  one of the men discovered yet  another heavy gold bracelet which was soon followed by a huge pottery jar filled to the brim with gold.

An  inventory of the jar revealed an impressive haul: sixty eight separate pieces including five flagons, twenty-eight bracelets and two sword handles. The total weight of the gold treasure was over twenty-two pounds, the heaviest yet unearthed. One bracelet alone weighed more than a pound. The jar had been so skillfully packed that not an inch of space was wasted. This fact, plus the great depth suggests that it was a king’s treasure which had been buried for safekeeping. Evidence of fire in the soil around the spot indicated that a building once stood there, perhaps a royal palace which was set ablaze in the course of a battle.

The question is, what king? Soler theorized it was one of the petty rulers in southern Spain during the late Bronze Age and that, like other kings, he had his own private army and goldsmith According to Homer, Mycenaean kings (of the same period) ate from dishes of silver and gold.  The golden bowls and flagons were probably royal tableware.

Christie’s London May, 2013 This magnificent Celto-Iberian bracelet estimated at $60,000-90,000 was the star lot, selling for ten times estimate at $804,780! 

Found in Portalegre in Portugal, it is probably the only example of its type still in private hands. A similar piece was found in nearby Estremoz and  is now in the National Museum of Madrid. This type of bracelet reflects  the technological changes that occurred at the beginning of the Iron Age, -Tools made: new, high-temperature furnaces designed for iron production made it easier to melt large amounts of gold, and tools made of iron were sharper, more precise, and more durable than those of copper alloy with the new and sharper iron tools.


Treasure of Villena

The Treasure of Villena (in Spanish Tesoro de Villena) is one of the greatest hoard finds of gold of the European Bronze Age. It comprises 59 objects made of gold, silver, iron and amber with a total weight of almost 10 kilos, 9 of them of 23.5 carat gold. This makes it the most important find of prehistoric gold in the Iberian Peninsula and second in Europe, just behind that from the Royal Graves in Mycenae, Greece.

The iron pieces are the oldest found in the Iberian Peninsula and correspond to a stage in which iron was considered to be a precious metal, and so was hoarded. The gold pieces include eleven bowls, three bottles and 28 bracelets.

The hoard was found in December 1963 by archaeologist José María Soler 5 km from Villena, and since then has been the main attraction of Villena's Archaeological Museum. Its discovery was published in most of the Spanish media and also some abroad, mainly in France, Germany and the United States of America. It has been exhibited in Madrid, Alicante, Tokyo and Kyoto, and now there are two sets of copies of the whole treasure to be shown in exhibitions while the originals are permanently conserved in an armoured showcase at Villena's Archaeological Museum.