The area around the village of Vix, in North east Burgundy is the site of an important prehistoric complex from the Celtic late Hallstatt period.(500 B.), the beginning of the Iron Age. Overlooking this tiny village (200 inhabitants) are traces of an important fortified settlement of an aristocratic, elitist society influenced by Greek and Etruscan culture.
In 1953 the treasure of the of "the Lady of Vix was discovered, the site dating back to circa 500 BC. The site had never been looted and contained remarkably rich grave offerings, including important jewelry and the magnificent bronze Vix Krater the largest known metal vessel from antiquity. The wealth of this Celtic tribe was derived from farming (with the iron plough) from collecting tolls at the point on the Seine where the river became navigable for transport.They also exchanged tin and copper, salt, furs, and Baltic amber for luxury goods-- fine bronze objects, Greek ceramics, and coral. The cargos were shipped via the Rhone River, south to Massilia (Marseilles) , to finally reach other Mediterranean ports.
The spectacular jewels buried with the :"Lady of Vix," mark her social position. For these Celts gold was a symbol of power. The gold of the Lady (or Princess, or Priestess) of Vix was meant to show those dwelling in the Otherworld that she was important and therefore deserved special treatment. For this reason one could easily speculate that she was a princess or druidess who would display her power to the gods of the Afterlife. The great cauldron, in this case the krater, was the symbol of immortality and abundance to the ancient Celts. There are no records that indicate if druid burials included ornaments of any sort in their burial chambers or even if they were buried at all. However, since they held the highest places in society, it is likely that their burials were elaborate. Although there are few early references to druids in early history, one of the first known mention was in the works of Aristotle, the teacher of Alexander the Great.