by Jason Daley/Smithsonian.com
An Iron Age chariot burial found in Yorkshire, England, is reshaping archaeologists’ understanding of Celtic art and weaponry.
As Mike Laycock reports for the York Press, researchers uncovered the Celtic warrior’s elaborate grave while conducting excavations at a housing development in the town of Pocklington last year. The soldier, who was at least 46 years old when he died, was laid to rest atop a shield placed in an upright chariot drawn by two horses.
Experts unveiled the shield, which has been newly cleaned and conserved, earlier this month. The full results of the team’s investigation will be published in spring 2020.
Paula Ware, an archaeologist who worked on the project, tells Laycock the shield was made in the La Tène style typical of early Celtic art. It depicts organic forms like mollusk shells, as well as triskele, or triple spiral designs that draw the eye to the shield’s raised center. Unlike other Iron Age shields found across Europe, the artifact has a scalloped edge.