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I. Site
II. Finds

Vix (Mont Lassois), France.

Vix Map

Routes of access to Mont Lassois Area of Mont Lassois.

Plan of tomb

Localized on map. Vix lies to the west of the central Hallstatt area, but in the middle of the La Tène area. Note the situation near the Seine, very convenient for transferring goods to land transportation between the Seine and the Rhône. Tin from the British isles may have been transported south overland from Vix.

Routes of access to Mont Lassois -- transportation of goods and tin(?) using both overland and river routes. The two tumuli of Sainte-Colombe, La Butte and La Garenne, also contained extremely rich Hallstatt wagon burials.

after Joffroy 1979, 26 fig. 4

Area of Mont Lassois. The tomb was discovered in 1952 at Seine-level at the foot of Mont Lassois.

after Joffroy 1979, 17 fig. 2

Plan of tomb with main groups of finds marked in color. The wood-clad chamber is ca. 3m x 3m. The corpse lay with her head to the north on the bed of her wagon.

after Joffroy 1979, 96 fig. 79

The occupant of the chamber was a female in her thirties, according to anthropologists. The character of the assemblage has led some to question her sex, even to suggest that a transvestite was buried in the tomb (note). Her skull is larger than typical for females, with a capacity of 1,425 cm3, and hyperdolichocephalic (long-headed). I have made her stand-in taller than the average Hallstatt woman, ca. 172 cm in height, because of the large cranium -- the long bones were not adequately preserved to determine height.

My distribution of the fibulae is entirely fictitious. They were found along both sides of the body. The plans do not indicate which fibula was found where, however, so I have tried to give an idea of size and type alone.

The composite below gives an impression of the enormous size of the krater. The "lady" could very well have been as short as the krater's 1.64 m. The wagon was dismantled in the tomb; the bed is only ca. 1.35 m long, much too short to have carried the "lady" in an ekphora. In addition to the gold torc, she wore large amounts of jewelry of bronze, iron, amber, coral and gold. She was well provided for banqueting in the afterlife, with the huge krater, Etruscan Schnabelkanne, three large bronze basins, a silver phiale, and two imported Attic kylikes.

Châtillon-sur-Seine: Musée Archéologique

Comparandum: Mitterkirchen female burial.