Baradla cave hidden treasure
A ritual site with a regional importance like Stonehenge. Photo: MTI/Komka Péter

The cave is part of the famous stalactite cave of Aggtelek where archaeologists of ELTE University found unique treasures dating back to the early Bronze Age, late Neolithic. 

Suddenly, the metal detector sounded

The cave is going to help the healing process of patients suffering from respiratory diseases in the future. Before that, however, an archaeological examination had to be done during which the treasures were found – reported.

The Baradla stalactite cave is one of the most famous in Hungary and has been scientifically searched for at least 150 years. Furthermore,

marauders looted it several times in the 18th century.

Therefore, chances are slight to find anything valuable – said Dr Gábor Szabó, the archaeologist leading the excavations.

Baradla Hungary cave treasure
Accessory of a ceremonial dress from the Bronze Age found in the Baradla Cave. Photo: MTI

Still, archaeologists found unexpectedly a

5,000-year-old collection from the late Neolithic period

and an approximately 3,200-year-old one from the Bronze Age. The latter, a 59-item bronze finding, was discovered in quite a mysterious place, hidden under rocks put on each other as if they were parts of a house. According to Szabó, nobody ever finds anything in such sites; however, this time, his colleagues were lucky. He added that in the 1920s, some golden artefacts emerged from Baradla, and even they have already found golden hair-clips and valuable spearheads during their metal detector project that started four years ago.

Credits go to an amateur metal detector

Fortunately, prehistoric layers in the cave were covered by concrete and a 20-30 cm thick limestone layer, so they were protected both from looters and tourists. Previously, no metal detectors signed near the spot where the hidden treasures were found, but this time an amateur colleague, Lajos Sándor was lucky.

Archaeologists in work in the cave. Photo: MTI/Komka Péter

According to the experts, the 59-item bronze finding consisting mostly round and decorated artefacts was accessory to a ceremonial dress of which, unfortunately, nothing remained. Moreover, ELTE archaeologists found decorated ceramics, animal bones and even human remains near the site which was probably used for ritual sacrifices showing that the Baradla Cave could have been an

important ritual site even for people living far from there

thousands of years ago – said Szabó. He added that the place could have had regional importance and role like the Stonehenge had in England.

He said that in archaeology, there is a constant debate on how exactly such places were used. Many say that people lived there, but that is highly unlikely because of the 100 pc humidity, so they were probably used as shelters and shrines. This is why there are so many ceramics and animal bones.

The findings will be carried to the Hungarian National Museum, where the bronze artefacts and ceramics will be restored, and scientists will carry out scientific research on them. Interestingly, isotope research will be done on the bones to find out from where they were taken to Baradla.

Photos: MTI/Komka Péter


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