1,500yo Germanic Tribesman Unearthed With Huge Sword

Story By: Angjela Trajkovska, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: CEN

The skeleton of a Germanic tribe member dating back to around 500 AD has been found alongside his huge iron sword.

The find took place at the Viminacium archaeological site, which was a major hub and military stronghold in the Roman province of Moesia and the site is located near the present-day city of Pozarevac in eastern Serbia.

Project leader Miomir Korac said: “At this moment it is not possible to say much, but the discovery of several items next to the skeleton helps archaeologists conclude that he was a member of the Germanic tribe of Gepids.”

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Pictures Credit: CEN & CEN/Arheoloski park Viminacijum

According to Korac, the grave dates back to the Migration Period which began around 300 AD and involved the mass migration of people during the decline of the Roman Empire, notably the Germanic tribes and the Huns.

Experts said that the skeleton belonged to a male who was 178 centimetres (5 feet 8 inches) tall and alongside the remains was a 92-centimetre (36-inch) long iron sword.

They believe that he was a member of the Gepids who inhabited the area of Viminacium during the sixth century.

According to local media, 106 graves in the area confirm the tribe’s presence.

Experts reportedly found a 30-centimetre comb behind the skeleton’s left shoulder that was kept in a bone case.

Meanwhile, a ceramic plate was found above the right shoulder and an iron spearhead was found near the right foot.

Korac said: “They inhabited Viminacium as part of an agreement with the Byzantine Empire with the goal of defending the border along the River Danube.

He added that they will continue working at the site and hope to know in the coming weeks whether it is single grave or part of an unknown necropolis from the Migration Period.

The Gepids were an East Germanic tribe and were closely related to the Goths.

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Angjela Trajkovska

I am a journalist and subeditor working for Central European News.

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