Mushroom picker finds precious helmets from late Bronze Age

The discoveries have a value of €60,000.

(Source: František Iván, TASR)

The Eastern Slovakia Museum in Košice has presented two unique bronze helmets from the late Bronze Age. A mushroom picker found them last year near the village of Trhovište in Michalovce county. The finder brought the objects to the museum in January of this year.

The museum's archaeologist Dárius Gašaj informed the Regional Monument’s Board.

“This precious finding consists of two Bronze helmets, partly stuck to each other. There were also two pairs of protective cheek pads and two spiral arm guards,” said Róbert Pollák, director of the museum, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

The finder wishes to remain anonymous. The archaeologist with a colleague from the Regional Monument’s Board examined the site of the find in detail.

The value of €60,000

The discovery, worth approximately €60,000, is the property of the state now. As Pollák said, the museum, together with the Košice Self-governing Region requested it be added to the collection of the museum.

Discoveries of helmets from the Bronze Age are rare not only in Slovakia but in the whole of Europe, according to Gašaj. The helmets from Trhovište are western European style made from two shaped bronze plates. The decorated sides are connected with a central three-toothed comb that has a hole for attaching a decorative plume. Other holes at the sides and at the bottom edge are to attach the protective cheek pads.

Only three similar pieces had been found, all of them in the Eastern Alpine area.

Unclear origin

The origin of the helmets from Trhovište remains unclear. They were probably traded objects imported for the highest society elite – military chiefs. The helmets were used and repaired. They were more a symbol of the status of the bearer, a symbol of his position and power than protective equipment.

The display also includes the back part of some plate armour plate that was found long ago in Čierna nad Tisou and also some fragments discovered in Šarišské Michaľany.

Similar helmets have been found in Lúčky, Spišská Belá and Žaškov but they were made only from one sheet of bronze. They originated between the 12th and 10th century BC.

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