Picture behind the story #26 Were the Gauls really barbarians?

Bronze wine vase part of the Tresor de Vix

Were the Gauls really barbarians, defined as “primitive and uncivilised”? Certainly the Roman propaganda machine would say so as do many textbooks in education today.

But The Treasure of Vix would say otherwise!

“25 centuries ago, a lavishly dressed princess is buried at the bottom of Mount Lassois. Discovered in 1953, the most prestigious princely burial from the end of the first Iron Age, 500BC, bears witness to the Antiquity still unmatched to this day. Found in her tomb the mysterious Lady of Vix was adorned with precious jewels, a gold torque, and by her side the famous bronze wine vase standing at 1.64 metres and capable of holding 1000 litres of wine.”

Bronze wine vase part of the Tresor de Vix

The vase is of Greek design and was probably made in southern Italy. It is one of thousands of finds from this area long before the battle of Alesia in which Julius Caesar finally defeated and subjugated the Gauls and partly demonstrates that there was a lifestyle and riches here greatly beyond what is commonly known. We visited Chatillon-sur-Seine on our way to Chablis and spent over an hour in the museum Tresor de Vix exploring the wealth of finds from this late Iron Age period and beyond. We’ll write a fuller post in a few days describing the tomb of the Lady of Vix and more recent archaeology from the 17th Century.

Bronze wine vase part of the Tresor de Vix


15 thoughts on “Picture behind the story #26 Were the Gauls really barbarians?

    1. Your comment is quite a coincidence Barry as I’m currently sitting at home writing a longer piece about the whole area of finds. We will go back soon to explore the iron making history of the area next time en route to Chablis

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  1. Hi Dr. B, I’m writing a blog on decanting wine and I can’t find an answer as to the etiquette of serving decanted wine. Can you leave the bottle on the table with it, or is that not done?

    I will reference/quote you and put a link to your blog in my article.

    I know you’ll have an answer to this if anyone does!

    Thanks! Rhonda

    Sent from AOL Mobile Ma

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, thank you for your trust! I’ll give you my answer but also recommend you ask my good friend Danell at the Vinthropology blog the same question. She’s a somellier in Italy.
      I once saw an interesting process of decanting in a classy restaurant in France. The guests chose their wine, the sommelier brought out the bottle to show them, she opened it in front of them and decanted it as they watched. The bottle and now full decanter were placed on a side table to breathe while the guests were served an aperitif plus starter course. The sommelier returned and placed both the decanter and wine on the table! So voila! That’s the way the French did it and also what I do too! I wonder what Danell says?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. A bit more (off topic this isn’t it, you could write direct to me from the About page of our blog), I often say It’s not about the wine …. and leaving the bottle on the table opens any potential conversation about the winemaker, the region, the grapes or blend, all from the label. Even the bottle shape. You don’t get that from a decanter. Useful but soulless.

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        1. I found it quite strange visiting this museum and learning a little of the history of Gaul because we have been wandering around the whole of France for over 30 years and never once visited any archaeological sites or museums related to their history. I’ve seen the Asterix and Obelix comic books everywhere in France though!

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