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Childeric's Grave Goods

(click on images to enlarge)

The grave of Childeric was discovered by chance in 1653 in Tournai, close to the Church of Saint-Brice, Tournai, Belgium. A plaque has been erected to mark the find spot. (see photo here)

The burial was extremely rich and contained jewellery, two swords, a battle axe and a spear, gold and silver coins, buckles, a crystal ball, horse-harness and a hundred gold bees. The bees were originally sewn onto the king's robe (an idea that was later adopted by Napoleon).

Unfortunately, nearly all of the grave-goods were stolen from the Imperial Art Gallery in Paris in 1831 and never recovered. The only important items that remained were the fragments of two swords with gold and cloisonné ornamentation.

The picture on the right shows the hilt of a double-edged sword, or spatha and decoration from the scabbard of a singled edged sword, or sax.

Fortunately, the other items from the burial were published by Jean-Jacques Chifflet shortly after the grave was discovered.

The burial was identified as that of Childeric because of a ring inscribed 'Childerici Regis' - a cast of this seal ring still exists.
(See image)






Childeric - Chifflet's Publication >>>