13 AUGUST 1954, Page 13

Letters to the Editor


Darsie Gillie does well to draw attentioti again to the Vix Burial, now housed for all to see in the little museum at Chatilion- Sur-Seine. It was Mr. Gillie who, in his article in the Manchester Guardian last year, first drew the attention of British archteolo- gists to this splendid find. By now many travellers in France will have seen some of the objects' in the Louvre during their short exhibition there or in their permanent home at Chatillo,n. Recently the BBC .made a film of Monsieur Joffroy showing me the oppidum of Mont Lassois, the place where the rave was found, and the treasures in his museum, and this film is being shown to televiewers on August 18. Joffroy's own full account of his excavations is being pub- lished in September and in November he is coming to lecture about Vix in London, Oxford and Cambridge.

Mr. Gillie speaks of a chariot. The Celtic princess or queen who was buried at Vix was laid to rest on a waggon or hearse rather than a chariot. The custom of burying the dead in four-wheeled waggons or carriages or in two-wheeled war-chariots was wide- spread during the fifth and sixth centuries BC in northern Italy, Switzerland, southern Germany and eastern France. In most cases the vehicle is the four-wheel waggon or carriage of Hallstatt type, and it is the suc- ceeding La Tene period which has the famous chariot burials of the Marne, Marne chariot burials have been found in eastern England notably at Arras, near Market Weighton In the East Riding of Yorkshire.

In trying to make a reasonable guess as to Why such a rich and remarkable find should be made in north Burgundy it is worth re- membering that, according to Caesar and Strabo, ChAlons-sur-SaOne (Cai'Homan) was a sort of frontier post between the Aedui and the Sequani where .customs dues were levied on traffic passing up and down this river route. Vix and Mont Lassois also command the route from the RhOne-SaOne valley to the Seine.—Yours faithfully,


St. John's College, Cambridge