Medieval Tomb Discovered by ... a Badger?
12th Century tomb of Slavic lords unearthed by an unlikely archaeologist
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2013 11:34 AM CDT

(Newser) – Amateur archeologists in Germany have made a significant discovery thanks to an unlikely assistant: a badger. Lars Wilhelm and Hendrikje Ring spotted a human pelvic bone that had been dug up near a badger's den on the farm they live on about 50 miles northeast of Berlin. "We pushed a camera into the badger's sett and took photos by remote control. We found pieces of jewelry, retrieved them, and contacted the authorities," says Ring. Turns out, they'd found eight 12th-century graves, including those of two Slavic lords, Der Spiegel reports.

"We hadn't found graves like that in Brandenburg before so it's an important discovery," says an archaeologist from the Brandenburg Department for Monument Protection. In addition to bones, their finds included bronze bowls—that's what gave away the high position of the lords; the elite would wash their hands in them before eating—an arrow head, and a bronze belt buckle with snake's heads at each end. Unfortunately, the badger was long gone when they uncovered the tomb, and never found out what an amazing discovery he'd made. "This doesn't make him an archaeologist," says Ring, "but he's the one who discovered it." (See a photo of the find here.)