Unique to Champagne
In the late 5th and early 4th centuries BC, the elite had themselves buried in vast tombs, laid out on a two-wheeled chariot, under a burial mound surrounded by a square or circular ditch. The men carried their weapons: sword, spears and javelins. The women wore high quality jewellery.
At Rethel, four badly eroded chariot burials and a few flat graves were discovered when the town's bypass was being built.
The chariot burials at Semide and Bourcq occupy a special place in this environment. Situated twenty-five kilometres east of Acy-Romance, they testify to the high social status of these people within their communities. The first held some fine chariot harness and the second contained a remarkable set of harness used by a mounted horseman. Although they had been robbed, these tombs still held some high quality objects: harness, jars, offerings of food.
The burial chamber at Semide is vast: 4.80 metres long, 3 metres high and 1.25 metres deep. Large posts supported a wooden ceiling and probably also held plank walls.