1,400-year-old folding chair found in Bavaria 2
The 1,400-year-old folding chair discovered in Germany. Photo by BLfD/dpa/picture alliance

1,400-year-old folding chair found in Bavaria

The archaeological find is a rarity: An early medieval folding chair has been unearthed in a woman's grave in the Bavarian region of Middle Franconia.
Deutsche Welle | Aug 31 2022

Anyone who thinks folding chairs are an invention of the modern age is far wrong. In the Bavarian region of Middle Franconia, an excavation team has discovered a folding chair that is believed to date from around 600 AD, in other words, from the early Middle Ages. This was announced by the Bavarian State Office for Monument Protection in Munich on Monday.

It is the second find of this kind on German soil. On a European scale, 29 sites of discovery of early medieval graves that include folding chairs have been revealed.

The grave included a chair, measuring about 70 by 45 centimeters (28 by 18 inches) in its folded state, that had been placed at the feet of a dead person. "This find, which at first glance seems so modern, is an absolute rarity and of the highest cultural-historical interest, because it provides insight into the grave furnishings of elevated classes of the population and into the early use of furniture," said State Office director Mathias Pfeil.

The chair was unearthed in Germany's Endsee, near Rothenburg ob der Tauber (image)
The chair was unearthed in Germany's Endsee, near Rothenburg ob der Tauber (image)

Other artifacts discovered, like beads and a belt

According to experts, people have made iron and bronze folding chairs since ancient times.

They were an important badge of office in society, symbolizing power, authority and dignity. According to the state office, as grave goods, they appear predominantly in women's graves.

In addition to the skeleton of a woman who, according to an initial estimate, was about 40 to 50 years old, the excavation team discovered in the grave a necklace made of colored glass beads and a belt with a pendant made of brooches and a large pearl, among other things.

In addition, the experts uncovered a man's grave. It included a belt with a bronze buckle and a complete set of weapons.

This article was originally written in German.

vg/ka (with dpa)