While amateur archaeologists prefer the use of a metal detector when scouring fields for signs of ancient artifacts, sometimes all you really need is a very good dog with a nose for buried treasure.
Back in March, a human identified only as "Mr. Frankota" and his dog Monty were out strolling in the fields of Kostelecké Horky, a village in the Czech Republic, when his pup picked up the scent of something buried. When Mr. Frankota went to investigate, he found that Monty was in the midst of uncovering what appeared to be small, bronze objects. Eventually, the pair pulled out of the earth an astounding cache of 13 sickles, two spear points, three axes and a number of bracelets.
Local archaeologists say the objects date back more than 3,000 years to the Bronze Age. According to Martina Beková, an archaeologist working for the nearby Museum and Gallery of Orlické Mountains, the bronze horde was likely buried as a ritual offering.
"The fact that there are so many objects in one place is almost certainly tied to an act of honoration, most likely a sacrifice of some sorts," she told Czech Radio. "What particularly surprised us was that the objects were whole, because the culture that lived here at the time normally just buried fragments, often melted as well. These objects are beautiful, but the fact that they are complete and in good condition is of much more value to us."
The artifacts, which will soon go on display in the village, are believed to have belonged to a group of Indo-Europeans who lived in the region during the late Bronze Age. Known as the Urnfield, their name derives from the custom of cremating their dead and placing their ashes in decorative urns.
As for Monty, it appears that his nose for historically significant site has inspired others to continue digging in the area.
"Archaeologists have searched the surrounding fields with metal detectors," added Beková. "There were some considerable changes to the surrounding terrain over the centuries, so it is possible that the deeper layers are still hiding some secrets."
Should they need help, we know of at least one very good boy that would be more than happy to join in the fun.