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Denmark’s oldest runic inscription found on knife blade

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Archaeologists have identified a runic inscription on a knife blade dated to almost 2000-years-ago.

The discovery was made by researchers from the Museum Odense, whom discovered the blade in an urn deposited in a small burial ground east of Odense.

The blade has been dated to around AD 150, predating the runes inscribed on the world famous Jelling Stones by hundreds of years.

Jakob Bonde, an archaeologists from Museum Odense, said: “It is one of the most amazing things an archaeologist can experience because it is an incredibly rare find.”

According to the researchers, the runes on the blade are from the oldest known runic alphabet and consists of five runes translated to mean hirila, which in Old Norse can mean “Little Sword”.

The archaeologists at Museum Odense are unable to definitively determine whether “hirila” refers to the name of the blade or its owner. However, it was clearly a cherished possession to be deposited as a funerary offering 2,000-years-ago.

Lisbeth Imer, from the National Museum, said: “It is incredibly rare that we find runes that are as old as on this blade, and it is a unique opportunity to learn more about Denmark’s earliest written language that was actually spoken in the Iron Age.”

During this period, literacy was not prevalent, and possessing the ability to read and write carried a distinct status and power. The early history of runes reveals that scribes, forming a small intellectual elite, were among the first individuals with these skills in Denmark, with the initial traces of such individuals discovered on the island of Funen.

Only one other example of runes from this period has been found in Denmark from around AD 150, with the discovery of a small bone comb in Vimosen (west of Odense) with the inscription harja.

Header Image Credit : Museum Odense

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

Researchers find that Żagań-Lutnia5 is an Iron Age stronghold

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Archaeologists have conducted a ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey of Żagań-Lutnia5, revealing that the monument is an Iron Age stronghold.

Żagań-Lutnia5 was first discovered in the 1960s near the town of Żagań in western Poland, with previous studies suggesting that the monument could be associated with the Białowieża group of the Lusatian urnfield culture.

The Lusatian culture existed in the later Bronze Age and early Iron Age (1300–500 BC) in most of what is now Poland. It formed part of the Urnfield systems found from eastern France, southern Germany and Austria to Hungary, and the Nordic Bronze Age in northwestern Germany and Scandinavia.

A recent study led by Dr. Arkadiusz Michalak on behalf of the Archaeological Museum of the Middle Oder River has revealed two parallel sequences of magnetic anomalies at Żagań-Lutnia5 that represent the remnants of earthen and wooden fortifications.

The course of the fortifications were recorded in the northern, western and southern parts of the study area, however, a study of the eastern section was limited due to a sewage collector built in the 1990’s.

Exploratory excavations found four cultural layers with remains of huts and hearths, in addition to a burnt layer from the last phase of occupation that suggests a period of conflict.

According to the researchers, the monument was likely built by the same people who constructed the stronghold in Wicin and a number of verified defensive settlements within the area of the Elbe, Nysa Łużycka and Odra.

As a result of the study, Żagań-Lutnia5 has been added to the catalogue of verified Early Iron Age strongholds located in today’s Lubusz Voivodeship.

Header Image Credit : Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments

Sources : Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments – Archaeological research at the site of Żagań-Lutnia5

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

Rare copper dagger found in Polish forest

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A rare copper dagger from over 4,000-years-ago has been discovered in the forests near Korzenica, southeastern Poland.

Piotr Gorlach from the Historical and Exploration Association Grupa Jarosław made the discovery during a metal detector survey in Jarosław Forest.

Upon realising the significance of the find, Mr Gorlach contacted the Podkarpacie conservator of monuments in Przemyśl and the Orsetti House Museum.

The dagger dates from over 4,000 years ago, a period in which objects made from copper were extremely rare in the Central European Plain.

A preliminary study indicates that the dagger may originate from the Carpathian Basin or Ukrainian steppe, and predates the development of bronze metallurgy for the region.

This transition is traditionally known as the Copper Age and marked a gradual incorporation of copper while stone remained the primary resource utilised.

Dr. Elżbieta Sieradzka-Burghardt from the museum in Jarosław, said: “This is a period of enormous change in the main raw materials for the production of tools. Instead of flint tools commonly used in the Stone Age, more and more metal products appear heralding the transition to the next period – the Bronze Age.”

Daggers during this era were a universal attribute of warriors, however, being made from copper suggests that the owner held a high social status. This is further supported by its size measuring 10.5 cm in length, which for this period is actually very large when compared to other metal objects from the same era.

The dagger has already been added to the collection of the Orsetti House Museum in Jarosław.

Header Image Credit : Łukasz Śliwiński

Sources : PAP – A dagger from over 4,000 years ago found in the forest.

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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