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970-metre-long prehistoric megastructure found submerged in Baltic Sea

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Geologists have discovered a 970-metre-long megastructure of linear arranged stones, located at a depth of 21 metres on the seabed of Mecklenburg Bight in the Baltic Sea.

The megastructure consists of approximately 1,500 stones and large boulders, which was constructed around 11,000-years-ago during the early Mesolithic period.

According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the megastructure was built by Stone Age hunter-gatherers for hunting herds of the Eurasian reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), which migrated seasonally through the sparsely vegetated post-glacial landscape.

Similar constructions, which are known as drive lanes, are used for manipulating the movement direction of the animals so that they can be easily trapped in a bottleneck and killed. In the example at Mecklenburg Bight, this bottleneck would be between the  adjacent lakeshore and the wall, or even into the lake.

Marcel Bradtmöller from the University of Rostock, said: Excluding natural processes and a modern origin, the stonewall could only have been formed after the end of the last ice age, when the landscape was not yet flooded by the Baltic Sea.”

“At this time, the entire population across northern Europe was likely below 5,000 people. One of their main food sources were herds of reindeer, which migrated seasonally through the sparsely vegetated post-glacial landscape,” added Bradtmöller.

According to the researchers, the discovery holds immense scientific significance, being not only the oldest known human structure found in the Baltic Sea, but also for providing new insights into the subsistence patterns of early hunter-gatherer communities.

A further study of the stonewall and the seabed will involve using side-scan sonar, sediment echo sounder, and multibeam echo sounder devices. In addition, underwater archaeologists from the University of Rostock and archaeologists from the LAKD M-V, are scheduled to explore the stonewall and its environs in search of archaeological artefacts that could aid in further understanding the structure’s significance.

Header Image Credit : P. Hoy, 3D Model : J. Auer

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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