Nearly 9,000 year old shaman site
Archaeologists have found a 9,000 year old shaman site ago in north western Poland.
The site, located close to the modern day lake Świdwie, contains a six metre magic circle which contained mysterious structures.
The main feature located on the site was a trapezoidal structure with poles, enclosed by an arch of stones positioned at equal distance from each other. There were also pointed yew sticks impaled into the surface in the form of a horizontal figure corresponding to the Big Dipper, a portion of the constellation known as the Ursa Major.
Archaeologist Prof. Tadeusz Galiński from the Szczecin branch of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology found a wooden censer, which was used for ritual smoking of the place, objects, and people. They used a bundle of bark, herbaceous plants, wood, and animals bones.
“Sacrificial offerings were an expression of belief in supernatural powers and forces of nature. Their purpose was to appease deities. They were made on behalf of all residents and members of the group with the participation of the spiritual leader,” Prof. Galinski said.
In the sanctuary, specialists discovered some large different stones. Amongst them were, gneiss, sandstone, quartzite, granite, diorite, syenite, and rare green syenite, and Pormerania red marble. The discovery of black amber, pumice, and volcanic rock was a complete surprise as they had to be bought to the area.
“This extraordinarily rich collection of stones is unique among the previously known Mesolithic sites, located both within the vast European Plain, and in the zone of the foothills and highlands,” explained Prof. Galiński, in a press release.
Scattered within the sanctuary were several items crafted from wood, stone, and antler, such as an abnormally shaped cone, a wood pendant, and even an object created of birch bark, which is understood as a fragment of a ritual mask. The artifacts within a sanctuary that were found in Bolkow have been preserved in excellent condition, the peat and sand aided in the artifacts preservation. The finding brings a new caliber of research into question on the culture of hunting communities from the Early Holocene on the European Manifest.