Publicada por Arith Härger / 7:28 PM /
A ritual spear dating back 9,000 years - made of wood and decorated with engraved ornament - has been discovered by archaeologists in Bolków near lake Świdwie (West Pomerania). The spear is an unusual artefact. The unique aspect of the find is the rich decoration on its outer, slightly convex side: interwoven geometric and zoomorphic patterns. The construction of the spear, and above all the presence of ornamentation indicates that it was a ritual object associated with the beliefs of the Mesolithic peoples inhabiting the lakeside settlements and hunting camps.
Communities living in the Mesolithic period often adorned items they used. In Europe there are known carvings made on various objects made of antlers and animal bones, wood, and rarely also on objects made of amber, flint and on stone pebbles. They represent the wealth of stylised depictions of forest animals, birds, fish and plants, as well as human figures.
The carvings on the spear showed the presence of different combinations of geometrical patterns in the form of single and grouped triangles, zigzags, herringbone, horizontal and vertical short notches and the dominant theme of short perpendicular incisions, arranged along the lines. Also visible are depictions of stylised human and animal figures. The analysis shows that central place in the image formed by the carvings has a ritual scene with three human figures. One of them is wearing a characteristic mask, made of widely branched antlers. "It certainly symbolizes a shaman - a spiritual guide of the community. The second figure is shown without clothes - drawn with a single thick line. Its position suggests performing a ritual dance. Hands are raised upwards. The third figure is presented in a long robe and carrying a bundle, possibly an offering. The scene takes place on the shores of a lake, by two boats. On the opposite side, in the background, there is an encampment composed of at least four shelters, presented in the form of several adjoining slender triangles.
The spear was discovered during excavations in the vicinity of previously studied shamanic sanctuary from the early Mesolithic. According to archaeologists about 9,000 years ago mysterious rituals were performed in this place. Archaeologists have been studying traces of these enigmatic activities since 2012. During that time they discovered, among other things, a meteorite located inside one of the huts, a wooden censer used during rituals, an unusually shaped stick, and even an object is made of birch bark, which is described as a fragment of a ritual mask.