Analysis of objects from the famous shaman’s grave puzzled scientists

(ORDO NEWS) — Polish archaeologists, using modern equipment, have been able to identify bone and tooth objects found in a Bronze Age “shaman’s tomb” back in the 1960s.

An article by a team of authors was published in the journal Antiquity. Scientists managed to establish the purpose of objects, which, as it turned out, had been classified incorrectly for more than half a century.

Artifacts were discovered in Pszeczycy, Poland. Excavations there were carried out in 1961 and 1962 and led to the discovery of 874 graves dating back to 900-550 BC. BC. A real sensation was then made by the “grave of the shaman.”

It belongs to the Late Bronze Age (about 900-750 BC). The burial became famous for the set of unique inventory found in it, the like of which has never been found again. It was immediately interpreted as a “shaman’s set of accessories”.

The discoverers classified several items as separate parts of a single musical instrument, namely the shamanic Pan flute. And only in a new study it was possible to establish that it was not a flute. The analysis showed that the “disparate parts” were in fact different instruments.

The scientists also analyzed traces of tools and microwear present on the collection of artifacts from this grave. By the way, almost all of them were made from the bones and teeth of animals. In addition, the remains of the “shaman” himself were re-examined using a stereoscopic microscope.

It is established that the grave belonged to a man who died at the age of about 60 years. For that period of time it was a deep old age.

Few people lived to that age. The right hand of the “shaman” during the burial was stretched out next to the body, and the left was bent and pressed to the chest. In addition to musical instruments, fragments of at least three ceramic vessels and four metal objects were found in the burial.

Scientists say that all the artifacts found are typical of that time. But their totality, especially the presence of a whole collection of bone artifacts, makes the “shaman’s grave” unique. It is reported that two pendants made of wild boar tusks were neatly placed at the right shoulder of the buried.

And what was previously considered a flute consisted of a set: a bone disk and nine bone tubes. These hollow tubes, a new study has shown, were carefully crafted with a metal knife.

This is an amazing discovery considering the age of the artifacts. However, a deep V-shaped notch on one of the tubes examined with an electron microscope confirms the use of a metal knife.

“Remarkably, we did not observe abrasion marks,” the researchers write. “The entire process involved exclusively metal tools used for both cutting and scraping.”

By the way, back in 1965, experts tried to reconstruct the “Pan’s flute”. For this, similar tubes were made, which were connected to wooden and leather elements. Previous research has also suggested the use of wax or resin as the “glue”.

However, new evidence suggests that the original bone ancient pipes show no signs of reconstructed connections. That is, these pipes were not fastened together, therefore, they could not be Pan’s flute.

Archaeologists call the most amazing newly established fact that the bone objects from the “shaman’s grave” in Pszechitsy were made using metal tools, although at that time people everywhere used exclusively flint scrapers for this.


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