Archaeologists have discovered the oldest burial in northern Germany

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(ORDO NEWS) — Archaeologists have carried out new excavations in the drained Duwensee swamp and discovered the oldest burial in northern Germany.

It is a cremation, committed, according to preliminary estimates, about 10.5 thousand years, that is, in the early Mesolithic era.

This was announced by the Office of Archeology of the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein on its website.

On the territory of the modern federal state of Schleswig-Holstein there is a drained peat bog Duwensee, known due to archaeological finds.

Initially, Duwensee was a lake that formed on the site of a retreating glacier and reached its maximum fullness at the very beginning of the Holocene epoch – in the early preboreal period.

But then it gradually silted up, eventually turning into a peat bog.

As an archaeological site, Duwensee became known in 1923, when Mesolithic artifacts were discovered in drainage ditches.

Further research revealed several ancient sites of hunter-gatherer-fishermen. In total, over an area of ​​about 4.3 square kilometers, over almost a hundred years of research, scientists have discovered 23 Stone Age sites, 17 of which (as of 2018) have been excavated.

In addition to various types of stone tools, archaeologists have found a 9000-year-old wooden oar, wooden elements of an ax, bone tips and an ax made of horn, fire pits, remains of prey and other food (for example, numerous nuts) in this area.

Archaeologists have discovered the oldest burial in northern Germany 2
Artifacts made from organic materials and found on the Duwensee. 1 – wooden oar, 2–5 – bone tips, 6 – horn ax

Researchers from the Center for Baltic and Scandinavian Archeology, led by Harald Lübke, have carried out new excavations in the reclaimed Duwensee swamp.

The main discovery of this season was the discovery of today’s oldest burial located in northern Germany.

It represents the cremated remains of an early Melithic hunter-gatherer-fisherman who lived about 10,500 years ago, that is, at the very beginning of the Holocene epoch.

During the work, archaeologists found several fragments of bones, some of which were heavily charred. After that, they cut out the entire grave with a monolith in order to disassemble it in more detail and examine it in the laboratory.

It is noted that early Mesolithic burials are extremely rare in this region. The only comparable find is known from Jutland, where a man was also buried according to the rite of cremation.

In the north of Germany and the south of Scandinavia, the finds date back to later times – the 7th-6th millennium BC.


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