Polish archeologists find 2,700-year-old cemetery

The cemetery, which has been dated to 700 BC, was identified by archeologists from the District Museum in Tarnów (southern Poland). The finding consists of at least 22 graves where specialists have unearthed bones, pots and metal decorations.

The director of the museum, Andrzej Szpunar, told PAP that the first graves were discovered accidentally by local residents, who were taking sand from the area. They came across the bones and pots, which were later reported to the local authorities.

Archaeologists from Tarnów have been working at the site since the beginning of July. So far, they have defined the northern and southern area of the cemetery, in which 22 graves belonging to the Lusatian culture have been identified. These graves contain remains of ash containers in which bones were left after ritual burning at the stake, large fragments of bones and several parts of metal decorations, made of iron and bronze.

"This helps us to date the finding to the turn of the bronze and iron ages, which is around 2,700 years ago," said Szpunar.

According to the director, the manner in which bones where preserved indicates that settlers from this area burned their dead at the stake, then cleaned and kept the broken bones in special clay vessels. One smaller pot and two or three pebbles were also place in the entrance to the grave.

Szpunar pointed out that large fragments of bones have been preserved in the graves and thanks to this, it will be possible to subject them to anthropological research, which should specify, among other things, sex, age and diseases suffered by their owners.