Archaeologists uncover ‘unique sacrificial site’ found in 2,500-year-old lake
A massive sacrificial site from the time of Biskupin 2,500 years ago has been found in northern Poland in what archaeologists are hailing as a unique discovery.
Working at a site near Chełmno in the Kuyavian-Pomeranian district, the detectorists from the Kuyavian-Pomeranian History Seekers Association uncovered dozens of bronze ornaments in a peat bog, including necklaces, bracelets, greaves, decorative pins, as well as numerous human bones.
Most of the objects uncovered are whole or damaged ornaments along with organic materials like string and fabric fashioned from antler tools were found.
Archaeologists say that this is the first time such a discovery has been made on Polish soil.
Prof. Jacek Gackowski of the Nicholas Copernicus University in Toruń said: “The objects were sunk in a shallow lake […] in a process lasting perhaps several generations in the 6th century BC.
“The custom of sinking in water is confirmed elsewhere. More than 30 per cent of the treasures found in Poland came from under water, mostly peat.
“Nowhere, however, has there been such a large number of items in one place.”
Biskupin, a Lusatian fortified settlement dating from the early Iron Age, is perhaps Poland’s best-known early historical site.
It was established at the turn of the 8th and 7th centuries BC and ended in the 6th century. However, no ceremonial sites like the one found in Chełmno have been found there, while in turn, there is no Biskupin-type settlement near Chełmno.
The researchers were surprised to find many human bones among the dozens of relics, suggesting that human sacrifices may have been made there.
Researchers claim that human sacrifices may have been made due to population shifts and, by extension, invasions.
Dr. Gackowski explained that this happened due to the influx of nomadic peoples from the Pontic Steppe into the region, including the Scythians.
“These people, probably in order to ward off the violent changes associated with the arrival of new neighbours with a completely different organization, appearance and vision of the world, began to practice a variety of rituals,” he said.
The latest finds will now be sent to the University of Science and Technology in Kraków for examination and conservation.