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The discovery of bronze jewellery in a lake in Poland has raised questions about the possibility of ancient ritualistic burials. | Source: Good News Network
The discovery of bronze jewellery in a lake in Poland has raised questions about the possibility of ancient ritualistic burials. | Source: Good News Network

Ancient burial: Bronze jewellery discovery challenges historical understanding

The discovery of bronze jewellery in a lake in Poland has raised questions about the possibility of ancient ritualistic burials.

Excavation of a dried-out lake led to the discovery of more than 500 bronze artifacts, estimated to be at least 3,000 years old.

Discovered in Papowo Biskupie in Poland, these artifacts will provide insight into the lives and rituals of the Chelmno group, which occupied the region across the Late Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age.

The Chelmno group was previously thought to place little ritual significance into these kinds of metal artifacts; however, the discovery of skeletal remains alongside artifacts tells a different story.

"In contrast with the widespread metal-hoarding seen in more southerly Lusatian regions, metal does not appear to have featured prominently in the social and ritual activities of the Chelmno community."
The Sacred Lake Project

"Traditionally, the Chelmno group people are thought to have been largely unaffected by the social and economic developments of the Urnfield period and the subsequent Hallstatt culture," write the authors of The Sacred Lake Project.

"In contrast with the widespread metal-hoarding seen in more southerly Lusatian regions, metal does not appear to have featured prominently in the social and ritual activities of the Chelmno community."

Most of the artifacts unearthed appear to be arm and neck jewellery. The remains of the 33 humans discovered are believed to be older than the jewellery, suggesting that the metal ritual burial occurred after a significant change in regional customs and beliefs.  

The research team used remote sensing to make the discovery and suggested that there may be more jewellery yet to be discovered at the site.

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