lunes, 6 de enero de 2014

Danish finds reveal rare glimpse of Neolithic life (Denmark)

Excavations by Lolland-Falster Museum archaeologists are currently ongoing in advance of the upcoming construction of a new crossing from Denmark to Germany. Work began in August 2013, and since then an array of  stunning archaeological finds have been recovered.
The area was  extremely attractive to a Neolithic population 5-6,000 years ago, as fishing in the low-lying and protected lagoon was a safe environment with rich marine resources. Included among some of the remarkably well preserved materials recovered from the site was part of a wattle fence from a fish trap.
Excellent preservation
When excavation began, it quickly became apparent that the area had for many thousands of years often been inundated by the sea and a favoured settlement location.
The water table lies only half a metre down and the Neolithic layer appears beneath this in an anaerobic and sealed environment that is favourable for the preservation of organic material.
Lying where it was lost over 5000 years before, an 86 cm long arrow still bears traces of the pitch that held the feathers fletches in place, and nearby this was the fragment of a bow.
Clues to a period of transition
One spectacular find was a section of paddle, jammed deep in the mud and snapped off at the handle.
All these coastal settlement activities  dated to the period 5000-3000 BCE, when agriculture first gained  a foothold in Denmark.
These finds east of Rødbyhavn suggest that the first farmers were also fishermen and coastal hunters. The unique findings will help to understand the shift from hunting to farming that happened around  4000 BCE.
“This excavation provides a unique opportunity to gain an insight into prehistoric life and learn about the different activities that are going on in the area “ said  archaeologist Lars Ewald Jensen from the  Lolland-Falster Museum.
The archaeological project was carried out in close cooperation with the Fehmarn A/S, who are funding the works.

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