Searchers with metal detectors stumble on 2,500-year-old sacrificial site in Poland

Scanning a pasture in Poland, searchers stumbled upon a collection of metallic objects, loops and spirals reemerging from the damp soil thousands of years after being buried.

Volunteers with metal detectors were exploring the landscape around Radzyń Chełmiński when they found something unusual in the peat field, The Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments in Toruń said in a Wednesday, Jan. 25, news release.

Archaeologists were called in and identified the finds as part of a 2,500-year-old sacrificial site, officials said. Ornamental offerings and human bones were unearthed from three deposits.

Another deposit of offerings.
Another deposit of offerings.

The sacrificial site is on a peat bog that used to be a large lake, archaeologists said. The offerings were likely dropped or drowned in the lake before being buried for millennia.

Researchers unearthed numerous hoop ornaments — necklaces, bracelets and headbands — linked to the Lusatian culture, officials said. The Lusatian culture, named after the German region where monuments were first uncovered, was a group of tribes that lived in central and Eastern Europe during the Bronze Age and Iron Age, according to the Encyclopedia of Ukraine.

One necklace stood out, a delicate metal shape likely adorned with glass beads and pendants, officials said.

Excavations also uncovered numerous bronze metal spirals, photos shared by the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Group of History Seekers in a Jan. 25 news release show.

Horse harnesses, fabric remnants and tools made of antler were also found at the site, officials said. Archaeologists noted that some items were likely connected to the Scythian civilization. The Scythians were a nomadic people, skilled at horsemanship, whose civilization centered around modern-day Crimea and reached across Central Asia during 800 to 600 B.C., according to Britannica.

Researchers also pulled numerous fragments of human bones from the boggy field, according to a Jan. 25 news release from Wdecki Landscape Park. The bones indicated that human sacrifices likely took place at the site, park officials said.

The sacrificial site is one of the first of its kind in Poland and one of the northernmost bog sites found in Europe, park and cultural officials said.

Radzyń Chełmiński is a town about 130 miles northwest of Warsaw.

Facebook Translate and Google Translate were used to translate news releases from The Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments in Toruń, the Wdecki Landscape Park and the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Group of History Seekers.

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