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18 July 2014
Meteorite fragment discovered in a 9,000-year-old hut

Archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology (IAE) PAS in Szczecin discovered a meteorite fragment inside the remains of a hut dating back more than 9,000 years in Bolków by the lake Świdwie in Western Pomerania (Poland). It is a natural pyrite meteorite fragment with cylindrical shape and porous, corrugated side surface. It has a height of 8 cm, width of 5.3 cm at the base and 3.5 cm at the top. The meteorite discovery was made during last year's work, but only now, thanks to specialized studies, researchers were able to determine the origin of the unusual object.
     "The meteorite was brought to the shelter as a special object, 'not of this world', which must have been obvious to the contemporary men, knowledgeable of stone raw materials. The thing became an object of belief, and maybe even shamanic magic" - said Prof. Tadeusz Galiński of IAE, head of the research project. According to the professor, the discovered fragment is surprisingly heavy. "In addition, the side profile shape suggests various associations; the original finder millennia ago probably saw in it shapes of a mysterious world of spirits" - added the scientist.
     Along with the meteorite fragment, archaeologists also found numerous tools made of flint, wood, bone and antler, and a rich group of objects associated with the spiritual culture: an amulet, bone spear tip with engraved ornament and so-called magic stick made of antler, decorated with geometric motifs.
     In addition to the remains of the pole hut, which contained the meteorite, archaeologists discovered a second, almost identical structure. In both of them, excavated in peat layer, in the central part there were preserved traces of hearths.

Edited from Science & Scholarship in Poland (25 June 2014)

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