| 4 March 2015
The oldest Norwegian skeleton
The Stone Age skeleton found in Norway last summer could be as much as 8000 years old, archeologists now believe, making it by far the oldest ever discovered in the country. 'Brunstad man', whose remains were found in Stokke, south of Oslo, is now believed to be from the Mesolithic period, which spans from 10,000 BCE-4000 BCE.
"The discovery is sensational in Norwegian, and indeed even in a north European context," said Almut Schülke, an archaeologist working for the Museum of Cultural History at the University of Oslo.
Archaeologists hope to learn the age of the man, his diet and the extent to which the people who found their way so far north had contact with other settlements around the Skagerrak and the Baltic Sea. The skeleton was found lying in the fetal position, a typical stone-age burial position, in a pit which had been bricked in on the inside.
Schülke said she hoped to find further evidence of human activity at the same site. "We do not know if Brunstad was a fixed settlement or whether it was a place people went to pick up special resources, such as different types of stone. We do not know of other major tombs nearby, but it was not uncommon to add a single grave so close to a settlement, as they have done here."
Edited from The Local (16 February 2015)
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