Archaeologists have unearthed the grave of the "amber" man in Karelia

Archaeologists have unearthed the grave of the "amber" man in Karelia
Archaeologists have unearthed the grave of the "amber" man in Karelia

The expedition of PetrSU stumbled upon an ancient burial near Petrozavodsk, which is about 5500 years old

An archaeological expedition of PetrSU students during the study of the sites of the Copper Stone Age discovered the burial of an ancient man. The discovery was made on the western shore of Lake Onega near Petrozavodsk. The grave contained amber jewelry and flint products, the press service of the university reports.

According to Associate Professor Alexander Zhulnikov, the burial belongs to a person of high social status. He was buried in a narrow oval pit covered with ritual ocher. Archaeologists have discovered about 140 amber jewelry of Baltic origin inside the burial - buttons-stripes, pendants, discs. According to him, no burials with such a large amount of amber jewelry had been found before in Karelia and the neighboring north-western regions.

The amber buttons were arranged in rows, face down, and sewn onto the leather veil that covered the deceased. Along the edges of the burial, the decorations were located so tightly that they formed two tiers. Some types of jewelry found in the burial were previously found in the Eastern Baltic during excavations of ancient sites and only in single specimens.

A flint tip was found in the grave, as a result of which the members of the expedition decided that the burial belonged to a man. A more detailed study recorded the details of an unusual burial ritual. On top of the body were placed small flint chips from tools, which are the so-called votive items - offerings, apparently, symbolizing whole knives and arrowheads.

According to Zhulnikov, there are no known deposits of flint in Karelia; ancient people obtained products from it by exchange. Archaeologists have suggested that the age of the burial is about 5500 years.

Zhulnikov said that since the Mesolithic era, in the forest belt of Europe, ancient people buried the dead in ancestral cemeteries. The burial found in the vicinity of Petrozavodsk is single. Some of the discovered amber jewelry had not been found earlier in Eastern Europe.

“It is possible that a trader from the Eastern Baltic states was buried in the grave, who arrived on the western shore of Lake Onega to acquire (in exchange for amber) slate chopping tools. Workshops for the production of slate axes, adzes are currently being investigated by the university expedition just next to the place where the burial was discovered,"

- suggested the expert.

An open burial may indicate the formation of a "prestigious" primitive economy among primitive people, in which jewelry and especially valuable tools were made to maintain the high social status of their owners.

The open "amber" burial speaks of the strong ties of the ancient population of Karelia with the tribes that lived on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, according to the university.

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