Thursday, January 17, 2013


It is this phase of the Mesolithic period (Middle Stone Age), presumably the first half of the 7th millennium BC, during which an extraordinary burial, interpreted as that of a female shaman, war placed in the earth. The deceased young woman was interred in a 30-cm thick layer of red hematite, a mineral colourant, together with an at most twelve month-old child. Gifts for the deceased had been placed in the grave, among which were several flint blades, two bone needles, a antler hoe, a polished stone celt and several decorative plaques from boar tusk. In addition, there were two bones of a crane, one bone of a beaver and of red deer, 16 red deer incisors, two matching skull fragments with antlers of a roe deer, shell fragments of at least three swamp turtles and 120 fragments of freshwater mussels. A container made from a crane’s bone held 31 tiny flint blades (Fig. 6). The reconstruction of the shaman’s dress as shown here is based upon the position of the finds in the grave. * (pdf link)