Sweden’s 11,000-year-old relics

Earlier this year (2014) a unique discovery in the Baltic Sea was made. Stone Age artefacts left behind by the Swedish nomads, dating back to 11.000 years ago. Some call it the Swedish Atlantis, as such, this is the oldest settlement in Sweden. But first of all, this as nothing to do with Atlantis, nor does it resemble and old city, not even a small village. But it is exciting nonetheless.

While excavations are still underway, so far, they have uncovered a number of remnants that are believed to have been discarded in the water by Swedes in the Stone Age. Objects which have been preserved thanks to the lack of oxygen and the abundance of gyttja sediment, which is sediment rich in organic matter at the bottom of a eutrophic lake. It is extremely rare to find evidence from the Stone Age so unspoiled.

Buried 16 metres below the surface, Nilsson wood was uncovered as well as flint tools, animal horns and ropes. Among the most notable items found, it includes a harpoon carving made from an animal bone, and the bones of an ancient animal called aurochs, the ancestor of domestic cattle, the last of which died off in the early 1600s.

Such objects were thrown in there, probably because around 11.000 years ago there was a build up in that area, and all the tree and bone pieces are preserved. If the settlement was on dry land, there would probably have been only stone-based things, nothing organic.

However, unlike the stories of Atlantis, the remains do not come from a great city or even a village because the people were nomadic at the time.

Archaeologists are continuing the underwater excavations, and are now particularly interested to see whether there is also an ancient burial site in the region.

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