Thursday, 30. 4. 2009

A unique archaeological find from ljubljana marshes

A wooden spear point dating to the Early Stone Age has been found by underwater archaeologists of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia in the Ljubljanica river near the village of Sinja Gorica at Ljubljana Marshes.

The spear point is believed to be from 38 to 45 thousand years old. Information gathered so far indicates that this is the first find of its kind in the world.

The spear point's shape is reminiscent of Szeletian stone spear points, made in central Europe of the time. The age of the spear point from Ljubljana Marshes was estimated using a radiometric method by laboratories in Miami and Oxford.

The spear point is made from yew wood, the most suitable material for making the wooden parts of hunting weapons. A coat of resin has survived on one side of the point. The underwater archaeologists' amazing discovery is a valuable contribution to the scarce evidence of the presence of Palaeolithic hunters at Ljubljana Marshes, which has so far only been evidenced by occasional finds of stone tools and animal bones worked by humans.

Archaeological finds from Ljubljana Marshes include over 10,000 objects, which are kept at museums in Ljubljana and abroad. The most important find is the world's oldest surviving wooden wheel, dating from between 3350 and 3100 BC.

Ljubljana's National Museum of Slovenia currently hosts an archaeological exhibition entitled Ljubljanica: The Cultural Heritage of a River. The exhibition, which will remain on view until 27 September 2009, brings together over 900 archaeological finds and several pieces of film footage. Exhibited artefacts include a replica dugout boat used 6,000 years ago by lake dwellers, the prehistoric settlers of Ljubljana Marshes.