The State Office for Culture and Monument Preservation (LAKD) presented on Wednesday three valuable discoveries made last year by volunteer archaeologists in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. These include seven Bronze Age swords, 6,000 silver coins from the 11th century, and a treasure with a reliquary, also from the 11th century.
During the presentation of the findings, Culture Minister Bettina Martin highlighted the work of the volunteer archaeologists in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Around 250 volunteers are currently working on the preservation of archaeological monuments.
Approximately the same number are undergoing relevant training. They are indispensable for the preservation of our cultural heritage in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, said Martin. We also owe the three extraordinary findings to the volunteer archaeologists. I want to express my sincere thanks to them.
The seven swords were found in fragments near Mirow (District of the Mecklenburg Lakes). It is assumed that they surfaced a long time ago when a trench was dredged, and they were scattered over a larger area with the excavated material.
The discoverers meticulously traced the individual fragments and were able to almost completely reconstruct the swords. The recovery was carried out with the assistance of an excavation technician from the State Archaeology Service.
Initially, the swords were probably buried in low-lying areas as votive offerings or sacrificial gifts. Although such deposits of valuable objects are not unusual, never before had so many Bronze Age swords been discovered in one place in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Scientific dating has shown that the swords date back to the Bronze Age, with their antiquity estimated at around 3,000 years.
The 6,000 silver coins from the 11th century were found on the island of Rügen. They were scattered over a large area, but most were in a clay vessel. The coins were also found by volunteer archaeologists, specifically the “De Ackerlöper” working group.
The origin of the coins is very diverse, coming from Western Germany, among other places, but also from the Meissen-Upper Lusatia region. About 10% of the coins come from England, Denmark, Bohemia, and Hungary.
The discovery of coins allows for conclusions about possible trade relations in the 11th century. The find is the largest hoard of Slavic coins since the post-war period to date.
The reliquaries found in the Mecklenburgische Seenplatte district are another very unusual discovery. The treasure was discovered by a volunteer archaeologist during an inspection.
In a vessel containing about 1,700 coins were neck and finger rings, a pearl necklace (with gold, rock crystal, and carnelian beads), and two reliquaries in the form of a captor and crucifix.
The two reliquaries are very unique evidence of Christian faith in an area that at that time was still largely characterized by other beliefs.
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