Farthest east site of Bell Beaker culture in Europe discovered

Archaeologists carrying out excavations near Supraśl, North-West Poland discovered artefacts linked to the Bell Beaker culture that existed in the period of transformation from the Neolithic to the Bronze age. The discovery marks the farthest east site where artefacts of this culture have been discovered worldwide.

Site of excavations (by Wojciech Szubzda)

The findings consist among others of pottery vessel fragments, a flint blade of a dagger, and fragments of a stone ornamented plaque, that date back 4000 years. The site was chosen as it is located near a small hill, where a few years ago traces of the presence of Bell Beaker culture people were discovered. Archaeologists led by Adam Wawrusiewicz believe that these artefacts were deliberately destroyed and placed within ground, being also very valuable possessions of the local society. A dagger, unlike a regular flint blade, was considered as a prestigious possession so the artefacts are believed to have been an offering. Now, after discovering a fourth feature containing similar artefacts, the researchers believe that the area near the hill was probably considered a sacred ground. The Bell Beaker culture spanned across prehistoric western Europe starting in the late Neolithic or Chalcolithic and running into the early Bronze Age. It’s name derives from the culture’s distinctive pottery drinking beakers in a shape of an inverted bell.

Overview of the trench (by Wojciech Szubzda)

(after Wojciech Szubzda & Radio Białystok)

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