One of the most striking findings from the archaeological explorations in the Storstrømmen strait is this piece of amber (photo: Vikingeskibsmuseet)
A group of marine archaeologists from the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde have found many well-preserved objects from the Stone Age period hidden at the bottom of the sea between Zealand and Falster.
The archaeologists are currently exploring the sea bed of the Storstrømmen strait, where a prehistoric settlement from 6,000 BC was located and where a construction of a 4 km long bridge is under way.
Exceptionally good condition
The 8,000-year-old prehistoric settlement lies 5 metres under the sea, concealing some rarely found artefacts from the Stone Age, which are preserved in exceptionally good condition.
“It is almost unreal to stand here with an 8,000-year-old ax handle, animal bones with traces of Mesolithic craftsmanship, and hazelnut shells that look as if they were broken yesterday,” noted Morten Johansen, a marine archaeologist from the Viking Ship Museum.
The archaeologists have also recovered more than 60 flint arrowheads and a larger fragment of a mysterious ‘big tip weapon’ that is characteristic of the Kongemose culture.
Eating deer, boars, hedgehogs and beavers
“We have found a lot of animal bones: everything from large mammals down to the smallest fish bones and scales. The bones give us insight into the Stone Age hunters’ diet and hunting strategies,” Johansen said.
The findings suggest local hunters ate, amongst other things, red deer, roe deer, wild boars, fish, wild cats, marsh pigs, hedgehogs, otters, foxes, beavers and hazelnuts.
The archaeologists are looking for connections to earlier findings from prehistoric settlements in the area, so they can better understand settlement patterns in the Mesolithic period.