Historical knowledge

A woman’s grave with amulets

At the Stone Age burial place of Bøgebakken at Vedbæk, amongst other things, a triple grave was found. In the grave lay a woman and a man, and in between them a small child. The man had been murdered and still had the arrow lodged in his neck. How the woman and child died is uncertain. Under the woman’s chin was a flint knife. Perhaps her throat had been cut? However, she was given more than just a knife to accompany her in the grave. On her breast lay approximately 50 beads of teeth from red deer, wild boar and aurochs, together with the jaw of a marten, the foot of a roe deer and some red deer teeth. All these objects probably functioned as amulets, protecting their owner when worn close to the body – either in a string round the neck, in a little skin bag or sewn onto clothes. However, despite their possible magical qualities the amulets could not prevent the woman from meeting a violent death.

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