Historical knowledge

A shaman’s staff?

Around 1950 a stick of antler was found in the Åmose area of western Zealand. It was elaborately decorated with geometric motifs. In between the patterns an animal and a human figure can be seen. The human figure is possibly a sleeping shaman or a shaman in a trance. Both figures are decorated with the same type of geometric motif, perhaps indicating that people, like animals, wore skins.

The decoration reveals that the stick is from the time of the Maglemose Culture and is 8000-9000 years old. The animal resembles a deer, which was the hunters’ favourite quarry. Perhaps a shaman used the staff in connection with hunting rituals.



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