While excavating a marshy area of Germany, searchers uncovered several metal fragments — and found a set of 3,000-year-old weapons. Photos show the artifacts that were once part of a ritual offering.
Volunteer archaeologists were searching an area in Mirow when they found the metal fragments, the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Ministry of Science, Culture, Federal and European Affairs said in a Nov. 22 news release.
The fragments had come to the surface when a trench was dug, officials said. The pieces were scattered across a large area and mixed with dirt from the construction work.
Archaeologists reassembled the fragments into seven swords, the release said. A photo shared on Facebook by the ministry shows the ancient weapons.
The swords were dated to the Bronze Age, about 3,000 years ago, and were likely left in the lowland area as a ritual or sacrificial offering, officials said.
Volunteers also uncovered two other sets of finds, both from the 11th century, in different areas of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the release said.
A collection of 6,000 silver coins was unearthed in Rügen, officials said. The coins were mostly found in a clay pot, but some were spread out nearby.
The coins came from a variety of places including western Germany, England, Denmark, Hungary and modern-day Czechia, the release said. Archaeologists said the variety reflects trade relationships from the 11th century.
Volunteers in the Mecklenburg Lake District found 900-year-old reliquary containers used to hold religious items. The treasure included 1,700 coins, neck and finger rings, and a gold and pearl necklace, archaeologists said.
The artifacts were described as unusual evidence of Christianity from a time and place where other belief systems were still very influential. A photo shows one of the containers and two pieces of jewelry.
The state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is along the northeastern coast of Germany, about 110 miles north of Berlin.
Google Translate was used to translate the news release and Facebook post from the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Ministry of Science, Culture, Federal and European Affairs.
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