It’s a great piece. It’s beautifully carved out of wood. It was found near a lake by a group of Finnish archaeologists. It is the staff of a 4,000 year old shaman. And it’s shaped like a snake. It is believed that it could be used for mystical purposes. It is of great historical importance to the peoples of the country.
“I’ve seen a lot of extraordinary things while working as an archaeologist in the wetlands. But this discovery left me completely speechless. The phrase comes from Satu Koivisto, the author of the study. He is a postdoc at the University of Turku.
The piece is 53 centimeters long. “The figure is very naturalistic. It resembles a snake with a collar that crawls or swims away. We think it’s a viper because of the shape of its head, short body and tail, ”revealed Sonja Hukantaival. She is a postdoctoral fellow in Nordic folklore at Abo Akademi University.
At that time, the viper played an important role in religion and in folkloric mystical rituals. Therefore, it is very likely that it was used in this area.
In pre-Christian beliefs, “snakes are loaded with symbolic meaning. Also in Finno-Ugric cosmology [Escandinavia y Europa del Este]. It was believed that shamans can turn into snakes, ”explained the scientists.
The artifact dates from a historical period when the Finns lacked written records. Finding it outside of a lake “reinforces the idea that it was a victim”.
“It shows that the Neolithic people were very concerned about the underworld. This is a notable milestone for Finnish archaeologists. Wetlands like this have to be explored before they are destroyed, ”he added. The discovery could be significant for today’s Sami people, stresses Francis Joy. He is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Lapland. “It would confirm it in terms of his history in southern Finland,” he said.
They hope to determine the type of wood the stick was carved out of. The results of the study were published in the journal Antiquity.