Archaeologists locate find spot of Scythian treasure discovered over 130 years ago
More than 130 years ago in the area of today’s Witaszkowo (Lubusz province) a local farmer discovered dozens of gold artefacts dating back to the 6th century BCE, and associated with the presence of the Scythians. Until recently archaeologists were unable to determine the precise location of the discovery.
The treasure weighing close to 5 kg includes: a shield-shaped ornament, a pendant, gorytos (bow and arrow case) fitting in the shape of a fish decorated with hunting scenes, acinaces (Scythian short sword), dagger and scabbard fittings. Currently, the majority of the items are in the Berlin collection Antikensammlung. Scientists assumed that the items belonged to one of the Scythian leaders, killed while fighting the local people of the Lusatian culture.
Polish archaeologists have been unsuccessfully searching for the place where the treasure was discovered since the end of World War II. By analysing archival documents preserved in Berlin museums and field work, archaeologists identified the original place of the treasure discovery on a farm field situated between the present villages of Witaszkowo and Kozów.
During excavations they discovered a ceremonial spring walled with stones, in which there were hundreds of so-called consecrated bowls with omphalos (convex “navel” at the bottom), modelled on the ancient Greek ritual libation vessels. This ritual involved pouring valuable fluids as sacrifice for the deities. In Poland, finds of this type are known only as funerary items. In the same place, archaeologists discovered unique glass beads, probably originating from the steppes on the Black Sea. The area near the spring was covered with paving stones and a burnt area. There are also remains of a wooden bridge leading from the vast hearth to the spring.
Metallographic analysis of gold objects proved that they had never been used, but showed signs of fire. This showed that it was likely to have been used to be a place of worship of water deities.
Read more at Past Horizons
Ceremonial spring discovered during the excavations