|The clay figure in the centre is the latest major find at the Jokiniemi excavation in Vantaa. Image: Heureka|
Professional Archaeologist Jan Fast, who is leading the excavations, is excited about finds made on Tuesday and Wednesday.
"It's absolutely amazing. It was only yesterday we found a nice idol ... but to find another to today, it's just unbelievable," exclaims Fast.
The dig, which has been underway for about a week, is a joint venture by the University of Helsinki and the Heureka Science Centre which offers amateur volunteers the chance to learn and experience practical archeology. Finds are being put on display at the Heureka Science Centre Tikkurila in the city of Vantaa.
Jan Fast says the clay figures, which may depict human fetuses, were probably used by shamans in rituals.
The excavations are centred at a site that was a settlement during the Stone Age, approximately 6,000 years ago. At the time, it was located on the seashore and its inhabitants lived by hunting game, including seals. yle.fi/
Related news: Hyperspectral imaging shines light on the early Finns’ life in the Stone Age - SPECIM
The 5,500 years old clay figurines found at community excavations in Vantaa, Finland in summer 2014, were recently scanned with SPECIM’s hyperspectral camera. The imaging revealed that clay in the figurines was similar to clay on the ground at the excavation site. The figurines were scanned with Fenix, the full-spectral sensor installed in the SisuROCK scanner. It is similar to the AisaFENIX, the full-spectral sensor for remote sensing.
Archaeologists’ theory that the bigger of the two figurines would have been used as an oil lamp could not be verified. Spectral signatures of seal blubber, which is still used in oil lamps by indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions, were absent from the spectral profile of the figurine. There were no traces of other organic materials such as blood on either of the figurines. However, the absence of the traces does not mean that they were not used; they may have disintegrated in the course of the millenniums... (Video)