4,400-year-old wooden "snake" staff unearthed
July 2, 2021 | 10:01 am CDT
The snake staff unearthed in Finland

This wooden "snake" staff was believed to have been used in rituals by Stone Age people.

Photo By Satu Koivisto

FINLAND - A 4,400-year-old wooden staff has been unearthed in southwest Finland.

Shaped like a snake, researchers believe the staff was used by a Stone Age shaman to perform "magical" rituals.

Led by archaeologist Satu Koivisto, a team of researchers used radiocarbon dating to determine the age of the staff. Nothing like this has ever been found in Finland, the team said.

The snake staff unearthed
Photo by Satu Koivisto

“I have seen many extraordinary things in my work as a wetland archaeologist, but the discovery of this figurine made me utterly speechless and gave me the shivers,” Koivisto told Live Science

The 21-inch staff - carved from a single piece of wood - was found perfectly preserved in a layer of peat. Researchers believe the site was occupied by Stone Age people 4,000 to 6,000 years ago.

It's thought that these people held deep supernatural beliefs, and the staff was likely used to communicate with the dead or to ward off spirits.

See the full Live Science article: https://www.livescience.com/ancient-snake-stick-shaman-staff-discovered… 

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Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at robert.dalheim@woodworkingnetwork.com.