Archaeology & History
Ritual caves found on 'witchcraft' island
By T.K. Randall
October 6, 2015 · 12 comments
Countless rituals have been performed on the island. Image Credit: CC BY 3.0 Anchor2009
Evidence of a 9,000-year-old Stone Age ritual site has been found on the Swedish island of Bla Jungfrun.
Even today the island, which possesses a rugged landscape of huge boulders and steep cliffs, is a place shrouded in mystery with its own local legends that tell of a secret coven of witches that meet there every Easter as well as tales of supernatural forces, evil curses and dark magic.
It isn't clear exactly how far back these legends originate, but now archaeologists excavating caves on the island have uncovered a ritualistic site that is thought to be at least 9,000 years old.
"The results are astonishing and reveal extensive human activities on the island in the Mesolithic Stone Age," the team wrote.
Inside one of the caves they found an altar where these ancient people would have once made offerings to their gods while in another there was an area that looked a lot like a theater stage.
A massive hollow, thought to be man-made, was also found in one of the caves.
"The entrance to the cave is very narrow, and you have to squeeze your way in," said archaeologist Ludvig Papmehl-Dufay. "Once you're inside, only half of the cave is covered and you can actually stand above the cave and look down into it, almost like a theater or a stage below."
Exactly what rituals these ancient visitors to the island would have practiced thousands of years ago however is something that may be fated to remain forever lost in the mists of time.
Source: Live Science
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Witchcraft, Stone Age, Sweden
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