Detectorists find 3,500 year old dagger in Polish forest

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Detectorists searching the forest near Krasnystaw (Lubelskie) found an approx. 3,500 years old bronze dagger. According to the conservator Paweł Wira, the scientific value of the find is enormous.

Head of the Chełm branch of the Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments in Lublin, Paweł Wira, told PAP that the dagger was most likely made in the Bronze Age, between 1600-1300 BC. “The artefact is about 3.5 thousand years old”, he estimated. “In the material sense, it has negligible value, while the historical and scientific value is enormous”, adds Wira.

According to him, it is a sensational find. “There was no such find in the area of operation of our branch – the counties of Chełm, Krasnystaw and Włodawa. We consulted local archaeologists, who had been professionally dealing with monuments for several decades, we checked in museums in Chełm, Krasnystaw and Włodawa and we established that there was no other such object”, he admits.

Bronze Age dagger, ca. 3500 years old [Credit: Lublin Provincial Conservator of Monuments]

Wira reports that the dagger is in good condition, its edges show no signs of wear. It is approx. 16 cm long, approx. 4 cm wide at the widest point and approx. 0.5 cm at the narrowest point. The object most likely reached the Polish lands with its makers, who moved north from the Danube to settle.

“It is not a local product, the item most likely came here from today’s Hungary, Czechia, Austria or Slovakia – from the Danube area”, he says.

Similar artefacts from the Bronze Age have been found in Podkarpacie and Mazury, but there are very few such objects in Poland, only a dozen or so. “That is why it is a unique object”, he adds.

Side view of riveted end [Credit: Lublin Provincial Conservator of Monuments]

Speaking about the place where the blade was found, the conservator admits that it has not been known to archaeologists. He reports that the discovery was made by members of the Historical and Exploration Association “Wolica”, who had permission to conduct the search.

Wojciech Werus from the “Wolica” Association told PAP that the discovery was made on April 23 this year by a member of the association, Grzegorz Rękas, who conducted the search with a metal detector.

“We were returning from the search and a colleague came across this object. The object was lying shallow, literally a few centimetres below the soil surface. It was a miracle that we managed to extract it”, he explains.

Close-up view of the rivets [Credit: Lublin Provincial Conservator of Monuments]

According to Werus, members of the association were looking for remains from the times of World War I and II in the forest near Krasnystaw, and did not expect an over 3,000 years old blade. He admits that last year the association transferred a bronze earring to the conservator, but such finds are rare. The searchers found only one item at the discovery site. They wrote down its details, location and took pictures so that they could return there.

The conservator announced that the search at the discovery site would continue and the artefact would be transferred to the Regional Museum in Krasnystaw.

Author: Piotr Nowak | Source: PAP – Science in Poland [May 10, 2023]

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