Stone Age grave unearthed near Lake Burtnieks

The remains of a prehistoric fisherman have been unearthed at the source of the Salaca river by Lake Burtnieks, archaeologist Valdis Bērziņš said.

"The deceased had been given a fish meal to accompany him, as testified to by a fish bone layer around the skull. It's known that this place was very suitable for fishing and gathering freshwater mussels as the settlement has food remains from its former inhabitants, mostly fish bones and the shells of freshwater mussels," says Bērziņš.

He says that the very fact that the meal was placed in the grave suggests that fishing played an important role in the rituals and beliefs of the ancient people.

The remains were found at the Riņņukalns site, a unique North European Stone Age settlement that may help to shed light on the way people lived around 4,000 years before the common era, when crop and livestock farming was still undeveloped in Europe.

Bērziņš says that currently archaeologists are digging up the deepest layers of the settlement to find out when people first started living at this site and how their lifestyle changed over time.

There's a bonfire site located just by the grave and it could be related to funerary rituals as it contains red ocher, often used for funerary purposes, as well as shards of earthenware dishes. 

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