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Ancient sacred deposit from 3000 years ago found at the bottom of a lake

At the bottom of Lake Bolsena in Italy, underwater archaeologists have found a stunning artefact. Researchers have managed to locate an ancient sacred deposit dating back 3,000 years An extraordinary discovery was made by archaeologists at the site, which is located in Lake Bolsena at a depth of just four metres. Although at first they
Published: August 12, 2021 - 09:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 23:03
Ancient sacred deposit from 3000 years ago found at the bottom of a lake

At the bottom of Lake Bolsena in Italy, underwater archaeologists have found a stunning artefact. Researchers have managed to locate an ancient sacred deposit dating back 3,000 years

An extraordinary discovery was made by archaeologists at the site, which is located in Lake Bolsena at a depth of just four metres. Although at first they thought the object they found was a piece of slag. It was only after surfacing and cleaning the find that they realised what they were dealing with. All because from beneath the layer of sediment a small bronze statue appeared to their eyes.

Dishes found in Lake Bolsena
Ceramics found at the bottom of Lake For. Centro Ricerche Archeologia Subacquea (CRAS Aps)

The small figure, measuring a few centimetres, has been linked by archaeologists to an ancient civilisation in what is now Sardinia.

Undoubtedly, the engraved eyes and the particular headdress refer to the figure of the deity. The artefact has Sardinian-Phoenician and Oriental characteristics. This testifies to the contacts of the local inhabitants with the Asian world. says Barbara Barbaro, underwater archaeologist supervising the site.

Place of worship

The bronze statuette mentioned above is just one of many very interesting finds that the ancient sacred deposit has hidden. Now, after thousands of years, it is again emerging to the surface from the waters of the Aiola complex. It is a gigantic object in the form of a large mound of sunken stones. Researchers have identified it as the place of worship of the famous prehistoric village of Gran Carro from the 10th to 9th centuries BC.

Bronze figurine found at the bottom of a lake
Bronze figurine found at the bottom of the lake Photo: Centro Ricerche Archeologia Subacquea (CRAS Aps)

The upper part of the Aiola, where the rituals probably took place, has a surface strewn with stakes and fragments of vessels. Above all, however, the large number of metal objects draws attention. Among them fibulae, rings, bronze pins and many intricately decorated spindles.

It was settlement built on stiltswhich researchers consider to be a very important Iron Age centre. It is also one of the largest and best preserved settlements from this period. However, as archaeologists point out, it is also one of the most mysterious.

The ancient sacred deposit has so far provided research material that dates back to the early Iron Age. However, layers attributable to the late Bronze Age have also been identified for the first time. explains Barbaro

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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