Finely sharpened tip of a bow stake. Below the
actual tip, there is a notch for attachment of the bowstring.
During the Stone Age, the bow was the ultimately most important
hunting weapon: bow and arrow were indispensable when hunting for
both big and small game.
Bow found jammed vertically into a peat layer and subsoil clay.
Could it be a possible offering? Archaeologists made a unique and
exciting find in October 2013 during excavation of a Stone Age
Even at the beginning of the excavation, it was clear that this
was going to be a locality that would be rich in finds. During the
stripping of top soil, the gyttja layer at the bottom was revealed,
which is an old seabed with large numbers of, among other things,
horizontal and upright sharpened wooden stakes, flint tools, bone
tips, pottery fragments and wooden fishing spears.
Archaeologists from Museum Lolland-Falster busy
excavating exciting finds from the Stone Age
During the excavation of the many upright stakes, which had been
driven into the sea/lagoon bed during the Stone Age as parts of so
far not quite recognisable facilities, maybe fishing facilities,
remains were also found of a bow that had been placed vertically in
In October, the excavation activities had already been going on
for several months, and interesting Stone Age finds were discovered
every day. "I just wasn't among the lucky finders," says
Archaeologist Erling Mario Madsen.
"It was like any ability or luck in making good finds had simply
left me, and on that very day in October it was clear to me that I
felt I would soon find something good. During the excavation of an
upright wooden stake that did not look impressive at all, there
wasn't much to indicate that it was anything special. The stake was
measured, photographed and drawn in profile, but when it was picked
up, we realised that what we had found were the remains or a piece
of a bow. It was one tip or end of a bow stake. After the actual
tip, there is a notch for attachment of the bowstring."
The bow is registered, documented, measured,
described and photographed before being removed.
The most exciting thing about the find of the bow piece is
actually the context in which it was found, or rather, its
location. Why had it been stuck into the ground as an ordinary
stake in the water off the coast?
Is it an old, no longer useful bow that has been used as a stake
in some form of facility? Or could it be a case of a ritual action?
The way in which it has been pressed into the subsoil, shows
without any doubt that it was a deliberate action. Hopefully, we
will get wiser about this as we continue to examine the area to the
east of Rødbyhavn.
Three different upright sharpened stakes. During
the Stone Age, the stakes were pressed or driven deep into the
subsoil clay. Such stakes may have been used for several different
purposes. Some are included in fishing facilities. By Motala in
Sweden, they have even found stakes with skulls.
Stone Age bows are known from several Stone
Age localities, e.g. Holmegårds Mose bog on Zealand, Ringkloster in
East Jutland, Tybrind Vig cove, Ronæs Skov woods in Gamborg fjord
on West Funen, Maglemosegård farm in Vedbæk fjord and from Horsens
During the Stone Age, the bow was a very important tool. The Stone
Age hunter would use bow and arrow to bring down his prey, which
could be the big animals that were used for meat, e.g. red
deer. Antlers from such red deer have been found in the