“Mystical” tomb with a wolf’s skull: what archaeologists found in Romania

Polish archaeologists working in Romania have discovered a unique tomb that has raised many questions and mysteries for them. The mound found in the Dobrudja region turned out to be a tomb in which one of the local bandits was buried. However, his burial is different from all the other graves found in the region.

The uniqueness of the tomb is that a wolf’s head was placed on the tomb so that the buried man would not rise up and take revenge on the living. This shows that contemporaries were very afraid of this man and believed in the magical powers of the animal.

The burial mound was discovered by geophysical research. It is almost invisible to the naked eye, as it is located in a cultivated field. The diameter of the mound could be up to 75 meters.

There were two graves in the tomb. One of them had been looted in ancient times. Archaeologists assume that the looters feared revenge of the owner of the grave which they looted. They covered the grave with stones, and the wolf’s skull served as a kind of magical lock, which was to prevent the buried robber from rising from the dead.

Excavations have shown that the looters did not take all the objects that were in the tomb. Perhaps fear possessed them, so they acted hastily. By the way, the researchers excavated fragments of a broken clay oil lamp. One part of it was in the grave, and the other part was found not far from it. Also partially burned fragments of a wooden structure, fastened with nails and decorated with bronze fittings, were found.

“It was probably a wooden box, a coffin, in which the body of the deceased was buried along with burial equipment,” Shmonevsky said. – It was burned right on the spot, as evidenced by the traces of strong fire on the walls and the bottom of the burial pit. The pit was then covered with wooden planks and buried. Mounds with very similar cremation burials were found earlier in the town of Chirshova, known in the Roman period as Carcium on the lower Danube.”

Little was left of the skeleton of the deceased, as he was cremated at burial. The researchers also found a large number of burnt walnut seeds, preserved whole and in the form of shells, the remains of pine cones and other plant remains. The presence of burnt walnut seeds in this burial is an interesting custom known from cremation graves of the early Roman period. Walnuts in the funerary context are interpreted as a certain grave gift, a special food for the soul.

Experts believe that this tomb may be related to mystical rites that were performed in ancient times. Perhaps the buried person was a person who practiced magic and was known for his unusual abilities.

“The tomb was closed in an interesting and unusual way,” says one of the leaders of the research project, Dr. Bartlomiej Szymoniewski of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. – Several stones were placed there and a wolf’s skull was placed over them. It was probably a ritual-magic operation.

Although the tomb was looted by looters back in ancient times, archaeologists believe the find is unique and may help them better understand the life and customs of ancient people in the region.

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