5,500-year-old fingerprint traced on vessel in Denmark

London, June 28 (IANS) Archaeologists have found a 5,500-year-old ceramic vessel bearing the fingerprint of the artisan who made it.

Known as “funnel beaker”, the vessel has a flat bottom with a funnel-shaped neck.

Such earthenware is characteristic of the Funnel Beaker Culture (4000 – 2800 B.C.), which represents the first farmers in Scandinavia and the north European plains.

It was found in pieces in a former fjord east of Rodby Havn, on the south coast of Lolland, Denmark.

“It is one of three beakers at the site, which originally was deposited whole probably containing some food or liquid presumably as part of some long forgotten ritual,” Line Marie Olesen, archaeologist at the Museum Lolland-Falster, was quoted as telling Discovery News.

Olesen and colleagues last year found a 5,500-year-old flint axe with the handle still attached at the same venue.

The axe was deliberately jammed into what used to be the seabed during the Stone Age.

After the beaker was brought to the Danish National Museum, experts noticed a fingerprint on the interior surface.

“It must have been left there while manufacturing the pot,” Olesen said.

A lot of time and symbolism was put into the manufacture and decoration of funnel beakers and associated pots.

“From the contexts in which they appear, it is obvious that they played an important part in everyday life, be it ritual or profane,” she added.

Last year, the same survey discovered 5,000-year-old footprints left by people who attempted to save parts of their fishing system before it was flooded.

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