The object is evidence that inhabitants of the region had contact with people from territories that today belong to Hungary and Slovakia.
A bowl shaped like a human face with horns was found inside a 7,000-year-old house in a settlement where Poland’s first farmers lived.
The discovery was made in Biskupice, where there is a large prehistoric settlement linked to a community known as the Linear Pottery culture.
“The fragments of pottery that we discovered are decorated with a plastic ornament depicting a stylized outline of a human face. There are two bumps on the forehead, reminiscent of horns,” said Marta Korczyńska, from the Institute of Botany of the Polish Academy of Sciences, who led the fieldwork.
According to her, this is the first object of its kind found in Poland.
Only part of the bowl, which is 10 centimeters wide, is intact; including the eyes and nose.
“Today we are not able to clearly interpret this image. It seems likely, however, that such an unusual artifact could be related to the sacred sphere to some extent,” said Dr. Magdalena Moskal-del Hoyo, from the W. Szafer Institute of Botany.
Contact with other populations
According to Professor Marek Nowak, from the Archeology Institute of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, who also participated in the research, this type of artifact is evidence that the former inhabitants of the settlement had contact with people who lived in the region that now belongs to Hungary and Slovakia.
Another indication of this are obsidian tools – a volcanic glass with a shiny black surface – that were also discovered at the site, since this raw material is not found in Poland.
A handful of artifacts
To date, archaeologists have found more than 3,000 artifacts in the region, including so-called cores, blocks of stone used to strike stone flakes and chips that would later be used to make tools for scraping leather or for processing wood and bones.
In addition to archaeologists, specialists in the field of botany are also involved in the investigation. They studied plant remains from places that date back to the early Neolithic period, when agriculture began.
In Dr. Moskal-del Hoyo’s opinion, these plant remains can provide very important information about the people of the time and their crops.