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NEWS

03.02.2011

Exceptional Archaeological Find to be to displayed at


Ljubljana City Museum
Ljubljana - An exceptional archaeological find will be
put on public display in Ljubljana next week as the
City Museum exhibits a wooden spear belonging to a
Paleolithic hunter, dated between 38,000 and 45,000
years ago.

The wooden spear was discovered in September


2008 by diver archaeologists as they explored the
river bed of the Ljubljanica in the marshy area of
Ljubljansko barje prior to a river bank renovation
project.

A member of the diver group, Miran Eric, who


specialises in wet wood, told a press conference on
Wednesday that 2,500 different pieces were found in
the area, including a piece of wood.

There is often doubt whether a piece of wood has


been shaped by nature or man, but Eric thought the
piece could be a Paleolithic spear, so he consulted
Photo: Nebojsa Tejic/STA archaeologist Bostjan Odar, an expert on the
Paleolithic period, who thought it might be a
Neanderthal lance point, some 40,000 years old.

Radiometric tests at a Miami laboratory showed that the wood was older than 43,970 years, but Odar proposed a new datation in
Oxford, which put the spear's age between 38,160 and 38,820 years.

Analyses in Ljubljana confirmed the hypothesis that the spear was made of yew wood and that the black surface matter was probably
scorched wood as the spear had been hardened by fire.

Since the spear is made of damp wood, it will be exhibited in a special container filled with water, museum curator Irena Sinkovec
said. To make the exhibit more interesting, the original will be accompanied a hologram of the spear.

The display will open on 8 February, which Slovenia marks as Culture Day, at the City Museum's treasury as part of the permanent
exhibition dubbed "Faces of Ljubljana". It will be on show until the end of February.

Sinkovec announced more such exhibitions in the future as a number of excavations and ground testing under way in the wider
Ljubljana area in recent years have vitally contributed to what is known about the settlement and history of the Slovenian capital and
its surroundings.

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