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Sacrificial animal remains found at stone monuments in Finland

The remains of animals sacrificed at seitas (stone monuments) in the 12th century have been found in Finland.

The studies have already produced some results.

“Based on radiocarbon dating, the oldest findings have been dated back to the 12th century”, says archaeologist Tiina Äikäs.

Next to most of the examined sacred places the bones of animals, such as reindeer, goats, sheep, or various types of bird and fish species have been located.

Animal offerings were presented to seitas in hopes for better luck with fishing or hunting. Sometimes such proceedings included brushing the stone with blood or fat.

This summer season the excavations will continue in Termisvaara in the far northern municipality of Enontekiö. Divers will start exploring the seitas surrounded by water.

Most known seitas are unusually shaped stones. At one time Christian priests destroyed seitas, but the indigenous Sámi people themselves are also known to have taken them apart, if they have not been propitious.

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