A meteorite fragment dating back 9,000 years was discovered in a shaman's hut by archaeologists, leading to speculation that it was worshipped as a magical object, UK MailOnline reported. Since prehistoric Stone Age humans witnessed the talisman fall from space, it had gained a status of being from another world.
Archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology in Szczecin, in northwest Poland, found the meteorite fragment inside the caveman house by lake Swidwe in Western Pomerania during excavations last year. Often referred to as fool's gold owing to its yellowish appearance, the object was a natural pyrite meteorite fragment, with pyrite being an iron sulfide mineral.
With a corrugated surface on its side, the meteorite measures eight by 5.3 by 3.5 centimeters (3.1 x 2.1 x 1.4 inches) and has a cylindrical shape, as well as being porous. Of most interest, though, is that the rock appears to have been worshipped by humans at the time.
Although the meteorite was discovered last year, it is only now that the researchers have been able to determine what it was used for. "The meteorite was brought to the shelter as a special object, they seem to have recognized it was not of this world," said head of research for the Institute, Tadeusz Galinski. "The thing became an object of belief, and maybe even shamanic magic. They may have realized it was different if it was spotted as it fell to earth, and would have been identified by the crater it made, and the heat it would have had from entering the earth's atmosphere."
"In addition, the side profile shape suggests various associations; the original finder millennia ago probably saw in it shapes of a mysterious world of spirits," he added.
The discovery has been deemed as the first of its kind in archaeology where a set of primitive people was known to have worshipped a heavenly object, he said, adding that the fragment is "surprisingly heavy."
Along with the meteorite, the researchers also found other objects associated with magic, including an amulet, bone spear tip with engraved ornament and a magic stick made of antler, decorated with geometric motifs.