Meet the Hitra Man, Stone Age Warrior?

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By Frid Kvalpskarmo Hansen/NTNU

4000 years ago, a 25-year-old man died on the island of Hitra, in Trøndelag county, Norway. Now he has been given a new lease of life at NTNU University Museum.

In 1916, a road up the hill to Fausland farm on the island of Hitra was being upgraded, using gravel from the shore along the innermost part of Barmfjorden. Suddenly, the workers noticed some human bones in between all the sand and stones. The bones belonged to a man who was approximately 25 years of age and who had died at the very end of the Stone Age – 4000 years ago.

“We think that he drowned. When he died, the sea level was 12.5 meters (41 feet) higher than it is today, and the discovery site would have been at a depth of 4 meters (13 feet). Parts of the skeleton are well preserved, and must have been covered with shell sand on the seabed shortly after he died,” says archaeologist Birgitte Skar from NTNU University Museum.

A Warrior?

Along with the bone remains, a dagger and an arm guard were found. The arm guard is an oblong piece of bone with two holes in it that would have been attached to the wrist of the hand holding a bow. The guard would protect the wrist from the blow the bow string made when firing arrows.

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