Several tools have been found in prehistoric settlements that were left behind by early societies. There are lots of stone weapons found around the world, but researchers have discovered amazing rocks crystal weapons in Spain. Some of these weapons date back to at least 3000 BCE, including a crystal dagger that would undoubtedly have required tremendous skill to sculpt. Located in southwestern Spain, this magnificent find was discovered at the ancient megalithic tomb of Montelirio tholos. It is the largest slate slab site on the planet and measures 143 feet long. During 2007 and 2010, they excavated the site The Spanish Higher Research Council published an analysis of the crystal tools published five years later by researchers from the University of Granada, the University of Seville, and the University of Seville. The team also discovered 25 arrowheads and elements for making weapons in addition to the dagger. It has been noted that rock crystal is frequently discovered at sites of late prehistoric Iberian occupation, but that it has rarely been thoroughly studied. It is first necessary to analyze the context in which these special weapons were found in order to understand what their purpose may have been.
What was found in the Montelirio tholos?
Among the remains of the Montelirio tholos was the remains of at least 25 individuals. It has been previously suggested that at least one male and several females came to their death from poisoning. A circular chamber contained the remains of the women in a circle next to those of the chief, whose bones may have been nearby. Additionally, the tombs contained grave goods such as “shrouds or clothes made of tens of thousands of beads punctured with tiny holes and decorated with amber beads,” as well as ivory objects and gold blade fragments. Researchers believe the crystal arrowheads were likely offered as a ritual gift. The cluster of arrowheads suggests they may have been sacrificed.
Is there a dagger as well? An ivory hilt and sheath were found in the same chamber as the dagger, along with an ivory hilt on its own. At nearly 8.5 inches long, it exhibits the same shape as other daggers of the era. (The difference, of course, is that those daggers were made of flint and this one is made of
The Meaning of Crystal Weapons
As there were no crystal mines in the area, the materials for building these items must have been sourced from far away. They were designed for an elite few who could gather such materials and sculpt them into weapons, which lends credence to the idea that they were intended for an elite few. Interesting to note is that none of the weapons were assigned to one individual, but appeared to have been used by a group. In their findings, the researchers write that they may have been funerary paraphernalia taken from only the elite of the time. The raw material rock crystal, however , must have had a symbolic significance because it was a material with special connotations and meanings. There are examples in literature of societies that used rock crystal and quartz as raw materials to symbolize vitality, magical powers, and ancestry connection. Regardless of their exact function, the discovery and study of these weapons remain a fascinating glimpse into prehistoric cultures.