Archaeologists have found a meteorite fragment in a shaman's hut dating back 9,000 years that seems to have been worshipped as a magical object.
The talisman was found alongside other objects that were considered sacred at the time including an amulet and a stick made of antler.
It's thought it gained this status because the prehistoric stone age humans saw it fall from space, suggesting they may have known it came from another world.
A meteorite fragment from 9,000 years ago has been found by archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology (IAE) in Szczecin, Poland. It's believed humans at the time were aware that it was from out of this world and worshipped it as a magical object
Archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology in Szczecin, in north west Poland, found the meteorite fragment inside the caveman house by lake Swidwe in Western Pomerania during excavations.
The object was a natural pyrite meteorite fragment, pyrite being an iron sulfide mineral often referred to as fool's gold owing to its yellowish appearance.
This meteorite, which measured eight by 5.3 by 3.5 centimetres (3.1 x 2.1 x 1.4 inches) has a cylindrical shape and was porous, with a corrugated surface on its side.
Of most interest, though, was that the rock appears to have been worshipped by humans at the time, and they were perhaps even aware that it did not originate on Earth.
'The meteorite was brought to the shelter as a special object, they seem to have recognised 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 realised 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.'
The find was made inside a caveman house by lake Swidwe in Bolków, Western Pomerania during excavations. The object was a natural pyrite meteorite fragment, pyrite being a yellowish iron sulfide mineral often referred to as fool's gold owing to its yellowish appearance
He added that the fragment is 'surprisingly heavy' and that the discovery was the first of its kind in archaeology where a primitive people was known to have worshipped a heavenly object.
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.
The meteorite was discovered last year but it is only now that the researchers have been able to determine what it was used for.
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. This suggests it was once worshipped as a sacred object (illustration of a shaman shown)