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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 June 2005, 16:35 GMT 17:35 UK
Jewellery find puzzles Russians
Russian Jewellery
The objects could have belonged to an astrologer
Archaeologists in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad have uncovered 16th Century jewellery which they say is unlike any found in the area before.

They were found in a 10cm round box during an excavation at the site of a medieval castle in the city.

It contained 11 items made of gold, silver, tin and hematite, covered with hieroglyphs and inscriptions in Hebrew, ancient Greek and Latin.

Kaliningrad was formerly known by its German name of Koenigsberg.

Anatoly Valuev, from the Kaliningrad museum of history and arts, told Russia's Ren TV that one of the objects depicts an allegorical scene portraying human beings with heads shaped like stars.

"Most probably, it was used for fortune-telling," he said.

Black magic?

According to the television report, experts have said that there are no more than 10 such items in Europe.

Archaeologists think the rings and amulets might have belonged to a counsellor of Albrecht, Duke of Prussia, who had an interest both in astrology and black magic.

The man who found the box, Aleksandr Vasilyev, had his own, more personal, reaction to the find.

"On that day my car broke down, my refrigerator went out of order and my iron burnt out," he said.

"It is strange and gives me food for thought."

Archaeologists have promised that the objects will remain in Kaliningrad and be displayed in a local museum following detailed examination.

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