Two polished stone balls, shaped about 5,500 years ago, were found on an ancient tomb on Sunday Island in the Orkney Islands, north of mainland Scotland.
Hundreds of similar stone tools, each about the size of baseball, were found primarily in Neolithic sites in Scotland and the Orkney Islands, but also in England, Ireland and Norway. Live science previously reported..
Some are brilliantly carved, such as the famous Taweeball found in northeastern Scotland in 1860, while others are studded with protrusions or polished smoothly.
Early researchers suggested that the ball be used as a weapon, and as a result it was sometimes called the “mace head.” Another idea is that ropes may have been wrapped around the leaves carved into some balls to throw them.
However, most archaeologists now believe that stone balls were made primarily for artistic purposes. Perhaps to show a person’s position in the community or to commemorate an important stage in life. Excavation of the tomb on Sunday.
Two stone balls (one made of black stone and the other made of light-colored limestone) found in a tomb near the beach of Tresnes on Sunday Island are very early examples of such objects. And instead of being carved like a Towie ball, it was polished smoothly. .. Carving the ball tended to occur later in the Neolithic era, but polishing the ball was generally an early practice, she said.
The two polished balls are “much simpler, but still beautiful objects,” Cummings told Live Science. “It would have taken quite a long time to make because it takes a lot of time to polish the stones … you have to sit there with sand, water and stones and basically put in your work.”
According to Cummings, this is one of the few examples of stone spheres found in a true archaeological context, which can shed light on the purpose of mysterious objects.
Each ball was found in the corner of two different compartments used to bury the human body in the tomb’s burial chamber, but other objects, especially pottery debris, were found along the walls of the compartment. I did.
“What was probably happening was that people had small slabs and pots on top of these slabs,” Cummings said. “They seemed really interested in walls and corners.”
Inside the tomb, archaeologists also made human bone deposits cremated near the entrances of two of the five compartments of the burial chamber, and pebbles on the beach crushed into flakes with sharp edges. I found some “scale knives”.
“You can use it as a really good butcher’s tool — and we found many of them [tomb], This is really amazing.And it raises the question of what they are doing [the makers] It was up to. “
People may have used a knife to separate the flesh from the bones of the dead. “It may suggest that they were manipulating the human bodies placed in the room — there are many traditions and examples,” she said.
The Orkney Islands cross the northernmost tip of mainland Scotland.they are The ruins are scattered, A UNESCO World Heritage Site called the Neolithic Heart of the Orkney Islands around the Ness of Brodgar Complex Neolithic village of Skara Brae, This suggests that the island was populated about 5,000 years ago.
“If you look at the map, the Orkney Islands may look far away, but when you come here, you’ll see that it’s a very rich farmland and it’s very easy to work with,” Cummings said. Stated. “I think the Neolithic people came here and were really successful. They found an environment in which they had just prospered.”
The excavations on Sanday were jointly conducted by the University of Central Lancashire team led by Cummings and archaeologists at the National Museum of Scotland, led by Hugo Anderson-Wymark.
According to Cummings, ancient tombs are located near the coast and are susceptible to sea storms, so researchers are trying to find out as much as possible before the site is damaged.
The tombs and Neolithic settlements they excavated about a mile (1.6 kilometers) away would have been far from the coast about 5,500 years ago, and the landscape has more trees than it does now. She said she would have been.
The tomb was investigated in the 1980s, but only superficial excavations were made that did not reveal its old age.
During the latest excavation, which took about four years to reach a conclusion, researchers applied the latest archaeological techniques to the tomb, including the creation of a three-dimensional photogrammetric model of the tomb, Cummings said.
Archaeologists will analyze the data collected during the excavation and hope that it will provide more information about the Neolithic people of the island.
Originally published in Live Science.
A mysterious stone ball found in a Neolithic tomb on a remote island in Scotland
Source link A mysterious stone ball found in a Neolithic tomb on a remote island in Scotland