Mysterious polished stone balls found from 5,500-year-old tomb in Scotland

Mysterious polished stone balls found from 5,500-year-old tomb in Scotland

A team of archaeologists is currently excavating a 5,500-year-old tomb unearthed in Scotland’s Orkney Archipelago. Recent discoveries include pottery fragments and mysterious balls of polished stone. More information with Info Chalon.

With its more than 5000 years of history, Orkney has an exceptional archaeological heritage. The best-preserved Neolithic house complex in Europe, along with sites such as Skara Brea, was built around 3180 BC. Jesse, preceded either the Pyramid of Cheops or Stonehenge, other great prehistoric sites in the United Kingdom, or the Tumulus of Mashowe, a large tomb with burial chambers, the walls of which are frescoes left by Vikings some 2000 years later.

The former is calledpig islands“, This archipelago in the north of scotland It consists of 70 islands of which only 17 are inhabited.

Several thousand years ago, Mesolithic hunters already roamed its shores and ridges. Later, it was Neolithic farmers who chose this land to settle raised stones and other enigmatic monoliths, ushering in an era that is still shrouded in mystery.

which partly explains why Great Britain’s greatest concentration of archaeologists per square meter is found in Orkney.

A tomb has just revealed an interesting find in SandayThe third largest island in Orkney after Mainland and Hoy.

The burial in question dates to the Neolithic Age around 3500 BC, and is one of the oldest monuments identified in Scotland. Already excavated in the 1980s, the Tresnes site has been the subject of new excavations for many years.

The final excavation operation, which began last summer, proved successful.

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Actually, Archaeologists unearthed small pieces of animal bones, pieces of pottery as well as two polished stone balls about 5 cm in diameter, exploring the chamber and some dug trenches.

«this is a very exciting find», told the team Traceness Chambered Tomb, Project Blog, where you can see photos of famous areas.

is one of two areas”Shape of a grasshopper ball, perfectly rounded and ends beautifully“, pleasure to Twitter Doctor. Hugo Anderson-Whitemark, archaeologist from the National Museums Scotland (NMS) who co-directs the project.

Note that this is not the first time such shells have re-emerged.

Still according to Dr. Anderson-Whitemark, About twenty identical fragments dating from the Neolithic period are listed in Orkney., notably within the sites of Skara Brae and Ness of Brodgar, but few of them have been found in the context of such funerals.

In Scotland, about 500 stone balls have been identified and some appear to be finely engraved.

As for the function as well as the meaning of these objects, they are unknown at the moment.

Among the theories put forward, its shells may have been used as weapons with the intention of inflicting a blow to the head.. In fact, skulls discovered elsewhere in Orkney showed wounds that could have been inflicted by such tools.

Another theory suggests that they may also be symbols of power.

In any case, these recent excavations have yielded additional information about the tomb of Tresnes, whose burial chamber is divided into several sections and overtakes the cairn* dating from the Bronze Age. Experts believe that the initial structure is associated with the ruins of a Neolithic village a few kilometers away on the Kata Sand beach.

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The Neolithic monument is overtaken by the remains of a less ancient cairn dating from the Bronze Age.

«We have the tomb and the village where the people lived and they are more or less contemporary so it seems that the people who built this monument were the people living in the village of Kata Sand.», explained to Scotsman Teacher Vicki Cummings, archaeologist from the University of Central Lancaster who co-directs the excavations.

The team of archaeologists hopes to discover more about the structure of the tomb, its origins and its contents as the excavations continue.

Especially running out of time…

«Unfortunately this is a site that disappears at sea so we retrieve the information before it is lost forever.”, says Prof. Cummings.

is not located by the sea, The Tresnes site is threatened by erosion and possible collapse of the rock on which it is located..

(Photo Credit: © Emma Corker / Mike Lawlor)

* From Scottish Gaelic meaning “stack of stones”, among other things, the word refers to a lump of earth and stones that covered a megalithic burial.

Karim Bouakline-Venegas Al Gharnati

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