Two prehistoric areas have been discovered on the Isle of Sande in northern Scotland, adding some more mystery that, to this day, we do not yet know. Early analyzes claim that the artifacts are approximately 5,500 years old, having been found at a Neolithic site (7,000 BC – 2,500 BC).
Polished in appearance and the size and weight of a baseball, the two shells are not the first of their kind to be discovered: hundreds of similar artifacts have already been identified, clearly indicating human manipulation. However, two factors give them an air of mystery: it is not yet known what these areas were used for, and no such objects have been found outside of Upper Europe. In addition to the north of Scotland, such objects have already been observed in the north of England, Ireland and Norway.
Prehistoric areas found in Scotland date back to the Neolithic period, but it is not yet clear what they were used for. Image: Central University of Lancashire / Disclosure
Among the earliest specimens found, some areas had decorative markings, leading scientists to speculate that they were striking or throwing weapons. Today, however, some propose the idea that these stone balls represent some sort of social status or hierarchy in a community.
In the Neolithic period, mankind stopped being nomadic and preferred to live in constant motion, building and maintaining dwellings in fixed places. At that time, according to experts, the sedentary lifestyle began to appear in us and also favored the establishment of communities.
According to archaeologist Vicki Cummings of the Central University of Lancashire in England, two shells have been found that indicate an evolution in the practice to which they are related – whatever it may be. Indeed, the conjecture is that the Sande Island balls, completely smooth, come from the earliest Neolithic period, with signs of polishing, while other elements of this type, marked with more elaborate designs. are corresponding to the later period.
“They must have taken a long time to fabricate because the stone is not very easy to polish,” Cummings said. “You have to sit for a long time in a place with water and sand or any other material that acts as sandpaper, and work hard. “
In the tomb where the shells were found, pieces of pottery and human bones were also cremated. Image: Central University of Lancashire / Disclosure
The site where the prehistoric shells were found is an ancient tomb. Artifacts were seen in bins used to bury people. Pieces of pottery have also been found at this place. Several rudimentary knives as well as cremated human bones were found at the same site, suggesting that prehistoric humans used them to separate skin and flesh from bones.
Sande Island is only part of a smaller archipelago known as the “Orkney Islands”. The area is filled with archaeological sites of great interest, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Neolithic Heart of Orkney”. Despite the mysterious appearance, the Orkney Islands are easy to farm, Cummings says, so it’s possible that their natural benefits encouraged ancient humans to settle in the area.
“The Orkney Islands may seem distant when you look at them on a map, but when you get here you realize how rich agriculture is and how easy it is to work on the land,” said the expert. “I believe the Neolithic people came here and found success – they found an environment that gave them prosperity.”
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