Nine enigmatic stones, though to be at least 4,000 years old have been excavated in Scotland. The enigmatic stones look like humans.
The world of archaeology is truly a fascinating one. Not only to experts delve into the mysteries of the ancient world, ancient civilizations and perhaps even human origins, from time to time they make stumping and unexpected discoveries proving that archaeology is anything but boring.
Now, a team of archeologists has come across nine strange carved stones thought to have been crafted around 4,00 years ago. The artifacts were discovered on the Island of Mainising in Scotland, in the settlement of Finstown, and the strange part is: they resemble humans. The rocks are shaped having long bodies, necks, and distinctive heads.
The stones, which measure around 0.5 meters (1.6 ft) were recovered from within a kind of box-shaped burial structure. The mysterious objects were discovered by chance as experts were exploring an area that was designated for an electrical substation.
Their survey of the area revealed a single stone structure that they would go on to call Finstown Fella, reports Live Science.
A further survey of the area revealed the Finstown Fella was not alone, as experts recovered eight other stone figures.
Although it remains unclear as to what the exact purpose of the structures was, researchers claim that the stone-carved objects were of great importance, enough that they were incorporated inside the box-shaped burials.
All in all a mystery, the archeologists are unsure where or not the stone figures, which are believed to date back at least 4,000 years, were deliberately shaped to resemble humans, or whether they were crafted that way for an entirely different purpose.
As revealed by the BBC, the stones were carved into a familiar form featuring a head, shoulders and body with a technique known as pecking, which involves chipping the stones using a pointed, and much stronger tool.
Some of the recently uncovered figures bear a great resemblance to the human body, while other figurines seem flat and look more like upright stones used as weighs.
It is believed that those “weights” may have helped anchor ropes that helped hole the roof of ancient buildings.
“It is very rare to find representations of people in prehistoric Orkney and when found, they are usually individual or in very small groups,” Colin Richards, from the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute, revealed in the statement. “If they are figurines, to find nine figures within one structure is very exciting.”
Evidence of the age of the stones was confined after the archeologists discovered evidence that the regions ancient inhabitants worked the land at least 4,000 years ago. While exploring a nearby trench, the researchers discovered cross-cross marks that were most likely produced by ards or prehistoric plows.
“This collaborative project with SSEN gives us the opportunity to examine an important prehistoric site that would otherwise not have been excavated. The exploratory trenches are now recorded and covered over, while the significant artifacts are now cleaned and stored for future study. Discussions will take place on the next steps for the development,” revealed Pete Higgins ORCA Archaeology Project Manager.
To better understand the exact purpose, meaning and definitive age of the stones, archaeologists will be tasked with a series of future investigations where researchers will look for abrasion, wear, and any other potential marks that may be present on the anthropomorphic objects.
Whatever the case, it is a unique discovery that sheds light on the history of the region and its ancient inhabitants.