Picture through University of Central Lancashire

Grave at Tresness on Sanday’s Orkney Island in Scotland revealed a rather peculiar find: two perfectly shaped and polished stone balls that are about 5,500 years old.

About 20 polished Neolithic stone balls have so far been uncovered during the excavations at Orkney. The tomb, which this discovery was located around 3500 BC, is one of the oldest known monuments on the island.

By Smithsonian magazine, scholars believe that the stones were used as weapons and symbols of power. It has been proven for skull injuries, probably due to a blunt force, human remains found in Orkney. However, finding these polished balls for burial is a more unusual case.

Hugo Anderson-Whymark, A senior curator of prehistory at the National Museum of Scotland describes cricket-sized balls as “perfectly spherical and beautifully finished”. Although they are a bit divided, he promises that they “will be amazing when stored”.

The team notes on top of it blogs that the excavation also revealed pieces of pottery, knives and a deer horn.

Archaeologist At the University of Central Lancaster, Vicki Cummings, says the Scottish that this tomb was probably associated with the Neolithic settlement of Cata Sand, about a mile and a half from the site.

Today the tomb is close to the coast. But in Neolithic times, the landscape would have been different. Even if it had still been a coastal area, the area would have been more of a “wooded environment” with lush greenery.

Albeit excavations in the area have been going on since the 1980s, more recently there has been a need to collect as many objects as possible; The rock on which the area is located is facing collapse, and scientists need to gather as much information as possible before that.

“At the end days unfortunately this is a site that disappears into the sea, ”Cummings continues. “So we picked up this information before it’s basically gone forever.”

[via Smithsonian Magazine, image via University of Central Lancashire]

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