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3-D Models Made of Neolithic Carvings

Monday, June 18, 2018

Scotland Carved StoneEDINBURGH, SCOTLAND—Hugo Anderson-Whymark of National Museums Scotland has created 3-D models of balls of stone intricately carved during the Neolithic period using photogrammetry, according to a Live Science report. Sixty models are now available to the public online. More than 500 such regularly sized carved balls of stone have been found in northeast Scotland, the Orkney Islands, England, and Ireland. A single one has even turned up in Norway. Scholars have suggested the objects may have been used as parts of weapons, standardized weights for traders, rollers for moving megalithic monuments, or wound with twine or sinew and thrown. Some of the balls bear carved motifs that are also seen in carvings at Neolithic passage tombs. Anderson-Whymark said the similarities could indicate that people living in different regions interacted and shared common ideas. The new, detailed photographs of the carvings have revealed marks on some of the balls that had been hidden, and could offer new insight into their possible use. “We might be able to get a little bit more of that story out in the future by more detailed analysis of these things,” Anderson-Whymark said, “but they’re always going to be slightly enigmatic.” For more on archaeology in Scotland, go to “Fit for a Saint.”

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