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5,000-Year-Old Axes Found in Scotland

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Orkney Neolithic axesKIRKWALL, SCOTLAND—BBC News reports that two polished stone axes were uncovered last week at the Ness of Brodgar, a Neolithic settlement made up of monumental stone buildings on the island of Orkney. The first ax, the largest found so far at the site, showed signs of heavy use. Site director Nick Card of the University of the Highlands and Islands said the tool may have been damaged while cutting timber joists for a building with a characteristic stone-slab roof. The second ax had been shaped to maximize the beauty of the stone’s natural colors. It also showed signs of wear and tear from use, and may have even been used as an anvil, since it is covered in peck marks. Card explained that the second ax had been placed opposite the entrance of the structure in which it was found. The building was aligned to catch the equinox sunrise. He thinks axes may have served as symbols of power, in addition to multifunctional tools. To read more about the Ness of Brodgar, go to "Neolithic Europe's Remote Heart."

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