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Unusually Shaped Stones Unearthed in Prehistoric Orkney

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Scotland Shaped StonesORKNEY, SCOTLAND—The Scotsman reports that nine roughly shaped stones have been unearthed at the site of a structure located near the center of Orkney’s main island. The objects, which are estimated to be 4,000 years old, stand about 20 inches tall and appear to have shoulders, a neck, and a head. Three of the stones had been incorporated into one of the two hearths in the structure. Another was found in one of a partial ring of holes that may have supported standing stones. The remaining shaped stones were found scattered around the structure’s second hearth. Three cists, or stone-lined burial chambers, were also uncovered. Researchers from the Orkney Research Center for Archaeology and the University of the Highlands and Islands think the shaped stones may have held mooring ropes fastened to the roof. Further study of abrasion and wear marks on the stones could offer more information on how the stones and the building were used. To read about the recent discovery of a Viking drinking hall in the Orkneys, go to "Skoal!"

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