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Fingerprint Found on Neolithic Pottery in Scotland

Monday, April 26, 2021

C2B821BE D8F2 41E7 BA24 24F36B02ADB0ORKNEY, SCOTLAND—BBC News reports that a fingerprint has been found on a 5,000-year-old piece of pottery at the Ness of Brodgar, a Neolithic complex of buildings located in northern Scotland on the island of Orkney. The potter’s print was spotted by ceramics specialist Roy Towers of the University of the Highlands and Islands, and confirmed with reflectance transformation imaging technology, which uses computer software to compile multiple photographs taken with different controlled light sources. The resulting model produced by team member Jan Blatchford was then closely examined and lit from all angles. Further examination of the print may reveal the sex and age of the potter. “Although finding the fingerprint impression won’t hugely impact our work, it does give us a highly personal, poignant connection to the people of Neolithic Orkney, 5,000 years ago,” said excavation director Nick Card. To read about carved artwork from the Ness of Brodgar, go to "Orkney's Artists."

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