|19 December 2017
Mysterious Stone Age rocks found on Danish island
Stones discovered on the Danish island of Bornholm are covered in motifs carved some 5,000 years ago. A large number of the approximately 300 stones and fragments are being called 'sun stones', due to their round shape and radiating circular carvings. Researchers also found square stones carved with something resembling fields and grain, and other pieces inscribed with patterns. A handful are decorated with images of spider webs.
Lars Larsson, professor emeritus at the University of Lund, Sweden, says: "We see sun motifs in other places, but the square-shaped stones with farming symbols are especially strange." The first sun stone was found in 1995 at a site around 8 kilometres to the east.
The site is in the south of the island, which lies in the Baltic Sea near the southern coast Sweden. In the Stone Age, it was enclosed by multiple rows of wooden posts with many entrances. Inside were small round 'sun temples'. The stones were found apparently burnt or broken, in concentrated deposits within the same layer of soil.
Finn Ole Sonne Nielsen, lead archaeologist at the Bornholm Museum, who collaborated on the excavation, says: "We've known about sun stones for a while, but the field stones are something entirely new - just yesterday we found four - and the variation among them with spider webs is something we didn't know existed. Many of the sun stones and one of the field stones are very worn, so it looks as though someone has run around with them in their pocket."
Edited from ScienceNordic (18 December 2017)
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