6,000-Year-Old Slate Rings May Have Symbolized Relationships

Finland Slate RingsHELSINKI, FINLAND—Fragments of stone ring ornaments recovered at hunter-gatherer sites across northeastern Europe may have served as friendship pendants some 6,000 years ago, according to a Live Science report. It had been previously thought that these rings broke into pieces naturally after they had been buried, but Marja Ahola of the University of Helsinki and her colleagues analyzed the geochemical composition of the pieces of slate, and checked their surfaces to look for traces of how they may have been used and how they had been worked. The researchers found that the rings may have been broken in order to be shared—one fragment recovered from a settlement was found to have match unearthed from a nearby burial site. The ring, Ahola explained, may have served as a connection between the living and the dead. And because they have been found over a wide area, there may have been a large exchange network for the slate rings, she added. Read the original scholarly article about this research in the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory. To read about a 4,400-year-old carved wooden snake figurine unearthed from a wetland site in southwestern Finland, go to “Snake Guide.”

Source: archaeology.org

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