(ORDO NEWS) — In France, scientists from the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap) have identified a large stone monolith found in 2017 during excavations in the town of Chaminy. It turned out that this is an extremely rare menhir, which is an anthropomorphic stele of the Neolithic era.
The discovery report is published on the Inrap website. Archaeologists have discovered in Chaminy, department of the Aisne, three large blocks of stone bogged down in petrified mud. It took three years to clean and study them. In addition, the scientists applied the method of photographic shooting with light falling at a certain angle. This technology made it possible to reveal the patterns engraved on the largest monolith.
The stones are reported to have been found within a collective burial site dating from the late Neolithic period. Perhaps these were elements of a funeral cult. The largest stone was cut by humans. Scientists note that it was not chosen by chance, apparently. Its surface was covered with natural irregularities that looked like human features.
The ancient masters had only to slightly modify the “picture”. Research has shown that they carved several lines into the surface. The stone itself represented a figure, that is, it was an anthropomorphic stele, characteristic of many Neolithic cultures. This figure had a face.
In addition, ancient craftsmen carved a belt without a buckle, to which, according to researchers, a dagger was suspended. At least that is how they interpreted the pattern under the belt, carved into the shape of a very elongated “U”. However, this “jagged detail” has not yet found a final interpretation.
The fact is that in the upper part of the menhir, in the area of the face, two similar triangles are also depicted. Scientists suggest that they could represent two daggers with triangular blades or two polished ax blades. There are other decorative elements on the stone, including those in the form of “cups”.
All these elements together led scientists to the idea that this monolith can be considered as an image of a person dressed and armed. The strange placement of the engraved triangles is explained by the fact that, perhaps, other details have simply been erased over the past centuries.
As for the age of this artifact, so far it dates from the period between the second half of the fourth millennium and the first half of the third millennium BC.
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