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ENGLAND - Prehistory

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Author Topic: ENGLAND - Prehistory  (Read 2894 times)
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« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2009, 08:37:32 pm »

Very Rare Find

Evidence of toys during this period in British history is "extremely scant," Pollard said.

"In fact, it's very rare to find any kind of representational art in British prehistory—almost to the extent where you get the impression there's a bit of a taboo on making images of animals or people."

The young child's grave, tentatively dated to between 800 B.C. to 20 B.C., included a pottery vessel, which may have contained food intended for the child's journey to the afterlife, the team said.

The excavation of the palisade also revealed the body of a second infant and the skeleton of a sheep or goat.

A pile of stones had been placed over the animal's head, indicating a sacrificial burial, Pollard said.

While it's possible the two infants were human sacrifices, more than likely they died naturally, he said.

"You're dealing with a period when infant mortality was very high, so there would have been a lot of natural death," Pollard added.

The newfound artifact "is, as far as we know, without parallel," according to Stonehenge expert Mike Pitts, editor of British Archaeology magazine.

Pitts agrees that it appears to have been "made for a child as a personal toy."

However he strongly disagrees with those who say it depicts a hedgehog.

"I would say it's without doubt a pig," said Pitts, who noted that both domestic and wild pigs were widespread in the region at the time.

Later, from the start of the Iron Age in 1200 B.C., animal figurines become relatively commonplace, Pitts added.

"And once we get into historical times, we know the pig is quite important in Celtic mythology, though not—to my knowledge—hedgehogs," he said.
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