A brief visualisation of an exotic stone found at a 15,000-year-old hunter-gatherer settlement in Jersey. The site, Les Varines, offers great views over landscapes now drowned by the English Channel. It is located in the Jersey parish of St Saviour and has produced over 5,000 scattered stone artefacts during the past five years of excavation, but in the summer of 2015 the team unearthed denser concentrations of tools and burnt bone and, for the first time, fragments of engraved stone. These are currently under study in an attempt to unravel the significance of these unique finds.
Experts are closely examining three exotic stones found in a trench corner during the latest excavations in the five-year project, believed to represent “sophisticated” stone age technology or works of art.
“Incised stones can be common on Magdalenian camps. Many are known from sites in the Germany and the south of France, where they are often seen to have a magical or religious use," says Dr Conneller.
“They show clear incised lines consistent with being made by stone stools, and they do not have any obvious functional role. Engraved works of abstract or figurative art on flat stones are part of the Magdalenian cultural package. One exciting possibility is that this is what we have here.”