A 5000-year-old figurine from Skara Brae rediscovered

A figurine that once lost among the collections has been rediscovered in Stromness Museum on the Orkney Island of Mainland. The artefact was found at the Neolithic site of Skara Brae in the 1860s and later donated to the museum without provenance in the 1930s. The figurine was originally discovered by William G. Watt, the local laird, when excavating a stone bed compartment in House 3 of the monumental Neolithic village of Skara Brae.

The statue from Skara Brae (by The Orcadian)
The statue from Skara Brae (by The Orcadian)

The representation has been carved from a piece of whalebone and measures 9.5 cm high by 7.5 cm wide. Eyes and a mouth have been cut in the face and the body has a navel. Holes through the head and body may have been used to suspend the figurine. The discovery was described by the antiquarian George Petrie in 1867, but was otherwise only known by a sketch in his notebooks.  It will be displayed in the Stromness Museum alongside artefacts from Skara Brae that have not previously been displayed.

(after The Orcadian)

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