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This unusual artefact was discovered in a late Neolithic (c.3200-2400 BC) building (Str. 8) during excavations at the Ness of Brodgar, Stenness, Orkney, Scotland.
This spatula has been carefully manufactured from a piece of fine-grained sandstone. Very slight facets from grinding are present on the handle and the blade edge has been ground sharp. Several examples of this stone tool have been recovered from the building, but their function is not known. Where they used for shaping pottery? Or were they domestic utensils, like spoons?
This model was produced for a Leverhulme Trust funded project ‘Working stone, making communities: technology and identity on prehistoric Orkney’. This model will feature on a web resource about Orcadian stone tools, which is currently under development.
SF 9350. Excavations directed by Nick Card, ORCA. For more info see: http://www.orkneyjar.com/archaeology/nessofbrodgar/