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Owl-shaped plaques may have been on Copper Age children's wish list

Still Waters

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Ancient owl-shaped slate engraved plaques, dating from about 5,000 years ago in the Iberian Peninsula, may have been created by children as toys, suggests a paper published in Scientific Reports. These findings may provide insights into how children used artifacts in ancient European societies.

About 4,000 engraved slate plaques resembling owls—with two engraved circles for eyes and a body outlined below and dating from the Copper Age between 5,500 and 4,750 years ago—have been found in tombs and pits across the Iberian Peninsula. It has been speculated that these owl plaques may have had ritualistic significance and represented deities or the dead.

Now, Juan Negro and colleagues re-examined this interpretation and suggest instead that these owl plaques may have been crafted by young people based on regional owl species, and may have been used as dolls, toys, or amulets. 



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