Azara Blog: Archaelogists surprised that bones might not be ceremonial

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Date published: 2006/08/06

The BBC says:

The actions of a domestic cat have thrown up a new theory about ancient stone burial cairns in Caithness.

Archaeologists built a mock-up of the structures as part of an experiment.

Emma Sanderson, of Caithness Archaeology Trust, said it was found that a dead rabbit had been left in the replica by a cat.

She said it could mean that animal bones found in real cairns were not the remains of ceremonial offerings, as thought, but left by other creatures.

Is this an April Fool's joke? Probably not. Indeed television archaeology programmes are full of experts who claim that practically everything they find which they don't understand has some ceremonial or religious significance. No doubt 99% of the time a more mundane explanation is more likely.

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