Scientists have discovered strange stones in Denmark on the island of Bornholm that have raised questions about sun-worshipers who lived around 5,000 years ago.
Among their new finds are ‘spider stones’, which are marked with a pattern similar to that of a spider’s web.
Additionally, researchers discovered copper at the site, noteworthy because scientists do not believe copper could not have been produced by the inhabitants living on the island at the time, Live Science reported.
The new discoveries point to unsolved mysteries about Denmark’s history, researchers concluded.
The spider stones resemble the likes of ‘solar stones’ or ‘sun stones’, hundreds of which have been found on the island since the 1990s.
The remains have been located around a walled Neolithic enclosure that is about 650 feet wide. The enclosure sits at Vasagard archaeological site on Bornholm.
The island is situated between Sweden’s southern tip and Poland’s coast in the Baltic Sea.
Inhabitants polished and marked a kind of local stone to create the sun stones, which are hand-sized and round.
The patterns that are found on the stones mimic the sun’s rays. These patterns have turned up on rocks at a number of prehistoric sites across the globe, either engraved or painted on the stones.
But the new spider stones are different, researchers have claimed. This is because they are inscribed with straight lines that run across and between radiating lines, and this gives the look of a spider’s web.
About six of the stones have turned up at the Vasagard site, which scientists think was of significance to Neolithic sun-worshipers.
Director of Bornholm Museum Finn Ole Nielsen said that he found a historical reference to spider webs that could be of significance at a church in France.
A web is painted on the ceiling of the Medieval structure, and researchers think it might represent the transition from life to death.
However, archaeologists can’t be certain what the newly-discovered spider stones mean, Nielsen told Live Science.
In addition to the spider stones archaeologists excavated what was left of round timber structures. A number of these structures were 30 feet wide, and the remains have been found near the main walled compound at Vasagard.
It was among these structures that archaeologists discovered a piece of copper that was 1.6 inches long. The find dates back to an era during which researchers don’t believe the inhabitants had access to copper.
Another Bornholm Museum employee, archaeologist Michael Thorsen, told Live Science that the copper was perhaps a piece of an axe that was imported or that it could have been been part of a religious sacrifice.
Thorsen explained that it must have traveled to the island from somewhere far away, such as from the Balkans or the Mediterranean.
He believes that the structure the copper was found at had a religious significance. Thorsen said: ‘I think the most obvious function is some kind of religious building.
‘This copper must have come a very long way. For me, it just makes the structure even more important, because they were offering a rare piece of copper like this.’