Owl-shaped plaques could have been created by Copper Age kids as toys – research

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hildren could have created historic owl-shaped slate engraved plaques, courting from round 5,000 years, as toys – placing them high of the want checklist, in line with a brand new research.

Researchers checked out whether or not the owl engravings found throughout the Iberian Peninsula – primarily Spain and Portugal – have been used for ritualistic functions, or whether or not they have been extra more likely to be toys and a possibility for youngsters to develop carving abilities.

Based mostly on comparisons with owl drawings by fashionable kids, it’s recommended that a few of these plaques could have been historic toys.

Owl engravings may have been executed by kids as they resemble owls painted right this moment by elementary college college students

The researchers say the findings could present insights into how kids used artefacts in historic European societies.

Round 4,000 engraved slate plaques resembling owls – with two engraved circles for eyes and a physique outlined beneath – and courting from the Copper Age – between 5,500 and 4,750 years in the past have been present in tombs and pits throughout the Iberian Peninsula.

Juan Negro from Estacion Biologica de Donana, in Spain, and colleagues, re-examined the concept the plaques had ritualistic significance and represented deities or the lifeless.

Based mostly on regional owl species, they counsel the plaques could have been crafted by younger individuals and will have been used as dolls, toys, or amulets.

The authors assessed 100 plaques and rated them on a scale of 1 to 6, primarily based on what number of of six owl traits they displayed together with two eyes, feathery tufts, patterned feathers, a flat facial disk, a beak, and wings.

The plaques have been in comparison with 100 fashionable photographs of owls drawn by kids aged 4 to 13-years-old.

The researchers noticed many similarities between the depictions of owls.

In addition they discovered that as the youngsters received older and grow to be extra skillful, their drawings higher resembled the birds of prey.

Lots of the plaques had two small holes on the high which don’t seem like appropriate for passing wire via to be able to hand the plaque.

As a substitute, it’s thought feathers might be inserted via the holes to be able to resemble the tufts on the heads of some regional owl species, such because the long-eared owl (Asio otus).

The researchers counsel the objects could symbolize a glimpse into childhood behaviours in Copper Age societies.

They are saying: “Owl engravings may have been executed by kids as they resemble owls painted right this moment by elementary college college students.

“This additionally means that schematic drawings are common and timeless. We suggest that the owl-like slate plaques are the stays of a set of objects utilized in each playful actions and in ritual ceremonies.

“The precise engraving of the plaques could have been a part of the sport.”

The findings are printed within the Scientific Reviews journal.


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