Fingerprints point to 5,000-year-old Orkney pottery class

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Archaeologists suggest marks found on ceramics in Orkney were left by potters and an apprentice.

Archaeologists believe fingerprints on fragments of clay found in Orkney were left by experienced potters and their young apprentice 5,000 years ago.Previously finger marks left by a young male, possibly the same boy, and two adult men were discovered on fragments of pottery at Orkney's Ness of Brodgar.

They have been excavating at the complex of ancient buildings at the site in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site since 2003.University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute, which leads the excavations, said the latest fingerprints were found by ceramics specialists Roy Towers and Jan Blatchford while they examined the site's huge collection of sherds - fragments - of pottery.

The latest prints were examined by Prof Kent Fowler, director of the University of Manitoba's ceramic technology laboratory in Winnipeg, Canada.


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