Object of the month: Stone

Monthly Artifacts

Question: What kind of stone is this? 

Is it something from nature or something made by human hands? Is it something used for preparation of food? Is it a fossil, and in that case, what sort? Perhaps it was used to dry something on? Or was it a slab in someone's garden? A Stone Age washboard perhaps? Or something used for printing patterns? Or could it be a frieze stolen from the Acropolis? What do you think? 

Answer: 1,800,000,000 years old impact marks from the waves! 

1,800 million years ago, the flow of the waves made these patterns on the sand floor in shallow water. The sand became petrified and turned into the slightly reddish sandstone you can see here. At this period in time, the "Precambrian period," there were only single celled animals in the sea; on land there was no life at all.  It was found by Mikkel N.N. Eira in the mountains at Mathisdalen here in Alta.

Anne Klippenvåg Pettersen - curator