Fossils have always fascinated and intrigued people, but their true nature has not always been understood. Long before scientific understanding of fossils as evidence of ancient lifeforms, myths and legends were used to make sense of these unexplained objects. Fossil tales are as diverse as the civilisations that created them.
Objects of superstition, fossils have been used for many purposes since prehistory – often associated with medicine and healing, magic and ritual or simply as decoration. These object stories explore some of the most popular and enduring beliefs associated with fossils.