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Since Paleolithic times, human societies have singled out fossil sea urchins as something unique and important. These fossils have been found, sometimes by the hundreds, in burial mounds, fashioned into ancient tools and beads, or used as good luck talismans. Around Europe these odd fossils have been called shepard’s crowns, sheep’s hearts, fairy loaves, snakes eggs and thunderstones. Even in more recent historical times, these beautiful fossils have been singled out to decorate churches or lined up along the windowsills of rural homes to ward off bad luck. But why have cultures for so long been fascinated with these very odd stones? Tonight on Inquiry we speak with KENNETH J. McNAMARA, senior lecturer in the Department of Earth Sciences and fellow of Downing College at the University of Cambridge. His new book, part paleontology, part anthropology and part folklore history has some of the answers: THE STAR-CROSSED STONE: THE SECRET LIFE, MYTHS AND HISTORY OF A FASCINATING FOSSIL.