Carved stone macehead

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From Skara Brae, Orkney

Postcard of Carved stone macehead.
© National Museums Scotland

Carved stone macehead

This carved stone 'macehead' is one of several fancy carved stone objects found at Skara Brae on Orkney. It was a prestige object, and dates from between 3400 and 2000 BC.

The oval 'macehead' has an hour glass-shaped holed in the centre, and is covered with numerous pyramid-shaped knobs.

Several unusually-shaped carved stone objects were found at Skara Brae. Many functions for them have been suggested. This item, for instance, could have been a weapon. All that is certain is that they were prestigious possessions, symbols of power.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-040-498-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.HA 658
Date: Between 3400 and 2000 BC
Material: Stone, dark; with central hour glass perforation; covered with triangular or rounded triangular knobs in two (at one point three) encircling rows
Dimensions: 3.00" D
What: Ball
Where: Scotland, Orkney, Skaill, Skara Brae
Description: Carved stone ball from Skara Brae
  • Calder, Jenni. The wealth of a nation. Edinburgh: National Museums of Scotland and Glasgow: Richard Drew Publishing, 1989, pp 58-9. 
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