Carved stone balls

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From Montblairy, Banffshire and Bogmill, Aberdeenshire

Postcard of Carved stone balls.
© National Museums Scotland

Carved stone balls

These two carved stone balls were found at Montblairy in Banffshire and Bogmill, Aberdeenshire. They date from between 3100 and 2500 BC.

One of the balls has six circular knobs. The other has four large knobs, plus one small knob in each of the spaces between the large knobs, and 14 in the fifth space. Most stone balls have six knobs, though one has as many as 160.

Carved stone balls are a distinctly Scottish find, with over 425 known. They are similar in size, and a few are decorated with spirals. Many functions have been suggested. All that is certain is that they were prestigious possessions, symbols of power.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-033-205-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.AS 185
Date: Between 3100 and 2500 BC
Material: Stone; four large knobs; one small knob in each of four interspaces and fourteen in the fifth
Stone; with six circular knobs
Dimensions: 2.75" D
3.00" D
What: Ball
Where: Bogmill
Scotland, Banffshire, Montblairy
Description: Carved stone ball from Montblairy, Banffshire
Carved stone ball from Bogmill
  • 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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