Carved stone ball

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from Urlar, near Aberfeldy, Perthshire

Postcard of Carved stone ball.
© National Museums Scotland

Carved stone ball

This carved stone ball was found at Urlar near Aberfeldy in Perthshire. It dates from between 3200 and 2500 BC. Many functions have been suggested for these objects. Whatever their function, they were prestigious possessions, symbols of power.

The ball was carved to form six thin projecting discs. One is undecorated, one has one small pit, one has eight small pits, one has 20 small pits, one has around 38 very shallow small pits, and one is divided into quadrants by grooves.

Carved stone balls are distinctly Scottish objects, with over 425 known. Most have been found in Aberdeenshire. They are similar in size. Many, as this example, have stone knobs, with six the most common number.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-033-233-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 122
Date: Between 3200 and 2500 BC
Material: Greenstone; with six projecting knobs, four of which are ornamented
Dimensions: 2.63" D
What: Ball
Where: Scotland, Perthshire, Aberfeldy, Urlar
Description: Carved stone ball from Urlar
  • Clarke, D.V., Cowie, T.G., & Foxon, Andrew (eds). Symbols of power at the time of Stonehenge. Edinburgh: National Museums of Antiquities of Scotland, 1985, pp 254-5. 
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