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Carved object of stone

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From Skara Brae, Orkney

Postcard of Carved object of stone.
000-100-040-503-C
© National Museums Scotland

Carved object of stone

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

The object is round in cross-section and has four pyramid-shaped knobs on each end.

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


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Online ID: 000-100-040-503-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 663
Date: Between 3400 and 2000 BC
Material: Stone, black with light speckles; oval; central portion encircled by a band of ridged decoration, two groups of 5 ridges alternately horizontal and vertical, each end, by means of two grooves at right angles, formed into four large triangular knobs
Dimensions: 3.60" L x 2.50" central D
What: Ball
Subject:
Who:
Where: Scotland, Orkney, Skaill, Skara Brae
Event:
Description: Carved stone ball from Skara Brae
References:
  • 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. 59, 245. 
  • Marshall, D.N. Carved stone balls. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 108 (1976-7), pp 40-79. 
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