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Carved stone ball

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found in Rusky Burn, Port of Menteith, Perthshire

Postcard of Carved stone ball.
000-180-001-721-C
© National Museums Scotland

Carved stone ball

This carved stone ball was found in the Rusky Burn at Port of Menteith 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 has been carved with six flat knobs. Carved stone balls have been found with as many as 160 knobs, but six is the most common number.

Carved stone balls are distinctly Scottish objects, with over 425 known, all but a handful found in Scotland. They are remarkably similar in size, though this one is smaller than most. They were decorated with knobs carved in relief or with incised spirals, circles or other patterns.


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Online ID: 000-180-001-721-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.AS 193
Date: Between 3200 and 2500 BC
Material: Stone
Dimensions: 1.70" Dia
What: Ball, stone
Subject:
Who:
Where: Scotland, Perthshire, Port of Menteith, Rusky Burn
Event:
Description: Stone ball found in the Rusky Burn, Port of Menteith, Perthshire
References:
  • Calder, Jenni. The wealth of a nation. Edinburgh: National Museums of Scotland and Glasgow: Richard Drew Publishing, 1989, 18-9. 
  • Marshall, D.N. Carved stone balls. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 108 (1976-7), pp 40-72. 
  • Ritchie, Graham and Ritchie, Anna. Scotland. Archaeology and early history. London: Thames and Hudson, 1981, p 46.
    Find in NLS: Title, Author, Title+Author or British Library: Title, Author, Title+Author
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