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Carved stone ball (cast)

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from Dyce, Aberdeenshire

Postcard of Carved stone ball (cast).
000-180-001-723-C
© National Museums Scotland

Carved stone ball (cast)

This is a cast of a carved stone ball found at Dyce in Aberdeenshire. The original ball 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 original ball was carved with four knobs. Carved stone balls have been found with as many as 160 knobs, but six is the most common number, followed by four.

Carved stone balls are distinctly Scottish objects, with over 425 known, all but a handful found in Scotland. The majority have been found between the Moray Firth and the River Tay, especially in Aberdeenshire, but examples are known from throughout Scotland.


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Online ID: 000-180-001-723-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  
Date: Date of original: between 3200 and 2500 BC
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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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