Face from a wooden carving of a female figure

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found at Ballachulish, Inverness-shire

Postcard of Face from a wooden carving of a female figure.
© National Museums Scotland

Face from a wooden carving of a female figure

This wooden carving of a female figure, probably a goddess, was found buried in a peat bog at Ballachulish in Inverness-shire. The figure was carved between 730 and 520 BC. This detail shows the head of the figure.

Quartzite pebbles were inset into the wood to represent the eyes of the figure.

The figure was buried near the short but dangerous crossing of Loch Leven at Ballachulish, a place which has been a focus for people since ancient times. The figure's deliberate burial may have been an important final act of ritual.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-001-099-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  H.KL 54
Date: Between 730 and 520 BC
Late Bronze Age, 725 - 500 BC
Material: Wood, oak, with quartzite pebbles for eyes
Dimensions: 1390 mm H x 145 mm L x 190 mm W
What: Carving / figure / female
Subject: Carved woodwork, painted ceilings (NMAS Classification)
Where: Inverness-shire, Nether Lochaber, Ballachulish
Description: Figure of a female in oak, the oldest human figure from Scotland, from Ballachulish, 725 - 500 BC
  • Lochaber' multimedia programme, NMS 1995 
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