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Indexed under : History

Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of Unknowns Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of the Unknown

Carved stone balls (Scotland)

More than 400 examples of Scottish Carved Stone Balls have been found. They are believed to have originated in the late Neolithic and the Bronze Age - i.e. thought to be more than 5,000 years old.

Most have been found in north-east Scotland, mainly Aberdeenshire. They usually range in size from 70 to 90mm diameter, and are hand-carved with varying numbers of symmetrically-arranged protruding bumps on the surface (from 3 to over 150) .

Their purpose is unknown. Suggestions include :

  • As a type of oracle
  • As a 'turn-taking' token
  • As weapons
  • As weights for balances
  • As fishing-line weights
  • As tools for rolling leather items
  • As 'ball bearings' for transporting heavy objects

See photos and 3-D rotatable scans of examples held at the National Museum of Scotland [requires modern web-browser]:


Also see : Diquis spheresplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigDiquis spheres

In the 1930's workers from the United Fruit Company, who were clearing land in the Diquís Valley Delta region of Costa Rica, began finding large numbers of almost perfectly round stone spheres.

The spheres, which range from a few kilograms up to around …


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