Carved stone balls

These pretty Neolithic stones from Scotland, Ireland, England and, generally, from the North of the British Isles were found two centuries ago.

Relatively round, engraved, they are called “Carved stone balls” and are dated from 3000 to 5000 years.
Their function or usefulness remains, to date, unknown.
It is possible to imagine: a game, a currency, or even a symbol of property, perhaps land, or even religious.
Presumably, artificial intelligence will be able to guide us and teach us more in the years to come on this discovery.

These spheroid shapes have been scanned and are available in 3D on the National Museums Scotland page; photogrammetry, a discipline always appreciated for finesse of observation, thanks to the details that are revealed, and the ease of consultation online, by computer.

Carved Stone Ball, Fordoun, Kincardineshire
A late Neolithic (c.3200-2500 cal BC) carved stone ball with 9 incised discs.
Locality: Fordoun, Kincardineshire, Scotland. Weight: 297.7g Diameter: 68.65mm
Carved stone ball, Towie, Aberdeenshire
A Late Neolithic (3200-2500 cal BC) carved stone ball with four knobs.
Three of the knobs are incised with exceptionally fine motifs, including spirals and concentric circles. Some of the interspaces have also been decorated.
Locality: Glass Hill, Towie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Weight: 532.5g Diameter: 76.2mm
Decorated carved stone ball, nr Elgin
A Late Neolithic (3200-2500 cal BC) carved stone ball with four knobs. Two knobs are decorated with spirals.
Locality: nr Elgin, Scotland. Weight: 519.7g Diameter: 74mm
Carved stone ball, with six knobs, one decorated with incised lines, Late Neolithic (3200-2500 cal BC).
Locality: Dalriach, Cromdale, Grantown-on-Spey, Moray, Scotland. Weight: 519.6g Diameter: 73 mm

You can find the following scans, almost 60, in animated 3D on this page of the National Museums Scotland:

Exploration with computer and mouse, but also with Virtual Reality devices.
To navigate with the mouse:

  • Adjust textures in HD
  • The wheel to zoom in / out
  • To rotate the view: left click
  • To move the view: right click