Carved stone balls: Neolithic stones from Scotland

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

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

Then these spheroid shapes have been scanned, and are now available for us in 3D on the National Museums Scotland page. Photogrammetry, a discipline that I always appreciated, is used for its finesse of observation, thanks to the details that are revealed, and for the ease of consultation online, by computer, for more.

Here we’ll find some of them:

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 of its knobs are decorated with spirals.

Locality: nr Elgin, Scotland. Weight: 519.7g Diameter: 74mm.

This carved stone ball, has 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 of these Neolithic stones from Scotland, almost 60, in animated 3D on this page of the National Museums Scotland:

You will so be able to explore with your computer and mouse, but also with your Virtual Reality devices.
In order to navigate with your mouse, try to:
  • Check and adjust textures in HD
  • Use the wheel to zoom in / out
  • To rotate the view: use left click
  • To move the view: use right click