Thursday, October 27, 2016

Some Old And Interesting Carved Balls...!

The balls are an interesting find, mainly because no one seems to know exactly what they are or what their use was. It certainly doesn't look like anything used for playing a game, does it?

The Carved Stone Balls



Photo credit: ashmolean.org

If you ever want to annoy a British archaeologist, ask about the carved stone balls. They have been found in archaeological sites across Great Britain and Ireland (although most are in Scotland), and nobody has any idea what they are.

Most of the balls date to the Late Neolithic, from about 3000–2500 BC. They are almost identical in size and are all carved with circular knobs surrounding the central sphere. The quality of the carving varies, although all show some attempt at symmetry.

There are various theories as to their use, all of them unproven and most of them wildly implausible. We can say that the balls served no practical purpose since they rarely show any signs of wear or damage. Oddly, it’s rare for more than one ball to be found together, although three were discovered at the Skara Brae site in Orkney.

I was wondering about the size, but all I could find was a statement that they were about 2.5 inches in diameter.

Coffee out on the patio this Summer like morning.

10 comments:

Gorges Smythe said...

I'd guess a game of some sort, maybe like lacrosse.

Caddie said...

They make me think of boji stones - Google this.

Chickenmom said...

Game pieces?

Hermit's Baby Sis said...

Bubba -
the pieces you show all are slightly different from each other, so I'd go with the concensus and say a game. Why not together, though?
Maybe they are the dryer balls - you know the ones you put in the dryer to keep everything fluffed up? No? Well ...

Rob said...

There is a fair amount of labor in carving a rock ball I'd guess, that would make them important/valuable.
In the current world most balls are for some sort of game... of bearings.

Maybe they all came from Egypt where they were used to roll the pyramids into place? :-)

JO said...

Well a game comes to mine here too, but they sure are fancy so the game had to be important to go through all that trouble carving them.

Something worth a conversation at on the patio.

Caddie said...

I'm a rock lover. I've collected so many. Brother's interest began my curiosity and so... many POUNDS later, here I stand loving my rocks even more so. I just ordered a Rock, Gem and Mineral book off Amazon for my ggson. who is only six. Doggone it, the book is as big as he is! Yet, he'll grow ...and learn some very interesting information. Yes, I love my rocks and crystals and Bojis too. NOW, I'd like to know about the stones pictured. Just maybe they weren't carved by man but formed naturally.

Dizzy-Dick said...

Maybe it was a form of money to be used in trade for goods??? There was a lot time spent making those, so they must have valuable to someone for some purpose.

HermitJim said...

Hey Gorges...
Kinda small for that at 2.5 inches, don't you think?
Thanks for stopping by today!


Hey Caddie...
As good a guess as most, I reckon.
Thanks gor coming over today!


Hey Phyllis...
What game would you say? Makes sense, I suppose.
Thanks for the visit today!


Hey Sis...
I'd say the dryer balls might be a little rough.
Thanks for stopping by today!


Hey Rob ...
They had to be of some use to someone, right?
Thanks for the visit today!


Hey Jo...
I even thought about artwork of some kind. You never know.
Thanks for stopping in today!


Hey Caddie...
Let me know if you find them in that rock book, OK? I really don't think they are naturally produced, though.
I appreciate the visit today!


Hey Dizzy...
Some form of money or exchange makes some sense. Who knows?
Thanks for dropping by today!

Barney The Old Fat Man said...

Maybe grain milling stones of some sort.