New article ponders the mystery of carved stone balls

Considering carved stone balls in British Archaeology issue 165. (Pic: Hugo Anderson-Whymark)
Considering carved stone balls in British Archaeology issue 165. (Pic: Hugo Anderson-Whymark)

Ness director Nick Card is pictured (right) in an article in the latest edition of British Archaeology magazine on the enigmatic carved stone balls of Scotland.

Over 200 carved stone balls have been found in Scotland, the size of oranges and each distinctively decorated. They were made in the Neolithic, and no one knows why.

After a new study of these puzzling objects, Hugo Anderson-Whymark asks how they might have been used.

The carved stone ball from the Ness was uncovered in August 2013, its discovery significant because it was found in a secure archaeological context.

The vast majority have been found, by chance, as dislocated finds across Britain, but with an apparent concentration in north-east Scotland.

The Ness ball was found under the north-east buttress of Structure Ten, one of a series of special deposits, under the building’s buttresses, that suggest they were perhaps foundation deposits for the entire building.