A recording of the latest UHI Archaeology Institute monthly seminar.
Dr Hugo Anderson-Whymark, a senior curator of prehistory at the National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh, and a visiting reader at the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute, presents the most recent research on prehistoric carved stone balls.
Carved stone balls are one of Scotland’s most enigmatic prehistoric artefacts. Created some 5,000 years ago, during the Late Neolithic, their distinctive knobbed forms were carefully “pecked” and ground to shape by communities across the north-east of Scotland. Some, such as the Towie Ball, were elaborately decorated and represent some of the finest examples of Neolithic passage grave art in Europe.
For over 150 years these elaborately shaped artefacts have captured the imagination and inspired passionate debate over their date, function and significance to past societies.
A new programme at National Museums Scotland is revisiting carved stone balls with a programme of archive digitisation and 3d modelling and the talk explores some preliminary results and focuses on examples found in Orkney.