Hundreds of intricately carved stone spheres about the size of a tennis ball or larger have been found all over Northern Scotland, Ireland, and in England.
Some are irregular asymmetrical spheres featuring organic-looking protrusions. Others have intricate geometric patterns, lines, and circles carved on their surface.
While most are spherical, some are shaped more like starfish, with protruding legs. They date to 3000–2600 BC and may have been created by the Picts, Celtic language-speaking peoples.
Why did the ancient people carve sophisticated geometry onto these spheres made of all kinds of rock? Many were found near Neolithic stone circles in grassy fields, adding to the mystery.
Why were they placed in the proximity of these ancient circles?
That’s what Hugh Newman, author, Megalithic researcher, and explorer asks as he takes us on a tour of the spheres in Scottish museum collections in Orkney, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Oxford, and Edinburgh and London, England.
Surprisingly, Newman then arrives across the world in the South American country of Bolivia where he spots a virtually identical sphere.
“Were they really associated with these stone circles? It certainly seems so. Even though they weren’t found directly in stone circles, they were found in the fields around them. This really intrigues me, because, if that’s the case, why were they placing them in the fields?” asks Newman.
One of the spheres is particularly intricate, the famous Towie ball found in Aberdeenshire. It’s thought to be over 5,000 years old, is almost three inches across and covered with incredibly intricate spirals.
According to the National Museums Scotland, it may have been a weapon and a symbol of power.
If so, how or why did they end up abandoned in fields? Why are so few of these spheres damaged or chipped?
According to the Museum website:
“The ball would have been the possession of a well-off Neolithic farmer. It could well have been a fancy weapon, capable of dealing a painful blow to the head if thrown from a sling. But it was first and foremost a symbol of power – an elite weapon of social exclusion! – adorned with sacred symbols that resemble those carved into the stones of a faraway passage tomb at Newgrange in the Boyne Valley of eastern Ireland.”
Along with the spheres, relief carvings of spirals and geometric shapes have been found, but not just in Scotland.
Over 6000 miles away at the site of Tiwanaku in Bolivia, similar carvings are found.
Meanwhile, at Lake Titicaca, Newman found a stone sphere with six sides that closely resembles one of the Scottish stone spheres. It’s on display at the Tiwanaku Museum in La Paz, Bolivia.
Such patterns are found all over the planet.
Some are saying it’s more evidence of an ancient advanced worldwide civilization.
Spherical metal objects dating back 6,000 years have been found near the Dead Sea in the treasure of Nahal Mishmar in the Judean Desert.
They were made of copper and thought to represent the Sun. Could the Scottish stones have represented the Sun or Moon?
There are an endless array of ideas about what these objects were used for, from weapons to massage tools, healing stones, to weights, to tools used to roll larger stones.
However, since most of the spheres are in relatively good shape, their use as weapons or tools seems less likely.
The placement in fields might indicate some use concerning growing crops, with some suggesting that magnetic fields or natural energies were at work.
On the other hand, could the beautifully carved stones have been offerings to the gods left as gifts in the hopes of a bountiful harvest?
Newman believes the intricate carvings might be references to sacred geometry or Archimedean and Platonic solids. These are complex polyhedra shapes enumerated by Archimedes and Plato.
If so, does this indicate that Neolithic people had an advanced understanding of mathematics?
Another idea is that the elaborate shapes may have had some use in surveying and astronomy, considering their proximity to the stone megalithic circles.
These were places to observe seasonal changes and the stars, Moon, and planets. Perhaps these spheres were placed on the ground to mark the location in the sky of these celestial bodies?
Nobody knows why the spheres were found near the stone observatories but not within.
Today we recognize some of these shapes as similar to the atomic or cellular structure. It seems impossible that ancient people would know of such things.
However, since we don’t know anything about who made these objects or why we can’t rule it out entirely. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.