Towie Ball


  • Age: Around 4,000 BCE
  • Material: Stone
  • Found: Hamlet of Towie (Scotland) in the late 19th Century
  • Present Location: National Museum of Scotland

move cursor over image to magnify replica

The Towie petroshphere is a carved stone ball that was found on Glaschul Hill in the village of Towie, Scotland. It has four knobs and three of them have carved spiral or curved motifs designs (resembling those pecked into the stones of the Irish tomb at Newgrange). It was among the items in the collection of D. Anderson (from Aberdeen) and was sold in 1898 by the Scottish auctioneers S. Shaw.

Over 425 carved stone balls have been found mainly in Aberdeenshire, but also in Orkney, Skye, Iona, Lewis, Harris and Uist and no two are alike, although it is general considered that the Towie is the finest. They are approximately size of a tennis ball (around 70mm diameter) and often have three to six protruding knobs or discs, however the purpose of these stone balls is not known, but theory's range from weapons to games.

Replicas have been made using authentic manufacturing techniques (pecking and grinding) at the University of Exeter.


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