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For the last 150 years archeologists have been digging up a peculiar class of objects in north-east Scotland. They are small carved stone balls of a relative similar size and decorated with carved evenly-spaced patterns of circular bosses or knobs around the surface of the sphere. Some balls have as few as three knobs, while some have up to one hundred-sixty, but mostly they have six knobs. Some of the knobs are further decorated with spirals or concentric circles and some have patterns of straight incised lines and hatchings.

The absence of damage or any sign of use on these carved balls or the context in which they have been found have been baffling archeologists because they are unable to tie these objects to a specific function. Some believe these carved balls served simply as totems of power and prestige, yet their precise symmetrical form cannot be ignored. So far over 400 stone balls have been discovered and nearly all of them conform to a type of geometrical form known as Platonic solid, suggesting that the knowledge of geometry prevailed as early as the Neolithic age.

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The Towie ball.

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© Amusing Planet, 2016.


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