Stone Balls Found At Neolithic Site In Scotland’s Orkney Islands

Stone Balls Found At Neolithic Site In Scotland's Orkney Islands
One of hundreds of stone balls found at Neolithic sites in the Orkney Islands. Photo via University of Central Lancashire

Stone Balls Found At Neolithic Site In Scotland’s Orkney Islands

Maybe golf is older than we thought.

A story in Live Science reports that hundreds of stone balls have been found at Neolithic sites in Scotland and the Orkney Islands. The balls seem to be at least 5,000 years old.

As a history teacher, I’m fascinated by archaeology.

No one is quite sure what they were used for. Weapons, perhaps. or status symbols.

I wonder if anyone considered that they might be part of a game. Perhaps they were rolled at a target. Or like the Native American game chunkey, it is possible that they were the target. The balls could be from an early form of the British bowls, or Bocce.

Or maybe … just maybe … a cudgel was used to propel them at a target. Images of stick and ball games can be found on the walls of Egyptian tombs from 2,600 BC. I don’t think there’s any reason to think that they invented the concept.

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