Carved stone balls

  • The megalithic people migrated from the South, one branch to Scandinavia, another to Brittany and Britain. The megaliths of Britain date from 3000 BC to 1500 BC. The largest circles in Britain are Avebury (SW of London) and Callanish (on the island of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.) Both of these figure prominantly in the work of Alexander Thom.

  • Euclid's Elements ends (Book XIII) with the construction of the five Platonic solids:
    1. Tetrahedron (pyramid, 4 triangles)
    2. Cube (6 squares)
    3. Octahedron (two pyramids on a square base, 8 triangles)
    4. Icosahedron (20 triangles)
    5. Dodecahedron (12 pentagons)
    and they proof there are no others. See them

    The first three are generally regarded as Pythagorean and known to the ancient Egyptians. The latter two are usually thought to be discoveries at Plato's Academy.

    However, it seems they were known to the megalithic people of Scotland, from whom the carved stone balls have come down to us. Some 387 are catalogued by the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland.

    Cf. Dorothy N. Marshall, Carved stone balls, Proc. Soc. Antiquaries Scotland, v. 108 (1976-77) pp. 40-72.

    Some examples

    About the use of these balls: nobody knows. Among the speculations: weights and measures, money or trade objects, ball games, models for the celestial sphere.
    Ralph H. Abraham, 25 April 1996.