A decorated carved stone ball and associated lithic scatter from the Blackford Estate, Sheriffmuir, Perthshire - NMS Research Repository
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Journal article

A decorated carved stone ball and associated lithic scatter from the Blackford Estate, Sheriffmuir, Perthshire

2020

Abstract

A comparatively small number of carved stone balls have precise findspots and exceptionally few have been recovered from secure archaeological contexts. The discovery of a carved stone ball in pristine condition at Sheriffmuir during tree-planting in 2017 provided the opportunity to examine an accurate findspot and explore its archaeological and landscape context. The site of this discovery was examined on a site visit, revealing that this ball was recovered from topsoil; no other archaeological features were identified. However, examination of the topsoil from the immediately surrounding area recovered 16 struck lithic artefacts, including three pieces of pitchstone and an unfinished transverse arrowhead dating from the late Neolithic. The close proximity of these artefacts to the carved stone ball indicates that they form part of a single artefact scatter. This provides circumstantial evidence for the date of the ball and indicates that it was probably deposited in a locality of activity in the late Neolithic.

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