Strange Prehistoric Carved Stone Balls - Atom

Could the Strange Prehistoric Carved Stone Balls Represent Atoms?


Five carved stone balls are part of the collection at the Ashmolean Museum that were discovered in Scotland (Kincardineshire, Aberdeenshire and Banff). The purpose of those objects is unknown and is baffling archaeologists.

They are made of different stones like sandstone and granite and they are dated back to the Neolithic period between 3000 and 2000 BC. More than 400 stones have been found in Scotland and, including the five stones of the Ashmolean Museum, they have something peculiar about them.

Just recently, scientists have created 3D models of the enigmatic stone balls. Their new models also show some previously hidden patterns and other details that could not be appreciated by the naked eye. In total, 60 models have been made, including the most famous of the stone ball collection, the Towie ball .

As you can see in the picture, there are engraved symmetrical patterns around the surface of the stones.

Most of the stones are of similar size with a diameter of 70mm with the exception of a few larger ones up to 114mm in diameter. The number of knobs on the stones varies from 4 up to 33 with some of the stones also including strange spiral patterns. The stone in the image was found at Skara Brae on Orkney and dates back to 3400 to 2000 BC.

Another famous stone is the Towie Stone that was found on Glas Hill in Aberdeenshire. It is about 3 inches in diameter and contains three embossed round surfaces but each surface includes multiple spiral-like symbols. This stone is also dated back to 2500 to 1900 BC.

The five stones of the Ashmolean museum were part of the collection of Sir John Evans who thought that they have been used probably during war attached to a thong. However such an explanation doesn’t make sense because a) the stones found have zero damage on them, which wouldn’t be the case if they were thrown during war times and b) it would require much skill to prepare even one of those stones just to throw them to the enemy.

Other explanations include that they were used as weights for fishing nets or had a ceremonial role giving the holder the right to speak. But again using the stones as weight wouldn’t explain the complexity of making them.

There is another possible explanation though. Could they be models of the nucleus of atoms? Such a representation of atoms has been widely used in our times as shown in the example image on the left. Is it possible that whoever made those objects had knowledge of chemistry and could represent the atomic structure of different atoms?


At the very least, the embossed symmetrical patterns suggest that whoever made those objects had knowledge of geometry and may even have been able to represent the platonic solids , regular, convex polyhedrons where the ­­faces are congruent, regular polygons, with the same number of faces meeting at each vertex. But in all those cases we know during the Neolithic period that such a knowledge couldn’t exist…. or could it?

For now, their true purpose remains a mystery.

By John Black

Related Links

Carved Stone Balls from Scotland

Prehistoric Artifacts Out of Nowhere

Scottish Neolithic carved stone balls


Solipsist's picture

I thought these might be ‘blastospheres’ that show cell-division of a fertilzed human egg.  Your comment about Platonic Solids seems logical though.  Aren’t there more of these items than known Platonic Solids?   Maybe these ARE those but more of them that show lost ones Plato didn’t think about.  I realize that the Platonic Solids can come in various forms, so , maybe these are representations of many variations of each Solid.  Whoever carved these knew something, had talent and artistic ability and clearly had a logical, thinking mind that was educated and sentient.  Our text-book history is blatantly wrong and a cover-up for seemingly no legitimate reason except maybe to placate the religious zealots of each various belief system. 


These look a lot like representations of the platonic solids

angieblackmon's picture

anytime you throw that sacred geometry into the mix it always makes me wish i would have grasped the subject better. maybe it's because they didn't have tv and fb to distract them, but these ancient people were incredibly smart....way beyond what anyone (present company excluded) gives them credit for!! not only are these shapes amazingly accurate in their carving, someone carved them. someone sat down, had an idea, and made them...with stunning precision!

love, light and blessings


Absolutely possible. The Dogon tribe in Africa knew details of the pleiades without telescopes, space travel, or any other means. So is it possible they knew of atoms, absolutely! Or could this be a case of art misinterpreted...we misinterpret artwork from our time.

timwilkersonalchemist's picture

They may have been inspired by dreams of atoms, or visions during journeys by Shaman, or patterns in the stars, but they look like game or gambling pieces to me. Similar to ruins they could have been used for spiritualistic divination as well, which might explain the intricacy of the carving on some of the objects.


A game play may be as simple as a toss of one or more of the 'marbles' onto a diagram, pattern, or perhaps concentric circles drawn on the ground or etched on a stone slab. Each item would determine an accumulation of points based on the number of bumps and the location of the marble. The pattern intricacy in this case could be a players attempt at attracting good luck with their favorite game piece.



Peace, love, time and space, abundant,
Tim Wilkerson


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