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H 290 x W 205 mm

372 pages

430 figures; 126 tables, maps and charts

Published Jul 2022

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781803271262

Digital: 9781803271279

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Neolithic; Carved Stone Balls; Petrospheres; Scotland; Geology; Landscape

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The Circular Archetype in Microcosm: The Carved Stone Balls of Late Neolithic Scotland

By Chris L. Stewart-Moffitt

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This study is the culmination of seven years research into the Carved Stone Balls of Late Neolithic Scotland. It is the first study of these enigmatic artefacts since that undertaken by Dorothy Marshall in 1977 and includes all currently known examples in both museums and private hands, described and analysed in considerable detail.



Foreword and Acknowledgements ;
Chapter One: Introduction ;
Chapter Two: Scotland: Early people and the environment ;
Chapter Three: Antiquarian, Archaeological and New Age ideas regarding CSBs ;
Chapter Four: The Geology of Scotland and Materiality of Carved Stone Balls ;
Chapter Five: Landscape and CSB Distribution ;
Chapter Six: CSB links to Monuments and other Artefacts ;
Chapter Seven: The Classification of Carved Stone Balls and a Revised Typology ;
Chapter Eight: CSB Decoration and their Revised Classification/Typology ;
Chapter Nine: Origin, skill, lifecycle, use and demise ;
Chapter Ten: Conclusions and Future Research ;
Coda ;
Bibliography ;
Appendix One (Online) Master Carved Stone Ball Database 2021 ;
Appendix Two (Online) Introduction to Gazetteer ;
Appendix Three: CSB Skill Assessment ;
Appendix Four: Cast/Replica Carved Stone Balls

About the Author

Chris L. Stewart-Moffitt received a BA (Hons) in Archaeology from the University of Leicester and a PhD from the University of Aberdeen. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, a member of the Prehistoric Society and of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology. He has spent the last seven years researching the carved stone balls of Late Neolithic Scotland.


‘Chris Stewart-Moffitt has given us that unfashionable thing, an enormous service to specialists in the form of a comprehensive corpus.’ – Mike Pitts (2022): British Archaeology

'The volume is accompanied by online appendices, including a detailed catalogue with photographs. These highlight the rigorous data collection behind this volume, and represent an exceptionally valuable resource for future researchers.' – Hugo Anderson-Whymark (2023): Current Archaeology Issue 395