The aerodynamics of carved stone balls

T Todd (Author)


Keyword(s):
Carved Stone Balls Over, Carved Stone Balls
Period(s):
Neolithic

Abstract


Over 400 carved stone balls have been found in Scotland, usually attributed to the Neolithic period and often described as `unknown in function' or `probably ritualistic'. The article offers a new hypothesis for their use, demonstrating that these balls are unexpectedly well optimized, in terms of their aerodynamics and mass, for unaided throwing by hand. This may explain their otherwise surprising uniformity in size and weight and their generally rough surface texture (which reduces air drag), due to carving and/or picking-out left unpolished. The mass distribution for over 200 examples held in various Scottish museums and archive stores is presented in support of this hypothesis. Includes

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Published
30-11-2007
How to Cite
Todd, T. (2007). The aerodynamics of carved stone balls. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 136, 61-74. Retrieved from http://journals.socantscot.org/index.php/psas/article/view/9674
Section
Articles