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Thread: Interesting old photos

  1. #51
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    stone balls

    These balls are distictly Scottish with over 450 known, similar in size around 3 inches some with spiral decoration. There purpose is unknown but are thought to be prestigious possessions, symbols of power. The bulk of them were found in the NE of the country, Aberdeenshire some in Orkney. They are rarely found in excavations or home situations most were found while ploughing. They date from 3500 to 1500BCE, most have 4 or 6 knobs, 6 being the most common one having 160. They are not the same as projectiles or part of the stone ball throwing game that was popular in Scotland. The first two were found at Montblairy in Banffshire and Bogmill Aberdeenshire.
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    David Gray

  2. #52
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    A few more of the good ones but they're all good it was hard to pick just a few to show.
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    David Gray

  3. #53
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    I have more if anyone besides me is interested.
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    David Gray

  4. #54
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    I can find no info on a conection but if you look at targes, to have 4 or 6 smaller bosses around the central boss was also very common, perhaps just coincidence or these numbers meant something to Scots, Picts or the neolithic Scots.
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    David Gray

  5. #55
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    Those appear to be basalt and granite. Damn. Thats a lot of effort for something that wouldnt have spiritual or noble purpose.
    "Do not suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberty by any pretences of politeness, delicacy or decency.
    These, as they are often used, are but three names for hypocrisy, chicanery, and cowardice.” John Adams, 1789

    "Everything the enemy least expects will succeed the best."

    Frederick the Great 1747

  6. #56
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    Hi Arik, whats makes you think they didn't have spiritual or noble purpose for them? Balls were made from Greenstone, Quartz, Sandstone, Gabbro, Serpentinite, Granite and other fine grained stone. If you had balls like that you'd be the biggest baddest man in town.
    Last edited by David gray; 07-06-2011 at 03:16 PM.
    David Gray

  7. #57
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    Hainching Balls

    This was the game I mentioned a while back, in Hainching 2 or more men threw stone or iron balls 2 or 3 miles along a road to a defined point. The man who reached it in the fewest throws was the winner. The sport died out in Scotland by 1820. These 19c hainching balls were found while remaking the Falkirk to Shamannan Rd.
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    David Gray

  8. #58
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    Missiles

    I only show these so you can spot the difference between these and the knobly balls, which you would not be chucking about.
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    David Gray

  9. #59
    David.
    Is there a name for these objects apart from '' stone balls'',I'd imagine there is.

    The game you mentioned survives in parts of Ireland,most notably Co. Cork and Co.Armagh.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_road_bowling .They also suggest a link to these stones http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carved_Stone_Balls.If they are found most frequently in arable land I would imagine they have some kind of sporting connection.Why do golfers need more than one golfball???

    .I regularly encounter 'scores' on my travels.
    Niall Dignan

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by David gray View Post
    Hi Arik, whats makes you think they didn't have spiritual or noble purpose for them? Balls were made from Greenstone, Quartz, Sandstone, Gabbro, Serpentinite, Granite and other fine grained stone. If you had balls like that you'd be the biggest baddest man in town.
    If they werent made of something time consumeing to work or of value, they wouldnt have lasted long.
    And since they are and were, they must have had some HIGHER function. Likely spiritual. But what exactly is their meaning?
    What do they represent in the scheme of life?
    "Do not suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberty by any pretences of politeness, delicacy or decency.
    These, as they are often used, are but three names for hypocrisy, chicanery, and cowardice.” John Adams, 1789

    "Everything the enemy least expects will succeed the best."

    Frederick the Great 1747

  11. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by Arik Estus View Post
    If they werent made of something time consumeing to work or of value, they wouldnt have lasted long.
    And since they are and were, they must have had some HIGHER function. Likely spiritual. But what exactly is their meaning?
    What do they represent in the scheme of life?
    Time consuming,yes,but for an experienced craftsman,not that much time.
    Lots of conjecture,but I suppose we can only guess at their intended purpose.Their frequency suggests they had an integral part in the culture and life of their makers.I would still go for the recreational option,sport or contest would have had ritual and tribal connotations in the societies of the time.It still does.

    Looking at their size my first instinct would be to throw one
    Last edited by niall dignan; 07-07-2011 at 06:52 AM.
    Niall Dignan

  12. #62
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    Everyone likely has their own idea of what the use for these balls were but in the end like i said in the first post their use is unknown. Because they must have taken so long to make they must have been prestigious possessions and symbols of power. Definitly not objects to chuck about and risk breaking but why are they found mostly in fields? maybe offerings to the crop Gods, who knows? It's the same as a country in Costa Rica where the perfectly round but huge stones are also found in the country side and once again their use is unknown although i believe it was sujested it may have had something to do with the planets and the solar system. I'm not saying that about these knoby balls found only in Scotland. Hi Niall there is no special name for these balls but their certainly would've been at the time they were made and yes the Irish still play the game bless their hearts.
    Last edited by David gray; 07-07-2011 at 03:24 PM.
    David Gray

  13. #63
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    Here is the only perfectly smooth stone ball they've found, again at the same general size as the knob balls, i believe at just over 3in, tennis anyone? There are also stone balls found on walls and gate posts which may also have been found in fields and placed there years ago or they may just have been made at the same time the walls were made and put there for decoration. Yes i do have photos of them too and sure i'll post a few shots of them too seeing as you ask so nicely.
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    David Gray

  14. #64
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    I read that bit you posted Niall on Wiki and like the idea of the person holding the ball had the right to speak at say a Clan meeting, still just another guess tho. The fact some are found in England and Ireland doesn't surprise me as they're easy to carry or trade. A comparison would be German blades on Scottish swords just because they're Scottish swords found in Scotland the blades are still German if you get my drift? The vast majority of knobed balls are found in the NE of Scotland so if a few are found elsewhere the chances are they still probably originated in the NE and got elsewhere for some reason or other at some time in the last 4000 years. Wikipedia gives a different number but the latest number found in Scotland is over 450.
    Last edited by David gray; 07-07-2011 at 03:16 PM.
    David Gray

  15. #65
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    Cairndhu, Rhu Road Lower, Argyll & Bute.

    This has nothing to do with knoby balls, Hainching or missils, it's simply a really nice photo of an old gate house for the larger main mansion Cairndhu. This is built in the Scots Renaissance-style of cream coloured sandstone. It's gate posts with banded pyramids and, yes ball finials and resting on stone balls. Above also are more ball finials at the parapet corner and on the roof. Built in 1871 the photo taken in 1965.
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    Last edited by David gray; 07-07-2011 at 10:00 AM.
    David Gray

  16. #66
    David,I agree they were all probably made in the area where most were found,NE Scotland.They are technically very accomplished and obviously some people got very good at making them.That's a skill that was developed and passed on by possibly a small group of craftsmen.Making round balls round is not an easy thing to do,especially by hand with limited tools.There's a bit of ingenuity involved here which would not have been traded cheaply.Often the simple things are the most impressive.
    I like the notion that the knobs would have been wrapped with thongs to produce a type of throwing hammer or sling.

    BTW,although I have occasionaly been hammered,I'm a Niall,not a Nail.
    Niall Dignan

  17. #67
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    Hi Niall, I'm so sorry i got your name down wrong in the last post, i fixed it, please forgive me, thats a nice name and deserves to be spelled right. I better check the rest too now, wow screwed up twice hope i didn't piss you off too too much once again i'm sorry. Yes the grooves would be excellent for holding rope or leather thong the only problem i have with that is i wouldn't want to throw it in case it cracked, but it's still possible.
    Last edited by David gray; 07-07-2011 at 03:30 PM.
    David Gray

  18. #68
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    Monument to Lord Nelson

    This was the first monument in Britain to be raised to Lord Nelson to celebrate victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. It was erected at the top of Cnoc Aingeal in the centre of Taynuilt village, Argyll, in 1805.
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    David Gray

  19. #69
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    The village of Taynuilt in 1955 and Bonawe Ironworks in 1927

    Taynuilt in 1955 was quiet but from 1752 untill 1875 it was the centre of a thriving iron works. The furnaces made the iron cannon balls that Nelson used at Trafalgar, it was the ironworkers who erected the monument to Lord Nelson. One of the furnaces has been partially restored to show how it worked and is in the care of Historic Scotland.
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    David Gray

  20. #70
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    A "Roup"

    Or auction was a Scottish sale, a fun time where you could meet new friends, renew old aquantences, converse and maybe even find a good bargain. This roup is at Jasmine Cottage in the Bankhead area of Aberdeen c 1914. It looks like everyone had a hat of some kind and this before "fasinators"
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    David Gray

  21. #71
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    A "Displenish" sale

    Displenish was a distictively Scottish word for the sale of everything a family had. It was a roup on the dark side often being the result of a family falling into debt and having their possessions auctioned. It was not uncommon for a family to loose everything but the children's bed. Mr James Watt must've come on some bad times.
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    David Gray

  22. #72
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    How about treating your other half to a boat ride?
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    David Gray

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    Postcard c 1910

    Showing the regiments badge, sporran and tartan this was the first Highland Regiment to wear a uniform kilt of a pattern other than the "Goverment Pattern" of black, green and blue.
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    David Gray

  24. #74
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    Bugler John Rennie

    From Queen Victoria's collection of photographs, taken on his return from the Crimea in 1856, he has bandsman's white doublet with wings and a brass hilted sword.
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    David Gray

  25. #75
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    "Fighting Mac" of the 92nd Gordon Highlanders

    Major General Sir Hector Archibald Macdonald was born on the Black Isle into a gaelic speaking family his father was a crofter. He joined up at age 17 a private and rose through the ranks on merrit alone to be a Major General and also get knighted. He was the most famous Scot of his time who was forced to shoot himself because of alegations and the threat of courts martial. A clergyman at the time noted had he been born the son of a Duke a better end would've been given to him. He has two memorials one where he was born at Ross and Cromarty the other at Dingwall.
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    David Gray

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