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Orkney Pestle Macehead, Orkney 3D Model
This fragmentary, but exceeding fine, late Neolithic (c.3200-2400 BC) ‘Orkney pestle’ macehead formed part of the private collection in Skaill House; it was donated to the National Museum in the 1930s.
The artefact was not deposited with a secure provenance, but it is possibly that this is the ‘half of a highly polished granite hammer-head’ described by W. G. T. Watt in 1878 (PSAS 12, 302). The provence of this artefact is recorded as ‘..an old man… told the writer that a number of years ago he found, a few hundred yards from the place [an excavation near Innertown, Stromness], a half of a highly polished granite hammer-head, which he gave to the late Mr William Watt. This hammer-head is at Skaill House, among the collection of implements of stone and bone, &c., formed by Mr Watt, and derived principally from the curious group of underground houses at Skaill.’ (Watt 1878, 302).
L:50.3mm, B:43.1mm, T:31.9mm. W:116.9g.
NMS X.HA 701. © National Museums Scotland