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Ballanorris Stone Ard

Date made: Neolithic: 4000-2000 BC

Description: This is the earliest piece of evidence of farming found so far on the Isle of Man. It is the tip of a prehistoric ploughshare, or ard. Before the adoption of metalworking, stone and flint were used for tools. This stone would have been attached to a simple wooden frame and dragged across the ground surface to help break it up, ready for crop planting.

One edge of the stone is worn, suggesting use on that side only. This would match with the stone being used as a ploughshare. The plough could have been pulled with either animal or human force, depending on the size of land available.

Although stone ards like this may struggle in the heavy Manx soils of today, in Neolithic times, the climate was dryer and warmer and the land easier to work. This simple stone device helped create the revolution called farming, over five thousand years ago on the Isle of Man.

Measurements: overall: 22 cm x 11 cm x 1 cm

Materials: Stone

Date found: 1980

Object name: ard

Collection: Archaeology Collection

ID number: 1980-0237


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