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Sulby Keeill white pebbles

Date made: Early Medieval

Description: These small white quartz pebbles have not been carved, decorated or altered in any way, yet they were placed inside early Christian sites in Onchan and Jurby.

White pebbles like this have been found in sites that date from the Neolithic, over six thousand years ago, right up to medieval times, around five hundred ago.

What their purpose was, we don’t know. They were deliberately placed in domestic sites and burial sites. In ancient Greece, the giving of a white stone was a sign of a sin forgiven or an obligation lifted. Perhaps these stones were symbols that the dead were now free from sin and responsibility.

Materials: Stone

Object name: pebble

Collection: Archaeology Collection

ID number: 1982-0006b


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We found such stones in association with infant graves in the Isle of Colonsay from the late 18th century, in an area that seems to have been designated for such graves, to the north side of the east end of an oriented stone chapel, probably 14th century. - Kevin Byrne Report this