Posted 3 years ago
I picked this stone up while walking near Cedar Bluff Alabama about 40 years ago. It caught my eye because it’s shaped like a red blood cell (erythrocyte).
I’ve always wondered who made it and why they went to the trouble to make something so perfectly circular with a raised edge on both sides and a convex center on both sides.
There are very slight, almost imperceptible, differences in the rims.
I never gave the rims any particular thought until tonight when I was photographing and researching my collection of arrow heads and what I think are stone tools.
I knew about “chunkee stones”, disc shaped gaming stones from the Mississippian Period (AD 500-1500) and decided to refresh my memory on those. That reading lead me to an article titled “Circle Roller Discoidals” by Bruce Butts, Winterville, Ga.
What happiness and excitement that article brought me!
The author describes a Native American game similar to our modern-day bowling.
Remarkably, in 1923, an excavation in Rabun County, Ga revealed a perfectly level packed clay area making a playing field of 3 “alleys” with 17 stone “circle rollers” lying on the “alleys” and in “pockets” at the end of the alleys.
Additionally, 80 miles away in Alabama at a site called Towaliga, another such “bowling alley” was discovered.
Per the article’s description of the game: the player would roll the disc-shaped stone down the alley and because of the way the stone was carved slightly heavier on one side, the stone would roll in a curve. The object of the game was to make the stone roll down the alley and into one of the pockets.
After I read that article, I tried rolling my stone across my wood floor to see what would happen.
Can you imagine my excitement when my stone rolled in a perfect big circle, going around and around in several perfect loops getting progressively smaller, till it finally fell over!!
I plan to do more research and to try to contact the author of this article for more info, and hopefully to have my stone authenticated.
But for now, I believe I found a “Circle Roller”!
Such a long description- I tried to boil it down but still it was long.
Thanks for your time and patience in reading it!
I welcome comments.