A couple of months ago I worked on an archeological exhibition. I loved to work on it. To feel, touch and smell all those old artifacts. A lot of them were made out of stone. At the same time I sensed that for a lot of people all those stones were boring, stupid and meaningless. All this puzzled me and made me wonder. The result? My list of 99 + 1 ways of looking at stones.
1. Ammunition. Stones for slinges and catapults.
2. Arch. An arch is a structure that spans a space while supporting weight.
3. Arguing. “When arguing with a stone an egg is always wrong” (African proverb).
4. Being out of fashion. People who still live in the Stone-age are considered to be old fashioned.
5. Being successful. Woman are decorated with diamonds to effuse being successful.
6. Books. There are more books written on stones than one of us can read during his/ her life time.
7. Bridging level. Stepping stones.
8. Cannon ball. First cannon balls were made out of stone.
9. Catcher of nightmares. My eldest daughter has a few stones that protect her against nightmares. Not every stone works every night ;)
10. Cave. A cave(rn) is a big rock with a hole in it.
11. Chinese wall. The only human made structure on Earth we can see from out of space.
12. Clean feet. Garden path of stones.
13. Construction element. With stones and wood we can built houses.
14. Cooking stones. Before 'homo sapiens sapiens' had cooking pans our ancestors threw hot stones in a leather bag with liquid for cooking.
15. Corner- or foundingstone. First stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation, important since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.
16. Covey' big rock. Metaphor for most important priority that has to be done. First plan and work on the big rocks. Second the pebbles.
17. Decipher. With the Rosetta stone we were able to decipher a language that was lost for more than 2.000 years.
18. Decreting. On the Rosetta stone the ancient egyptians made a decree "forever" in 3 languages.
19. Details. Rocks and sand are both composed of the same elements, this is tiny little stones. Sand are stones. Rocks are stones. The only difference is the amount and size.
20. Display of wealth. If one can afford a house of stone one is "more wealthy" than living in a shack of branches and twigs.
21. Distance. Ice and rivers can translocate stones hunderds of miles from their place of birth.
22. Durability. Banks are enrobed by granite to effuse durability.
23. Earth' crust. Planet Earth's crust occupies less than 1% of Earth's volume. Do we live on solid ground? No, actually it is a thin veneer (dutch 'dun laagje vernis').
24. Elixir of life. The 'Philosophers Stone' is for some useful for rejuvenation and achieving immortality.
25. Eponym. Giver of names to family, song, band, place etc.
26. Fire. Some stones can be used for making fire.
27. Fossils. Preserved remains of extinct dinosaur species in stone.
28. Getting stoned. Feeling high, strange, happy, dizzy or weird after taking drugs.
29. Grave. A tumulus is a mound of earth and stones raised over a grave.
30. Gravestone. In memory of another human being or pet.
31. Grind food. Ostriches eat stones, to help them grind food in their second stomach.
32. Guide. A track of stones to find the way back home.
33. Harsh. “A word from the mouth is like a stone from a sling” (Spanish proverb).
34. Healing. According to some stones are healing.
35. Holiness. The Black Stone is a Muslim relic. Apart from the ritual role of the Black Stone, its black colour symbolise the progress towards God.
36. Household. Knife, sickle, grindstone, piercer, scraper out of stone.
37. Huge impact on human race. Rocks have had a huge impact on the cultural and technological advancement of the human race. Rocks have been used by 'homo sapiens' and other 'hominids' for more than two million years. Lithic technology marks some of the oldest and continuously used technologies.
38. Hunting. Spear- or arrowhead from stone.
39. Image. If we go into the universe and look back to planet Earth it's just like a big stone.
40. In between stones. Stone House in Guimarães, Portugal.
41. Indifference. “To the illumined man or woman, a clod of dirt, a stone, and gold are the same” (Bhagavad Gita).
42. Just in time. With great relief nearly missing a collision with a big rock. Realising you could have died. Peak experiences like this can change peoples lives.
43. Keeper of secrets. Pre-historic monument Stonehenge: Secular calender? Burial place? Place of healing? Companion in rituals? Astronomical sign?
44. King maker. Scottish monarchs were seated upon the Stone of Scone during their coronation ceremony.
45. Marker of distance. Milestone.
46. Marker of familylines. Edda (72): "Gravestones seldom stand by the way-side unless raised by a kinsman to a kinsman."
47. Marker of new phase in life. Milestone.
48. Marker of territory. Stones to delineate land ownership.
49. Matter of definition. Stone = stone? Sometimes not. "Stone" as used in natural language is not identical to dutch definition "stone is sedimentary rock bigger than 63 mm and smaller than 200 mm."
50. Meditation. Raking stones into a pattern - recalling waves or rippling water - by Zen priests helps them focus their concentration.
51. Memory. War memorials.
52. Message out of space. Meteorite or tektite.
53. Metaphor. "Absolute freedom of the press to discuss public questions is a foundation stone of American liberty."
54. Mirror. Stones are like a mirror. Aren't they?
55. Misfortune. A rock or stone on your house can crush everything you worked for.
56. Motionless. Lying as dead as a stone.
57. No parking. Obstacle of stone forcing to park somewhere else.
58. Not like bread. “Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new” (LeGuin).
59. Oldest stone. In the Nuvvuagittuq Belt in Canada rocks are found dated from 3.8 to 4.28 billion years old.
60. On the road. A little stone on the highway can cause a little hole in the window pane of your car.
61. Pest opponent. 'Mousestones' (german 'Mäuseplatte') keep the mouses from food stocks.
62. Pile of stones. Between plots of land stones are piled to keep the land "free" of stones.
63. Predictor of the future. Shamans or magicians use stones and bones for predicting the future.
64. Preservational mode. Fossilized tree resin or amber sometimes contains animals or plant matter that became caught in the resin as it was secreted.
65. Savage. "The savage bows down to idols of wood and stone, the civilized man to idols of flesh and blood” (Shaw).
66. Sculpture. Michelangelo made the 'Statue of David' by carving marble.
67. Security. Stone wall of a fortress.
68. Shaping. Wind, water, ice, sunshine and animals shape a stone. Water and other stones in a river make a stone round.
69. Solidified lava. In 79 AD the Roman cities of Pompeij en Herculaneum in Italy were (partially) buried during a long catastrophic eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius. The solidified lava gives an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city at the height of the Roman Empire.
70. Source of quarrels. Judaism and Islam consider the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem as a holy spot. For Judaism it's their holiest spot. For the Islam it's one of the holiest sites.
71. Stability. The bible, Matthew 7:24-29 says: "built your house on rock and not on sand".
72. Starter of dreams. Dream stones.
73. Stele. Slab of stone erected for commemorative purposes.
74. Stonegrilling. Preparing food on a stone slab.
75. Stoning. Killing another human being by throwing stones at him/her until he/she dies.
76. Subject for a dissertation. In the context of love a stone is negative e.g. "you have a heart of stone". Used as construction element metaphor a stone is positive e.g. "you are the cornerstone of our organisation". The perception on stones in various contexts. Angles: antropological, sociological, historical, language etc.
77. Subject for a movie. Track a stone over millions of years.
78. Subject in a song. Undercover - Baker Street. "But you know he's gonna keep moving. You know he's never gonna stop moving. He's rolling, he's the rolling stone. When you wake up it's a new morning. The sun is shining, it's a new morning. But you're going, you're going home."
79. Subject new book. History of stones in relation to species 'homo sapiens sapiens': the wonderful world of stones as tools.
80. Symbol of ordinariness. Nothing as ordinary, boring and stupid - according to some - than a stone.
81. Technology outsmarts Giant. David beats the strong giant Goliath with a few stones and a slinge.
82. Ten Commandments. The 10 moral imperatives that God gave to Moses on two stones. The moral foundation in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
83. Time period. The Stone-age is a broad prehistoric time period during which humans widely used stone for toolmaking.
84. Timelessness and memorialization. Obelisks: Cleopatra's Needle.
85. Tomb. A dolmen is single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of three or more upright stones supporting a large flat horizontal capstone.
86. Top of the world. The highest point on Earth is made of stone. Really? Yes look under the snow on the top of mount Everest.
87. Touchstone. Stone used to identify precious metals.
88. Traveling companion. It's the asphalt or dirt road we take.
89. Turner of metal into gold. For a long time the 'Philosophers Stone' was the most sought-after goal in Western alchemy.
90. Unit of measure. 1 stone is usually a mass of about 6.35 kilograms.
91. Unpredictable. A volcanic plug.
92. Water ripples. Stone is a thing you throw in a river to make nice water ripples.
93. Way of life. Behave like a "rolling stone".
94. Wisdom. A man who wants to move a mountain starts with moving the little rocks.
95. Wonder. How strange to realize that there a so many angles on stones.
96. Wood turned into stone. Petrified wood is a type of fossil: it consists of fossil wood where all the organic materials have been replaced with minerals, while retaining the original structure of the wood.
97. Word. 'Stone' is a word in a sentence refering to something in the real physical world.
98. Workmanslook. Stonewashed jeans produce a faded and worn appearance to a newly manufactured jeans.
99. Worship. The Dome of the rock in Jerusalem is a holy spot for Judaism and Islam
... The 100th name is a mystery. It's the name you can add: … - yes you can!