Where Was the World's Oldest Soccer Ball Found?


Quick Answer

The world’s oldest soccer ball was found behind the paneling in the queen’s chamber at Stirling Castle in Scotland. Though the exact age of the ball is unknown, historians believe it dates back to at least the 1540s, when the queen’s chambers were decorated.

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Full Answer

Some historians believe that Mary, Queen of Scots could have kicked the ball into the rafters of her room as a child—high enough for the ball to be hidden and forgotten for centuries until an excavation crew discovered it in the 1970s.

The ball gets its shape from an inflated pig’s bladder covered in cow leather. In addition to being made of different materials than a modern soccer ball, the historical football is about half the size. As of 2015, the ancient athletic artifact is on display at the Smith Museum in Stirling, Scotland.

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