Lifting stones are common throughout northern Europe, particularly Scotland, Iceland, Scandinavia and northern England. They were usually heavy local stones, without any modification, with the challenge being to lift such a stone, proving your strength. Some of the stones are in fact so heavy that there has been no authenticated lift in modern times, only legend.
Lifting stones have often been incorporated into the World's Strongest Man competitions.
Lifting stones is also a traditional sport in the Basque Country, where it is called harri jasoketa. There are several varieties, particularly using round stones and rectangular ones. The goal can be raising and dropping a stone of certain weight as many times as possible or simply raising once a most heavy stone in order to beat a record. Most famous Basque stone-lifter was Iñaki Perurena, now retired, who established several records.
The stone carry or stone walk is a traditional Scottish athletic event involving the carrying of large stones down the field of competition.
The rules are simple: the competitors each pick up a pair of very heavy stones equipped with iron handles, and they each carry the paired stones as far down the field as they can. The length of the field varies depending on the site, but a hundred feet is typical.
If two or more competitors carry the stones the entire length of the field, heavier stones are then used. At the New Hampshire Highland Games, the record carry (as of 2004) is a pair of stones weighing 508 pounds (230 kg) carried just under 100 feet (30 m).
The game probably originated as an outgrowth of the need to clear stones from agricultural fields.
This article incorporates text from "Dwelly's [Scottish] Gaelic Dictionary" (1911)es:Harri-jasotze