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Yoma 2a - the house of stone

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1 Yoma 2a - the house of stone on Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:01 am

The gemara says that the cohen for the parah adumah was separated into לשכת בית האבן, the "room of the house of stone", because the vessels used for the parah weren't m'kabel tum'ah. It gives three examples: כלי גללים, כלי אבנים, כלי אדמה. So it's clear why the stone vessels are called "stone". I might have thought that the other two are more examples, not stone, and the gemara just picked the most typical of the three.

But Rashi doesn't seem to say that. He explains כלי אדמה as made of clay, not fired in a kiln, "כאבן רכה" - like a soft stone. So Rashi went out of his way to make that a stone too. But the third is כלי גללים, Rashi says צפיעי בקר. What does it have to do with stone?
Note, though that Rashi in some places explains the word גלל as marble, see Brachos 16a, ד"ה נדבך - "a building of stone, like Ezra 6, 'built of marble stone' ". And in Shabbos 16b Rashi explains our exact same list of three types of keilim, and says גלל is שייש, marble.

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