Scotland: ‘ancient’ stone circle turns out to be from the 1990s

Easter Aquhorthies recumbent stone circle in north-east Scotland [image credit: Wikipedia]

As a local official commented: “These types of monument are notoriously difficult to date.” And fakes can be difficult to spot, it seems.

Archaeologists in Scotland were disappointed to discover a stone circle they believed was centuries old only dates back to the 1990s, reports Newsweek.

Researchers descended on the monument in Leochel-Cushnie, Aberdeenshire, in Scotland, when the current landowner reported the site to authorities.

Archaeologists heralded the site as authentic, adding it to the list of “recumbent stone circles”—a rare type of circle found in the local area.

But celebrations were cut short when the previous landowner told a representative of Historic Environment Scotland and Aberdeenshire Council’s archaeology service that it was merely a replica, the council reported.

During their analysis of the site, archaeologists had noted it was relatively small and was missing some of the “cairn” or “kerb” stones one would usually expect. But the council said that this level of variation is not unusual.

Neil Ackerman, historic environment record assistant at Aberdeenshire Council, said in a statement: “It is obviously disappointing to learn of this development, but it also adds an interesting element to its story.

“That it so closely copies a regional monument type shows the local knowledge, appreciation and engagement with the archaeology of the region by the local community.

“I hope the stones continue to be used and enjoyed—while not ancient, it is still in a fantastic location and makes for a great feature in the landscape.”

Recumbent stone circles, built some 3,500-4,500 years ago, are rings of rocks characterized by a large stone laid on its side between two pillars. Found in the north-east of Scotland, the Bronze Age rings are thought to have been built for astronomical purposes—to watch the movement of the sun and moon or to track the passing year, according to Forestry Commission Scotland.

Full report here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

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January 21, 2019 at 12:39PM

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