Aberdeenshire stone circle initially thought to be thousands of years old identified as modern replica

Related Articles

Related Articles

What was thought to be a newly-identified stone circle, thousands of years old, has turned out to be a replica just a couple of decades old, following further research.

Archaeologists were initially excited about the addition of another Recumbent Stone Circle to the many already identified in Aberdeenshire.

But during further investigation into the site in the parish of Leochel-Cushnie it transpired that it is a replica only around 20 years old.

 

The site was reported by the current owner of the farm on which it is located. Some unusual features were noted during its recording, including its small diameter, proportionately small stones and lack of an obvious associated cairn or kerb stones.

There is however a huge amount of variation between Recumbent Stone Circles so finding these kinds of differences was not initially a major cause for concern.

It was therefore celebrated as being an authentic Recumbent Stone Circle by Adam Welfare of Historic Environment Scotland and Aberdeenshire Council’s Archaeology Service.

The hard work in archaeology does not stop with an identification, so as is normal research into the site continued.

This ongoing analysis was cut short when a former owner of the farm contacted Mr Welfare to say they had built the stone circle in the mid-1990s.

Archaeological knowledge is, by its nature, constantly improving and responding to new information and understanding. It is for this very reason that research continues with new discoveries revising and developing the understanding of existing finds and sites.

This is an example of archaeological research being carried out in a thorough way, which has allowed for the early interpretation to be rejected.

Neil Ackerman, Historic Environment Record Assistant at Aberdeenshire Council, said: “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.

“These types of monument are notoriously difficult to date. For this reason we include any modern replicas of ancient monuments in our records in case they are later misidentified.

“We always welcome reports of any new, modern reconstructions of ancient monuments, especially those built with the skill of this stone circle and that reference existing monument types.”

Recumbent Stone Circles were constructed around 3,500-4,500 years ago and are unique to the northeast of Scotland.

Their defining feature is a large horizontal stone (the recumbent) flanked by two upright stones, usually situated between the south-east to south-west of the circle.

They are well known and spread throughout the north east of Scotland, but it is rare to find a previously unrecorded one.

Aberdeenshire Council

Header Image Credit: Neil Ackerman/Aberdeenshire Council Archaeology Service

Download the HeritageDaily mobile application on iOS and Android

More on this topic

LATEST NEWS

The Great Wall of Gorgan

The Great Wall of Gorgan, also called the "The Red Snake" or “Alexander's Barrier” is the second-longest defensive wall (after the Great Wall of China), which ran for 121 miles from a narrowing between the Caspian Sea north of Gonbade Kavous (ancient Gorgan, or Jorjan in Arabic) and the Pishkamar mountains of north-eastern Iran.

Aelia Capitolina – Roman Jerusalem

Aelia Capitolina was a Roman colony, constructed after the siege of 70 AD during the First Jewish-Roman War, when the city of Jerusalem and the Second Temple on Temple Mount was destroyed.

Wild Birds as Offerings to the Egyptian Gods

Millions of ibis and birds of prey mummies, sacrificed to the Egyptian gods Horus, Ra or Thoth, have been discovered in the necropolises of the Nile Valley.

Karahundj – The Ancient Speaking Stones

Karahundj, also called Carahunge and Zorats Karer is an ancient stone complex, constructed on a mountain plateau in the Syunik Province of Armenia.

Palaeontologists Establish Spinosaurus Was Real Life ‘River Monster’

A discovery of more than a thousand dinosaur teeth, by a team of researchers from the University of Portsmouth, proves beyond reasonable doubt that Spinosaurus, the giant predator made famous by the movie Jurassic Park III as well as the BBC documentary Planet Dinosaur was an enormous river-monster.

Archaeology Uncovers Infectious Disease Spread – 4000 Years Ago

New bioarchaeology research from a University of Otago PhD candidate has shown how infectious diseases may have spread 4000 years ago, while highlighting the dangers of letting such diseases run rife.

Buhen – The Sunken Egyptian Fortress

Buhen was an ancient Egyptian settlement and fortress, located on the West bank of the Nile in present-day Sudan.

The Modhera Sun Temple

The Sun Temple is an ancient Hindu temple complex located on a latitude of 23.6° (near Tropic of Cancer) on the banks of the Pushpavati river at Modhera in Gujarat, India.

Popular stories

The Secret Hellfire Club and the Hellfire Caves

The Hellfire Club was an exclusive membership-based organisation for high-society rakes, that was first founded in London in 1718, by Philip, Duke of Wharton, and several of society's elites.

Port Royal – The Sodom of the New World

Port Royal, originally named Cagway was an English harbour town and base of operations for buccaneers and privateers (pirates) until the great earthquake of 1692.

Matthew Hopkins – The Real Witch-Hunter

Matthew Hopkins was an infamous witch-hunter during the 17th century, who published “The Discovery of Witches” in 1647, and whose witch-hunting methods were applied during the notorious Salem Witch Trials in colonial Massachusetts.

Did Corn Fuel Cahokia’s Rise?

A new study suggests that corn was the staple subsistence crop that allowed the pre-Columbian city of Cahokia to rise to prominence and flourish for nearly 300 years.