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

Posted: January 21, 2019 by oldbrew in humour, News

Easter Aquhorthies recumbent stone circle (genuine) 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.

Comments
  1. oldbrew says:

    Probably not a fake – The Ring of Brodgar…

    It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Heart of Neolithic Orkney.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_of_Brodgar

  2. Graeme No.3 says:

    old brew:
    Given the number of other monuments nearby (Maeshowe, Standing Stones of Stenness, Skara Brae) I think you are correct.
    I think that the land behind between 2 lots of water is the site of recently discovered 10 ‘temples’ of the Ness of Brodgar which is causing some excitement in archaeology circles (pardon the pun).

  3. BoyfromTottenham says:

    “When the current landowner reported the site to authorities”. Are we supposed to believe that the landowner, as well as all the world’s archaeologists over the past couple of centuries failed to notice these stones, in a relatively well-populated part of Scotland! Pull the other one!

  4. JB says:

    “…the previous landowner told a representative of Historic Environment Scotland and Aberdeenshire Council’s archaeology service that it was merely a replica…”

    Mud, er, stone in the face.

  5. oldbrew says:

    Are we supposed to believe that the landowner, as well as all the world’s archaeologists over the past couple of centuries failed to notice these stones

    The stones weren’t there to be noticed before the 1990s.

  6. stewgreen says:

    Sounds like it will be near to the Archaeolink archaeology park (closed down)
    ah yes it is 10 miles south west of it
    and 5 miles north of the ancient Cush earthouse near Tarland.
    10 miles from the archaeology park would mean it would be known
    .. On the stones and circles forum someone claims they heard that the original farmer kept the site secret so as to keep walkers away.
    I once came across another pretend stone circle, at Newport not far from the bluestone quarries
    (it was too perfect to be old)
    ..Forum guys also mentioned the archaeology guys usually take soil samples

  7. stpaulchuck says:

    more ‘experts’ bearded by ordinary folk. *shakes head*
    ———–
    “Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts” – Richard Feynman

  8. tom0mason says:

    When constructing your stone circle tourist sights business remember President Obama’s now-famous words …
    “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that”

    and neither did some Bronze Age people 3,500-4,500 years ago. 🙂

  9. Professor Alex Thom surveyed nearly all the stone monuments in Scotland but don’t remember this one. Check out this site if you like stone stuff
    https://www.megalithic.co.uk/

    [reply] he died in 1985

  10. stpaulchuck says:

    from the land of Piltdown Man comes another hoax on the establishment intellectuals

  11. oldmanK says:

    tom0mason says: January 22, 2019 at 10:17 am at here ” and neither did some Bronze Age people 3,500-4,500 years ago. 🙂” touches a fine point. There actually are fakes that are 4,200 years old. And it is very difficult to tell the fake from the earlier real if one cannot understand either of them.

    Worse than that is that the modern science that makes – or should make – it possible to understand such structures, is itself ‘perverted’ by lack of a thorough investigation.

    A sure sign of a genuine artefact is when one discovers that the ancient relic can do what all modern science says is impossible. Then work back from that fact.

  12. Gary says:

    But the archeology is settled!

  13. oldmanK says:

    Quote “But the archeology is settled!”
    Archaeology cannot be read like tea leaves. 🙂

  14. TomO says:

    Stonehenge before wiltshire Council workmen got to work…..

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