‘Ancient’ Structure Is From The 1990s

In Scotland, archaeologists were disappointed when they found that a stone circle which they believed to be centuries old actually only dates back to the late 20th century.

A group of researchers in Leochel-Cushnie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland swarmed the monument when the current owner of the land reported the site to the authorities.

The archaeologists indicated that the site is authentic and added it to the “recumbent stone circles” list. Recumbent stone circles are a rare kind of circle particular to that local area.

Stop The Party

But the council reported that the celebrations were brought to a halt when the former landowner reported to a representative of Historic Environment Scotland and Aberdeenshire Council’s archaeology service that the circle was only a replica.

While analyzing the site, the archaeologists had observed that it was quite small and that some of the “kerb” and “cairn” stones one would expect to find, were missing. But still, the council says that this amount of variation isn’t uncommon.

A historic environment record assistant at Aberdeenshire Council, Neil Ackerman stated that although they were disappointed to learn of the development, it adds an element of excitement to the story.

He says that the fact that it copies the regional monument type so closely shows how much the locals know, appreciate and engage with this region’s archaeology.

He hopes that they continue to use and enjoy the stones and that although it is not ancient, it still an amazing location and is a fantastic part of the landscape.

Recumbent stone circles were built about 3,500 to 4,500 years ago. They are rings of rock identifiable by two pillars with a large stone laid on its side in between them.

They were found in the north-east of Scotland and believed to have been built in the  Stone Age for astronomical purposes ie to monitor the movement of the moon and the sun, and track the year as it passes, according to Forestry Commission Scotland.

Ackerman also says that it is difficult to date these types of monuments and for that reason, they record modern replicas of these ancient monuments, should they later be misidentified.

He also says that they welcome new reports of modern reconstructions of ancient monuments, especially when they are built with skills similar to those of the stone circle and those that reference the monument types that already exist.