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Uncovering Stone Circle's Secrets


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#1 Willow

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 09:12 AM

A major archaeological investigation is getting under way at one of Western Europe's most impressive prehistoric sites.

The Ring of Brodgar in Orkney is the third largest stone circle in the British Isles, but little is known about it.

A month-long programme of investigations will be undertaken by a 15-strong team.

The last important archaeological studies took place there in the 1970s.

Significant developments have taken place since then in analytical techniques including dating.

Historic Scotland said very little was actually known about the site, including its exact age and purpose.

A scheduled ancient monument, the stone circle and henge of the Ring of Brodgar is part of 'The Heart of Neolithic Orkney' World Heritage Site, inscribed by UNESCO in 1999.


The interpretation of what is arguably the most spectacular stone circle in Scotland is incomplete and unclear
Dr Jane Downes
The project will involve the re-excavation and extension of trenches dug in 1973. Geophysical surveys will also be undertaken to investigate the location of standing stones.

Dr Jane Downes of the Archaeology Department, Orkney College, UHI, and Dr Colin Richards of the University of Manchester are the project directors.

Dr Downes said: "Because so little is known about the Ring of Brodgar, a series of assumptions have taken the place of archaeological data.

"The interpretation of what is arguably the most spectacular stone circle in Scotland is therefore incomplete and unclear."

Dr Richards added: "At present, even the number of stones in the original circle is uncertain.

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#2 autumnbelle

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 11:16 AM

So the traditional uses of the stone circle haven't been passed down from generation to generation? It seems like that knowledge would have been kept somehow.

This is an interesting article, though, Willow - thank you for posting it.

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#3 Vampchick21

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 01:51 PM

I think, depending on several factors, the knowledge and information is lost, bit by bit, along the way, and in some cases, changed here and there. Stonehenge is one great example of that. And given that, at least in so far as the stone circles I'm most familar with, there is a lapse of thousands of years between inital conception and today, with the massive social, political, cultural and religious changes, mass deaths such as the plagues, battles and wars and raids, it's not surprising.

It's the same thing here as well in North and South America, with several sites.

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#4 MoonChild

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 09:29 PM

But in earlier days I guess there were "stricter" following of such knowledge and people were more committed, whereas today everyone are in need of materialistic hunt to make life "better". Here in India there are various art forms, and other such knowledge that is lost without anyone properly propagating what they got from their older generations.
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#5 razorblade_ragdoll

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 07:50 AM

I'm not certain about the stone circles, I'm afraid. But unfortunately, I'm going to have to agree with MoonDragon on this one--as each generation passes, so many of the traditions of the past are forgotten, including art forms that are a true pity to lose, in my eyes.

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