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Britain's Landscape Symbols and Mysteries:Aberdeen's Stone Circles

Aberdeen (Scottish Gaelic: Obar Dheathain [ˈopər ˈʝɛhɪn]) is Scotland's third most populous city. Nicknames include the Granite City, the Grey City and the Silver City with the Golden Sands. During the mid-18th to mid-20th centuries, Aberdeen's buildings incorporated locally quarried grey granite, whose mica deposits sparkle like silver. The area around Aberdeen has been settled since at least 8,000 years ago, when prehistoric villages lay around the mouths of the rivers Dee and Don.

Regarding it's standing stones I am pleased to share with you this interesting review written by
Jos van Geffen who also took the pictures included here. All rights reserved by the author and re-posted by his kind permission.

Highlights of Scotland - Some stone circle, west of Aberdeen

Scotland still has a large number of pre-historic sites: stone circles, brochs, houses, tombs, rock carvings, etc. The precise origin and function of most of these sites is a mystery because the peoples that build them left no written history. On this page you find three stone circles in the area west of Aberdeen, but there are more much more examples of pre-historic sites, some of which I visited myself. Undoubtably the most impressive were Standing Stones of Callanish (on Lewis), but also the Kilmartin Glen and Orkney show a wonderful collection of pre-historic sites.
===> a page with some more pre-historic sites: an earth house and the Stones of Stenness.

Links to Web sites about the latter two:
===> Kilmartin House
===> Sigurd Towrie's Orkney

Tomnaverie: the remains of a recumbent stone circle. The information sign of Historic Scotland (who takes care of this site) reads:
Recumbent stone circles, such as this, are only found in north-east Scotland. The are characterised by a large slab placed horizontally between two flanking uprights on the circumference of the circle and a low burial cairn in the centre. These stone circles were made or used probably about 1800-1600 B.C.


Recumbent stone circle at Midmar Kirk

The recumbent is the large stone at the back on the right; it is about 90 centimetres high and some 2-3 metres long. The next picture shows a clearer example:

The recumbent is 4.5 metres long and can be seen in the background at the centre.
The text on the information sign at this site tells more about recumbent stone circles in general and this one in particular. I have translated that text also in Dutch (in het Nederlands dus).



Cullerlie: a circle of eight undressed boulder encloses an area consecrated by fires on which eight small cairns ringed by stones were built, probably about 2000 B.C. Two of the cairns contain pits and two other cists. Because the site has been disturbed before, excavations in 1934 revealed only burnt bones, charcoal, and part of a flat knife.
Some more information in English and that text translated in Dutch (Nederlands).


This map (17 kb) shows with a red square where these three photos were taken; date: 28 September 1996.

Source: Jos van Geffen Home Page- All rights reserved by the author - last modified: March 2000


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