Bradshaw Foundation - Latest News

BRADSHAW FOUNDATION - LATEST NEWS

 

Callanish Stones decoded

17 Aug 2014
Bradshaw Foundation
Article

The Callanish Stones, on the west coast of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, were constructed between 2900 and 2600 BC. The site itself, however, has been occupied earlier and later than this. After the construction of the stones, a tomb was built into the site, in use between 2000 BC and 1700 BC. Some archaeologists believe that the stones were a prehistoric lunar observatory. 

callanish stones in prehistoric scotland

The 13 primary stones form a circle about 13 meters in diameter, with a long approach avenue of stones to the north, and shorter stone rows to the east, south, and west. The layout recalls a distorted Celtic Cross. The individual stones vary from around 1 meter to 5 meters in height, with an average of 4 meters, and are of the local Lewisian gneiss, a common and widely distributed type of rock formed by high-grade regional metamorphic processes from pre-existing formations that were originally either igneous or sedimentary rocks. It is often foliated.

Some archaeologists - not all - believe that the stones were a prehistoric lunar observatory. And the Callanish Stones site continues to provide new observations and clues of the prehistoric past.

In 2013 Hebridean archaeologist Ian McHardy made a discovery at Cnoc an Tursa - a rock formation beside the Callanish Stones site - which may be evidence of an ancient sun-powered calendar. Located just outside the main Callanish Stones circle and consisting of five large stones that create a small cave, Cnoc an Tursa was the subject of an excavation by Gerald Coles, Edinburgh University, in the 1990's. 

Such a device would have been required for farming as well as for celebrating annual religious festivals. This idea ties in with the solar and lunar alignments in the main monument.

His research uncovered a number of pits and post holes stretching out in straight lines from the cave; yet no real explanation was found as to what they might have been. But recently, McHardy witnessed an interesting interaction between the sun and Cnoc an Tursa: at noon a shaft of light emanating out from the base of the cave, moving round as the sun travelled across the sky. Further studies revealed that the length of the light beam changed as the year progressed, getting shorter to longer from summer to winter; a large annual sundial.

Such a device would have been required for farming as well as for celebrating annual religious festivals. This idea ties in with the solar and lunar alignments in the main monument.

The Callanish site, which is seeking World Heritage Status, promises to reveal more insights into the prehistory of Scotland as archaeological investigations continue.

http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/british_isles_prehistory_archive/megaliths/index.php

 

COMMENTS

 
Bradshaw FoundationAboutiShopBook ReviewSite MapMailing ListDonateFacebookTwitterContact
If you have enjoyed visiting this section of the website please consider adding a link
Bradshaw Foundation © MMXI
Homepage About the Foundation Contact Us Facebook News Articles Twitter List of Research Papers Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Travel Index About the Expeditions Forthcoming Expeditions Bespoke Expeditions Enquire Practical Information History of Exploration Welcome to the iShop Film Downloads DVD's Sculpture Prints Clothing Messenger Bag eBooks INORA Downloads About iLecture Films Shipping & Handling iLectures In Conversation Video Stories Travel Films Read the reviews Join the free Mailing List Bradshaw Foundation Facebook Friends of the Foundation Archive Index World's Oldest Rock Art Africa Documentary Films South Africa RARI Giraffe Carvings Niger Namibia Western Central Africa Africa Paintings Gallery Tanzania The Tuareg People Tuareg Salt Caravans Gilf Kebir Archive Index San Rock Art Paintings San Bushman San Rock Art Film Origins Centre Johannesburg Archive Index Arizona Baja California Coso Range Nevada Oregon Territory Australia Archive Index Introduction Bradshaw Paintings Kimberley Region The Unambal Hugh Brown Leif Thiele Gallery Dan Clark Grahame Walsh Ian Wilson Bradshaws / Gwion Gwion Archive Index Introduction Origins of the British Stonehenge Sounds of Stonehenge The British Museum British Isles Megaliths Gower Peninsula Rock Art Mendip Hills Prehistory Northumberland Rock Art Red Lady of Paviland Stone Age Mammoth Abattoir Archive Index Yinchuan Museum Rock Art Festival Field Trip Gallery Itinerant Creeds Inner Mongolia & Ningxia Vanishing Civilization Life in Rock Art (PDF) Tibet Tibet Photographs Dazu Rock Carvings Tiger Motif Archive Index Chauvet Cave Lascaux Cave Niaux Cave Cosquer Cave Portable Art Research Paper Tuc d'Audoubert Bison Dr. Jean Clottes Index UNESCO World Heritage Introduction Cave Paintings Gallery Visiting the Chauvet Cave Return to Chauvet Cave Investigating the Cave Venus & Sorcerer Werner Herzog Film Chauvet Publications India Archive Index Rock Art Central India Pachmarhi Hills India Rock Art Gallery Middle East Archive Index Middle East Inroduction Rock Art of Iran Rock Art of Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates Rock Art Ancient Geometry Middle East Colonisation Tanum Rock Art Museum Thor Heyerdahl Archive Index Introduction America's Oldest Art? Pedra Furada Bolivian Rock Art Campeche Island - Brazil Checta Petroglyphs - Peru Cueva de las Manos Santa Catarina Island - Brazil Rock Art in Britain Campeche Rock Art Petroglyphs El Salvador - Corinto Cave Hand Rock Art Paintings Tibetan Rock Art United Arab Emirates Uzbekistan Yinchuan Rock Art Museum Introduction Ice Age Art Gallery Claire Artemyz Jill Cook Interview Cycladic Introduction Cycladic Gallery Introduction Geometric Signs Chart Research Methodology Geometric Signs in France Sign Types/Countries/Regions Bibliography Ancient Symbols in Rock Art Newsletter Archive Download Issues Introduction Genetic Map Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Further Reading Origins of the British BBC Documentary Origins Index Origins Overview 13 Big Questions Stanley Ambrose Homo Floresiensis Herto Skulls Homo Dmanisi Liujiang Skull Introduction Sentinels in Stone Easter Island Rock Art Birdman Cult / Motif Sea & Marine Creatures Design & Motifs Dr Georgia Lee Easter Island Map Contemporary Art Glossary Conclusion Thor Heyerdahl Introduction When & Who Built It? How Was It Built? The Area Sounds of Stonehenge Meaning of a Pyramid Pyramid Studies Pyramid Superstructure Pyramid Substructure Pyramid Preparations Pyramid Building Saqqara Nabil Swelim Temples of Malta and Gozo Research in the Caucasus The Keselo Foundation Homo Dmanisi Ancient Toolmakers Index Introduction Descent into the Cave The Decorated Caves Shamanistic Experience Spring Initiation Rites Summary Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Professor John P. Miller Motif: Eternal Index Han Meilin Bruce Radke Christian Tuki Gordon Ellis-Brown Site Map Search the Website Glossary of Terms & Definition Podcast on iTunes Other Websites Contact the Foundation