The Modern Antiquarian. Ancient Sites, Stone Circles, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic Mysteries

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Showing 1-20 of 33 miscellaneous posts. Most recent first | Next 20

Greece (Country)

An article summarising recently published work on hominins in Greece, suggesting reasons for lack of finds from the early Palaeolithic: climate change, tectonic activity, and sea level rises.

Stonehenge (Stone Circle)

Very important picture of Stonehenge.


Standing Stones of Urquhart (Stone Circle)

'In the midst of Fife's tastefully controlled countryside, we are plunged into another age.

Suffered to remain as a decorative feature in Fife's improved landscape are the bulky megaliths of a Bronze Age stone circle. These alternating pink and grey granite boulders were erected when in Egypt pharaohs were building pyramids. The magic of this Pagan temple of the Sun and Moon persisted into Christian times : ancient gods are remembered in the popular name for the monument - 'The De'il's Stanes'

J. R. Barrett Knock News.

No. 64/June 2012.

Sandend (Cairn(s))

Near the distillery lies the affectionately named 'Cup And Saucer'. This tower like structure is the remains of a windmill, built in the mid-eighteenth century by the local proprietor, General James Alexander of Glasshaugh. Abercromby was at one point Commander in Chief of the British forces in North America, but returned home after a humiliating defeat in battle at Ticonderoga. His windmill was built on top of a Bronze Age Cairn using much of it's stonework. It ceased production during the first half of nineteenth century but stands as a reminder of times gone by.

Mark Leith, Knock News Issue 61
March 2012.

Perth and Kinross

More news about Carpow Log Boat.


These stunningly beautiful glass beads with intricate spiral patterns are known only in the North East. Who made them and why?

More info :

Banchory Manse (Cist)

The inscription on the stone says :

These stones formed part of a Prehistoric Stone Cist which, containing an urn, was discovered here when the highway was made about 1800. An early Celtic Round cross probably from St. Ternan's churchyard is built into the manse wall opposite.

Recorded by the Provost and Town Council of Banchory 1923.

Blackhills House (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art)

'We march down to Blackhills House. Our wonder is a garden feature. Six stone pillars support a jaunty stone-tiled roof. Within this shelter a rugged stone block perches on a little plinth. One face is pocked with a random rash of round pits. On the opposite face are two linked spirals. My map tells me that this a prehistoric Cup Marked Stone. These things are old : Neolithic-Stone Age-the age of the first farmers whose slash-and-burn and simple ploughs tore open Scotland's soil 5,000 years ago-or maybe more. We do not touch the carved designs, though tempted. There is an ancient magic here that urges us to trace the spiralled coils or to place a finger in each pecked-out cup. But what supernatural forces might inhabit the stone-awaiting ritual release.'

John Barrett.

Knock News Issue 42 August 2010.

Mither Tap (Hillfort)

'On the summit of Mither Tap (1698 feet) are the ruins of what is probably a Pictish fort. It was an enormous structure, the total circumference of which must have been over 700 feet. The outer wall is fully fifteen feet in thickness and is carefully built with well coursed masonry having a rampart walk and a parapet. Inside the protected area were found the remains of around ten hut circles, a well and a second wall.'

Algy Watson.

Oyne Past and Present.

Newlands Of Oyne (Cist)

'Two graves of an early historical age, containing some bones and dust, and at least one burial urn were found on the farm of Newlands. In the beginning of August, 1932, the cover stone of a short cist was discovered while excavation was taking place for material to repair the road leading up to the farm of Newlands. On raising this stone a short cist was uncovered on the floor of which lay the remains of a human skeleton and an urn. Mr. George Murray, the farmer, removed the urn to his house, left the bones undisturbed and replaced the cover so that the burial might be examined by one familiar with such deposits. This was a typical short cist of the early Bronze Age and was formed by four slabs set on edge, one at each side and one at each end. The urn which belongs to the beaker class was found intact apart from two cracks on opposite sides of the lip.'

Algy Watson.

Oyne Past and Present.

New Kinord (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

From The Muir Of Dinnet Nature Reserve Leaflet.

The first people probably came to Dinnet around 8,000 years ago but the only evidence that remains is the odd flint chip in the ploughed fields. Some of Scotland's very first farmers settled in Deeside, in Neolithic times around 5,000 years ago. Tiny pollen grains trapped in the mud of the reserve's lochs give a picture of agricultural changes from then onwards. A drop in the amount of tree pollen and an increase in the amount of cereal pollen shows that people were cutting down trees and growing crops 5,000 years ago. Iron Age people, roughly 2,700 to 1,900 years ago, left more visible evidence of a settled farming community in the form of field boundaries, trackways and hut circles in the neck of land between the lochs. Now grassed-over and among the woods, these circles show were the bases of large timber huts once stood. Some two millennia later, farming still forms part of the activity on the Dinnet and Kinord estate, part of which now forms the nature reserve.

Loch Kinord (Crannog)

Loch Kinord is in the Muir Of Dinnet nature reserve. This comes from the info sheet.

Kettle, crannog and castle.

Lochs Kinord and Davan also result from the long vanished ice. They formed when two huge chunks of ice pressed down into the land and melted slowly, leaving hollows called 'kettle holes' which then filled with water as the ice melted.

Loch Kinord, the larger of the two lochs, has a number of small islands. One of these near the north-east shore is artificial. It's an old crannog~a loch dwelling where a large hut sat on a platform, once connected to the shore by a narrow causeway. Around 2.000 years ago, Iron Age people using dug-out oak canoes built it by pushing large oak trunks into the loch bed and piling layers of stone, eart and timber on top, to form the base. A large hut was then built on stakes above the water. The crannog stayed in use until medieval times when King Malcolm Canmore (Malcolm III0 may have kept prisoners here in the 11th century. Malcolm used a wooden 'peel' tower on Castle Island (largest island in the loch) as a hunting lodge.

Loch Kinnord has an ancient crannog which was enlarged in medieval times. This was to be the prison for the adjacent Castle Island. The area around the loch has Kinord Stone, Pictish carvings, and several prehistoric settlements.

Camas an Staca (Standing Stone / Menhir)

"Just a little further on and we moved from history to prehistory at the superbly sited standing stone. This twelve foot high stone goes back 3,000 years before Somerled, to the Bronze Age. Of the men who carried it here we know little. Strangely, it is in Jura that traces of the very first men in Scotland have been found - flint arrowheads uncovered in the sand dating back over 9,000 years. Perhaps the proliferation of the caves, large and small, made Jura a natural island for colonisation by the first shore-dwelling people looking for a place to settle."

Jura In The Sun, from

Tom Weir's Scotland, published 1980.

The Paps of Jura (Sacred Hill)

The energetic Pennant climbed Beinn an Oir, the highest of the Paps Of Jura, but he mentioned its near neighbour, Beinn Shiantaidh. This translates as the "Enchanted Mountain", or more precisely "the Mountain Defended by Enchantment". No archaeological information exists to confirm or deny its use as such, but the name strongly suggests that the mountain was important in the beliefs of the prehistoric peoples of lived on Jura. As Pennant notes, it is one of three grouped close together, and triplicity was thought to be spiritually powerful in the ancient world. And high places seemed to attract those who felt it was important to be near their sky-gods.

Alistair Moffat "Before Scotland"

Studying Pennants Tour Of Scotland 1772.

Cairnton (Stone Circle)

Anybody looking for the cup marked stone, at Westertown (NJ58824450), will be wasting their time. The farmer buried the stone at least ten years ago in the same field in which it had rested for years. There then followed "a stushie" between the Historic Scotland people and the farmer. So, in the end not a very good result.

Mill Of Fisherie (Cairn(s))

This cairn is mentioned in the James Godsman 1952 book King Edward - Aberdeenshire. The Story Of A Parish. There is a photograph of cairn when it wasn't so badly eroded.

Sculptors Cave (Cave / Rock Shelter)

Sculptors Cave.

"On the beach below, (Hopeman Golf Course), is a proper wonder. Access is tricky, a hazardous descent on steep slopes and bare rock; or a slippery scramble around headlands on the shore at low tide. But we feel that a little danger adds spice to our wonder. More than two thousand years ago, spiritual Celts sought out this gloomy cavern for a grizzly cult: a pagan veneration of the human head as a source, symbol and esoteric power. The cavern roof was hung with severed heads: criminals executed for unspeakable crimes; warrior heroes decapitated in battle; apostates beheaded in bloody auto da fe; wise forebears exhibited for their posterity's veneration. And later Celtic people - Picts on the cusp of Christianity - came here to chisel their arcane symbols into the soft sandstone of the cave walls. We have to search to find the sculptures - small and rudely carved among a gallery of subsequent graffiti."

John R. Barrett

Walks and Wonders - Knock News No. 30
August 09

Durn Hill (Hillfort)

"Durn, a hill and a burn in the Fordyce Parish of North Banffshire. The hill culminates 2 miles south west of Portsoy, and, rising to altitude of 651 feet above sea level, is crowned with the remains of an ancient camp, supposed to have been Danish. A quarry on it's northern side yields a beautiful variety of quartz, exported to England for the use of the potteries. The burn, rising near Smithfield (a farm), at an altitude of 600 feet runs 6 miles north-north-eastward to the sea at Portsoy."

Ond. Sur., sh.96, 1876.

Ordnance Gazetteer Of Scotland
by Thomas C. Jack between 1882 and 1885.

(The burn enters the sea at Portsoy harbour right next to the Shore Inn pub. Hurrah!)

Forvie Kerb Cairns (Kerbed Cairn)

Ancient Leftovers.

The dune system you now see at Forvie acts as as a blanket covering an older landscape shaped by our ancestors. People lived on Forvie from the earliest times because it provided many sources of food. The earliest evidence of settlement dates from 8000 years ago and consists of small fragments of flint scattered during tool-making.

Later evidence comes from the people who began farming and burying their dead, about 5000 years ago.

Little circular foundations, most now buried by sand, were part of this use. It continued with kerb cairns, which local people built about 3000 years ago, to cover their cremation burial sites. Three of these cairns lie on land that had previously been farmed.

Forvie National Nature Reserve.

Scottish Natural Heritage.
Showing 1-20 of 33 miscellaneous posts. Most recent first | Next 20
Still doing the music, following that team, drinking far to much and getting lost in the hills! (Some Simple Minds, Glasvegas, Athlete, Us3 on the headphones, good boots and sticks, away I go!) As well whistling Lostboy tunes soon to be whistling another bhoys tunes. Soon!

(The Delerium Trees)

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