neolithic

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Unnamed Stone Circle, Rhinogs or Rhinogau, North Wales, 21.4.18.

This may well be the smallest stone circle in the United Kingdom and it is double lined with a stunning view of the surrounding mountains.

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Necropolis of Montessu, Sardinia

The necropolis is located on the southern side of the hill of Sa Pranedda, near Villaperuccio. Set within a large natural amphitheater, it has about forty domus de janas (pre-Nuragic chamber tombs) and is one of the largest and most important archaeological sites of Sardinia. The site dates back to the pre-Nuragic period (3rd millennium BC) and it was in use for a millennium by the peoples of the Ozieri, Abealzu-Filigosa, Monte Claro, Bell Beaker and Bonnanaro cultures.

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Knap of Howar, Orkney Islands, Scotland

The Knap of Howar on the island of Papa Westray is a Neolithic farmstead which may be the oldest preserved stone house in northern Europe. Radiocarbon dating shows that it was occupied from 3700 BC to 2800 BC, earlier than the similar houses in the settlement at Skara Brae on the Orkney Mainland.The farmstead consists of two adjacent rounded rectangular thick-walled buildings with very low doorways facing the sea. The larger and older structure is linked by a low passageway to the other building, which has been interpreted as a workshop or a second house. Though they now stand close to the shore, they would have originally lain inland. The stone furniture is intact giving a vivid impression of life in the house. Items found in middens (refuse heaps) show that the inhabitants were keeping cattle, sheep and pigs, cultivating barley and wheat and gathering shellfish as well as fishing for species which have to be line caught using boats. Finds of finely-made and decorated Unstan ware pottery link the inhabitants to chambered cairn tombs nearby and to sites far afield including Balbridie and Eilean Domhnuill. The name Howar is believed to be derived from Old Norse word haugr meaning mounds or barrows.

6,000-year-old Decorative Wood Carving Found on Welsh Mountainside

An intricate pattern covers one side, an oval motif covers the other. At about 1.7 m long, or 5.5 feet, it’s a big piece of wood. And if the dating holds up, it is the oldest decorative wood carving in Europe. Analyses currently place it at 6,270 years old, to the Late Mesolithic/Early Neolithic period.

The wood carving is one of twelve lengths of timber that were uncovered on this particular Welsh mountainside; once the carving was found, further excavations were done on the hillside, but nothing besides the timber was found. That suggests the 12 lengths of timber were placed on this specific hill for a specific purpose. Archaeologists have theorized a number of possible purposes, including a tribal boundary, a hunting ground, and a sacred spot.

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Haunted Meayll Hill Stone Circle, Isle of Man

Meayll Hill (Mull Hill) is not a true stone circle, but a unique group of Neolithic chambered tombs built around 3500 BC. These tombs are characteristic for Neolithic farmers in the British Isles, but the arrangement of 12 of them in ring formation is very unusual and no one knows why they were arranged this way. A group of stone foundations of Neolithic huts can be found nearby to the east with an ancient pathway running between the two sites.

According to local lore, some visitors have had unpleasant paranormal experiences at Meayll Hill, including the feeling of sudden disorientation. Others have seen unexplained moving lights and heard strange sounds, like the cadence of invisible horses trotting or galloping by. One tale says that a phantom army of horsemen has been seen riding along the circle.

The site is located just outside the village of Cregneash at the southern end of the Isle of Man, in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland.

Click here to aerial video of Meayll Hill.

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Crawick Multiverse Cosmological Landscape Art, Sanquhar, Scotland, 4.2.17. This is my third and final set of images from this prehistoric and cosmologically inspired piece of landscape art. Wet weather and overcast skies didn’t reduce the impressive atmosphere of the site. I’ll hopefully make a return visit soon.

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The King’s Men Stone Circle, England

The King’s Men are part of the Rollright Stones, a complex of three Neolithic and Bronze Age megalithic monuments near the village of Long Compton, on the borders of Oxfordshire and Warwickshire. Constructed from local oolitic limestone, the three monuments now known as the King’s Men and the Whispering Knights in Oxfordshire and the King Stone in Warwickshire, are distinct in their design and purpose, and were built at different periods in late prehistory.

The King’s Men is a a stone circle which was constructed in the Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age; unusually, it has parallels to other circles located further north, in the Lake District, implying a trade-based or ritual connection.

By the Early Modern period, folkloric stories had grown up around the Stones, telling of how they had once been a king and his knights who had been turned to stone by a witch; such stories continued to be taught amongst local people well into the 19th century. In the 20th century, the stones became an important site for adherents of various forms of Contemporary Paganism, as well as for other esotericists who hold magico-religious ceremonies there. They also began to appear more widely in popular culture, featuring in television, literature, music and art.

Orkney Neolithic 'butterfly-like' motifs found by chance

Neolithic markings carved into a stone in Orkney that were missed for years by archaeologists have been discovered by chance.

The faintly incised “butterfly-like” motifs were revealed on Tuesday as sunlight lit up the rock at the “right moment, at the right angle”.

Experts believe the marks were deliberately made to be delicate and to catch light at certain times of day.

The find was made during excavations at Ness of Brogdar.

The incisions are so faint they do not show up in photographs taken so far of the stone.

The block formed part of wall of a structure at the dig site. It has since been moved to safe location. Read more.

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Cors y Gedol Burial Chamber, North Wales, 12.4.17.

Last time I visited this site was in the last day of 2016. Very different weather this time! One of my favourite prehistoric burial chambers with a notable capstone. It is roughly 84ft in length and likely built in the Neolithic. 

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Illustration (and detail) of the construction of Göbekli Tepe, a mysterious structure in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey that features the oldest known megaliths and challenges what is commonly known about the Neolithic—and about civilization in general…

Radiocarbon dating suggests the structure is about 10,000 years old, pre-dating pottery, metallurgy, writing, and the wheel, but the location itself may have served as a spiritual center even before that, making it the world’s oldest religious site.

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Dolmen of the Pierre Levée, La Chapelle-Vendômoise

This limestone dolmen is located just south of La Chapelle-Vendômoise in the Loir-et-Cher department in central France. It is a classic Angevin dolmen, which face east and have a lowered anteroom (portico) leading to a larger room. It is thought to date as far back as the Neolithic period and is still in nearly complete condition.