The Ring of Brogdar is
Neolithic henge and stone circle located in Orkney, Scotland. While the site
has not yet been reliably dated, it’s commonly believed to have been erected
sometime between 2500 BC and 2000 BC. In 2008 an excavation was undertaken to
try and settle the dating issue, but the results are still only preliminary.
The ring consists of about 60 stones, only 27 of which are
still standing. They are set within a ditch that’s about 3 meters deep and
carved from solid sandstone bedrock. The stone circle is 104 meters in
diameter, making it the third largest in the British Isles, and is the most
truly circular stone circle from the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age.
The first formal survey of the ring was performed in 1849 by
Captain F. W. L. Thomas and crew. They were in the area drawing up admiralty
charts when they decided to perform archaeological surveys. Since then, surveys
and studies are routine, and the site is currently the target of ongoing excavations
by Orkney College. Over the course of several years the ring has come to be
understood as an area of significant ritual important after discoveries of
chambered tombs, barrows, cairns, arrowheads, flint, some fallen stones, and
the remains of a 100 meter stone wall. The exact purpose is not known, but in
1999 the ancient monument because a UNESCO World Heritage Site and recognized
as part of the “Heart of Neolithic Orkney.”
That said, the site is a complex archaeological find for another
reason as well. It was slightly augmented by Nordic invaders sometime around
the 9th century during a series of Viking incursions into the
British Isles. Various runes and runic carvings have shown up on stones and
artefacts at the site, and serve as yet another example of how the Vikings
imposed their complex theology onto existing monuments.
Neolithic figurine, over 7,000 years old, unearthed at Turkey’s Çatalhöyük
Archaeologists at Turkey’s neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in central Anatolia have unearthed a “unique” complete female figurine, The Ministry of Culture and Tourism said on Tuesday.
The statuette, measuring 17 centimeters (6.7 inches) long and weighing one kilogram (2.2 pounds), is considered unique due to its intact form and fine craftsmanship; it dates back to about 5500-8000 BC, a statement said.
The figurine, which is made of marmoreal stone and considered to be part of a ritual, was discovered by the international team of archaeologists working on site led by Professor Ian Hodder, anthropologist at Stanford University in the U.S.
One of the world’s first urban centers which dates back 9,000 years, Çatalhöyük is included in the 2012 UNESCO World Heritage List.
“Çatalhöyük has been the subject of investigation for more than 50 years. Researchers from around the world have travelled to the site over the past half-century to study its vast landscape of buildings, remarkable ways of life, and its many exquisite works of art and craft.
"Since 1993, the Catalhoyuk Research Project has recruited an international group of specialists to pioneer new archaeological, conservation and curatorial methods on and off site. Simultaneously, it aims to advance our understandings of human life in the past,” according to the official website.
The Neolithic site of Skara Brae in Scotland’s Orkney Islands.
Skara Brae is the best preserved Neolithic village in Western Europe. Occupation began about 3180 BC and continued for about 600 years.
All the houses were well built of closely fitting flat stone slabs and linked by
covered passageways. The structures of this semi-subterranean village survive in impressive condition as well as the furniture in the houses. Each house comprised a single room with a floor
space. The fitted stone furniture within each room
comprised a ‘dresser’, where prized objects may have been stored and
displayed, two box-beds and a stone hearth centrally placed and used for heating and cooking. Just outside the complex of houses, a workshop stands on its own where chert (a local flint substitute) was made into stone tools.
Artefacts like tools, pottery, gaming dice, richly carved stone objects and jewellery (necklaces, beads, pendants and pins) have been discovered. No weapons have been found and the settlement
was not in a readily defended location.
Skara Braewas discovered in 1850 when a violent storm ravaged the Orkney Islands and revealed the Neolithic village buried beneath the sand dunes.In 1999 Skara Brae (along with the other Orkney sites Maeshowe, the Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness) were designated as a World Heritage site.
Day 2 in Dublin
- went hiking the local hills up to the Hellfire club, host to many a local spooky legend
- was once a hunting lodge in the 1700s, built on the site of a 5000 year old Neolithic burial site (a circle of stones is still there around the sunken mound) now it’s just some ruins
- and the walls ooze green slime! (Also, slugs fall from the ceiling)
- we saw a rainbow on our way back! (From the top part of a double decker bus)
- saw the book of Kells in Trinity college that afternoon; really beautiful illumination and a really cool old library- no pics allowed though
- tooled around temple bar in the evening; picked up a book of Irish ghost stories from a flea market :).
- There were a lot of cool books though! One was published in 1816!
- read the post below for our interesting evening experience…
Magical/ritual lore: Fossils are the remains- or the negative impressions- of ancient creatures and plants that perished millions of years ago. Through eons they have been transformed into stone. Because they were once alive, fossils are linked with Akasha, the fifth element.
In the mystic language of the psychic mind, fossils represent time, eternity, and evolution. They are a tangible example of how nothing in nature- not even prehistoric sea creation- is wasted. Energy cannot be destroyed, only manifestations of energy. Matter is transmutable.
The ritual use of fossils is ancient. Fossils have been found in Neolithic burial sites in Europe. Why were they placed there? We can only speculate. Protection? Guidance to the other world? Assurance of rebirth?
Fossils are used as power tools by shamans throughout the world to amplify energy. Many contemporary Wiccans place them on their altars because of their mystic significance.
Magical uses: Though not stones in the usual sense of the word, the minerals that replace the ancient creatures and plants create rock-like substances, and so fossils have a definite place in a work of stone and crystal magic.
In general, fossils are used as protective objects. They are placed in the home, or fashioned into jewelry and worn to increase your natural defenses. In Morocco, stones embedded with fossils are carried for protective purposes.
Due to their enormous age, fossils of all types are also worn as amulets to increase the life span.
They can be placed in the altar as symbols of the Earth and the ambiguity of time, or to increase the power of magical rituals.
Some types of fossils have specific magical uses.
Ammonites (pictured), known in the Middle Ages as draconites, are fossilized, spiral shaped sea animals. Due to their bizarre appearance, they were thought to be stones removed from dragon’s heads, and were bound to the left arm for magical protection. In more recent times in Britain, they were known as “snake stones”.
Ancient sponges, sometimes found in Britain, are known as “Witch stones”. They are round and pierced through with a natural hole. These fossils are strung and worn like beads or hung in the house for protection.
Fossilized sand dollars, which show a natural five-point design, are often found on Wiccan altars. They are linked with the pentagram, an ancient protective symbol, and the elements. Because they and all fossils are ruled by Akasha, the fifth element, these ancient sand dollars are carried or used in magic to gain awareness of the realms of earth, air, fire, and water. Once this has been achieved, elemental magic can begin.
(Source: Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem and Metal Magic)
Of all the mysterious places on Earth, there are few that can
compete with Stonehenge - mysterious stone monument located in the vicinity of Salisbury
in South England.
The latest theory of the manner of construction and
transmission of the large stone blocks is suggesting the possibility that the
builders of the Neolithic used round carriers.
Megaliths, the large vertically set stone blocks are over
three meters high and weigh few tons. They are set in a circle and it is
believed that they are standing there for 3000-5000 years. Archaeologists from
the Stonehenge Riverside Project believe that this place served as a cemetery.
But some other issues have led scientists to thinking that maybe there is some
secret or even scientific reason for the existence of such structure. The
position of the megaliths is indicating that Stonehenge could actually be a
sophisticated astronomical observatory.
The transport of the
megaliths from a quarry that was 150 miles away from the building place
One of the questions
is how were the megaliths transferred and positioned. They were transported
from a quarry 150 miles away from the building place? Perhaps the secret is
finally revealed. Scientists from the University of Exeter have been experimenting
with round wooden beds, placed in long and thick carved wooden planks. When you
set heavy concrete blocks on platform beds they are easily moved.
Archaeologist Andrew Young climbed to such a unit to add
weight and looked the construction during the transport.
“The real test of this theory was when a colleague moved
me and the block using only one finger. Little push with the finger and flew
forward. “-says Young. ”It proved that by using such a platform you can move
large and heavy objects, even the megaliths of Stonehenge.”
National Geographic prepared
a special episode
After these successful experiments, archaeologists believe
that the builders of Stonehenge, if they used this method, they could take up
to 10 miles a day. It would mean that the stone blocks from the quarry to the
construction site could reach in about two weeks.
National Geographic prepared a special episode, “Stonehenge
decoded”, in which we can see a several different theories about the
building of Stonehenge - the prehistoric computer, an astronomical observatory,
a place of worship, a cemetery and even the possibility that the monoliths were
created by aliens.