After its discovery a few weeks ago in Scotland, a fascinating circle of stone “dated” by experts to more than three millennia ago finally turned out to be only about thirty years old! A disappointment for archaeologists, who still want to relativize the situation.
Discovered on the land of a farm in the town of Leochel-Cushnie, the stone circle first surprised archaeologists by its nature. It has indeed revealed to have a very rare element: a long recumbent stone. A feature that places it in the category of recumbent stone circles, very rare and only present in Scotland and Ireland. In addition to this mineral singularity, the geometry of the construction has also proved quite exceptional.
Of a smaller diameter than the other stone circles, consisting of smaller rocks, and devoid of typical elements of such archaeological remains – including a cairn, a pile of stones generally present in this type of place – the circle of Leochel-Cushnie stone is simply unique. Especially exciting for archaeologists at Historic Environment Scotland – a public agency in charge of protecting Scottish heritage – and the Aberdeenshire Council Archeology Service (ACAS), the archeology department of Aberdeenshire.
But against all odds, the excitement suddenly unraveled a few days ago; the unexpected revelations of the owner of the lands on which was discovered the stone circle have put an end to it.
The farmer revealed that he was at the origin of this construction a priori historical. By his own admission, he would have erected the stones of the circle in the 1990s. His goal: to create a replica of the real archaeological remains that punctuate the region. A disconcerting revelation for archaeologists.
“It is obviously disappointing to learn this new fact, but it also adds an interesting element to its history”, relativizes the archaeologist Neil Ackerman in a statement issued by the Council of Aberdeenshire. “The fact that it faithfully reproduces a typical monument of the region demonstrates the local knowledge, taste and commitment of the local community to the archeology of the region,” says the specialist.
Far from being a pure hoax, the construction done by the Scottish farmer – apparently for his simple pleasure – is of such a quality that it still arouses a certain interest for archaeologists. “We always welcome reports of any new modern reconstruction of ancient monuments, especially those built with the [same] skill as this stone circle and referring to existing types of monuments,” concludes Neil Ackerman.