I was fortunate to visit Stonehenge many years ago, and the circular formation of those huge stones impacted me in such a way, I've never forgotten them.
Over the years I'd heard about other circular stone formations, but it wasn't until I started writing my current work in progress, Virtue and Valor, set partially in 1818 Scotland I decided to research them.
My Scottish heroine is fascinated with the ancient structures, and naturally when Isobel insists I acquire information for her, I rush to do her bidding. I don't know about you, but my characters are rather demanding at times.
|Standing Stones of Callanish|
These giant slabs of granite were used to track lunar activity 5000 years ago. I can't imagine how ancient peoples managed to move something that humongous.
Legend (spread by the Kirk of Scotland) has it that the stones are sinners who committed heathen acts on the Sabbath and were turned to stone as a result.
Cnoc Ceann a Gharraidh (Saint Sandstones) and Cnoc Fhillibhir Beheag are two more structures within the Callanish group and are equally marvelous.
The Ring of Brodgar is a large henge and stone circle (originally 60 stones, now a scant 27). I find it fascinating that scientists have been unable to date it, though it is thought to be between 2000 and 2500 years old.
|Rings of Brodgar|
|Easter Aquhorthies Stone Circle|
the upright, sanding stones of Stonehenge, the Standing Stones of Callanish, or the Ring of Brodgar, the Easter Aquhorthies, like 100 similar formations in Scotland, has a stone lying on its side, hedged by two upright stones. Thought to be about 4000 years old, their use is unknown.
You'd think with so many of them perched about Scotland, someone would have figured that out by now.
There are also several lone, standing stones in Scotland, one of the most famous being the Aberlemno Sculpted Stones, including the Serpent Stone. The purpose for these Pictish symbol stones is unknown.
Hubby and I are taking a trip to Scotland in the summer of 2015. You can bet we'll be visiting some of these amazing sites.
So there you have it; delving into my heroine's obsession with Scottish history. See what we authors do to make sure our readers get accurate historical details?
What ancient symbolic structures or formations would you like to see?
All images are courtesy of Wikimedia Commons