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A Scottish Stone Circle Believed To Be 6000 Years Old Was Actually Built In The 1990s

A Scottish Stone Circle Believed To Be 6000 Years Old Was Actually Built In The 1990s


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At the end of last year archaeologists in Scotland celebrated the rare discovery of a complete stone circle. Now, however, a farmer has come forward declaring that he built it himself in the 1990s.

Last year the current owner of the Aberdeenshire farm in Leochel-Cushnie alerted the Aberdeenshire Council about the presence of what appeared to be an ancient stone circle, and it was treated as a significant archaeological discovery by Historic Environment Scotland.

A Press and Journal article on 17th December said that, “Neil Ackerman, a historic environment record assistant at Aberdeenshire Council, visited the site along with Adam Welfare, Alison McCaig and Katrina Gilmour from Historic Environment Scotland.” An excited Mr Ackerman told reporters that, “This amazing new site” added to archaeologists knowledge of these unique monuments and of the prehistoric archaeology of the region in general.

And while Mr Ackerman could be accused of not having done sufficient research before making such a claim, he was somewhat misled. A Live Science article in December quoting Ackerman said, “One member of a local farming family, now in her 80s, remembered seeing the stone circle at some time in the 1930s.” With no reason to dispute the old lady’s claim he believed in the authenticity of the stone circle and it was heralded as one of the rarest archaeological finds in the UK last year.

The Truth Always Surfaces

Now, a former owner of the Leochel-Cushnie farm has come forward explaining that he designed and built the stone circle in the 1990s. A Sky article added humor to the revelation by saying that the council had continued to research the arrangement, “hoping to uncover secrets of millennia gone by but now know that it heralds from the era of the Spice Girls rather than the Bronze Age.”

Responding to this devastating information Neil Ackerman told reporters at The Guardian that it was “disappointing” but he still hopes that the site would still be “used and enjoyed”. The circle adheres closely to the actual methodology applied by the 3500-4500 year old stone circle builders of the north east coast of Scotland and added to its exotic location it’s a fascinating tourist feature, despite its age.

East Aquhothies Stone Circle. ( Aberdeenshire Council )

The fake monument is a scaled down version of another Aberdeenshire circle called East Aquhorthies Stone Circle. Both are known as ‘ recumbent stone circles ’ - a monument type only found in north-east Scotland and both stone arrangements feature a stone set on its side and flanked by two upright stones. It is believed the moon was observed in this stone portal enabling early farmers to determine when best to plant seeds and harvest crops.

Misunderstandings Are Forgivable, Hoaxes Aren’t

A research paper titled The Cardiff Giant, by Ruth A. Gallaher, published on the University of Iowa’s Research Repository discusses a blatant archaeological hoax which occurred in 1869. William Newall, and his cousin, George Hullon were digging on their New York farmland and unearthed an 11-foot-tall stone man that appeared to be in agony. While Native Americans weren't known for carving statues of giant people, not a single archaeologist questioned the authenticity of the discovery and the discoverers proceeded to sell a lot of tickets to the public to come and see the obscurity.

Cardiff Giant being exhumed in 1869. ( Public Domain )

According to an article on Hacked, the farm owners claimed that the statue was actually a “petrified, fossilized giant from Bible times, possibly a friend or relative of Goliath.” However, under oath, George Hull later admitted to having obtained an 11-foot block of gypsum stone under the pretense that he was going to commission a statue of Abraham Lincoln, preceded to carve and then buried the “giant man and spent a year practicing their surprised faces.”

  • Beltany Stone Circle: Bronze Age Megalithic Site is a Gem in Ireland’s Ancient Landscape
  • Geometric Stone Spheres of Scotland: Part 1 – More Than A Projectile - What Possible Purpose 5,000-years Ago?
  • Moon Rituals, Head-Binding, and Ground-up Bones: Highlighting the Mysterious Beaker People

The Cardiff Giant ( CC BY-SA 2.0 )

The Cardiff Giant was a money making ploy aimed at the wallets of the God fearing people of America.

On the contrary, the farmer who came forward in Scotland owning up to having built the stone circle had an important moral choice to make last December after he read of the stone circle’s discovery; he could have said nothing and his creation would have been cemented in the prehistory of Scotland.

Ackerman told reporters that “these types of monument are notoriously difficult to date” and modern replicas of ancient monuments are recorded just in case “they are later misidentified.”


Scottish stone circle isn’t so ancient after all, archaeologists say

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The strange saga of a supposedly prehistoric monument in a Scottish farmer’s field came full circle this week. Archaeologists announced two weeks ago that they’d discovered a 3,500- to 4,500-year-old stone circle standing in a farmer’s field outside the town of Alford, 40km (25 miles) west of Aberdeen. In a surprising twist this week, the circle turned out to actually be the work of the local farmer who owned the land in the 1990s.

“It is totally OK to laugh at this story. We all have!” archaeologist Neil Ackerman of Aberdeen Council Archaeology told Ars Technica in an email. “While on the surface this is a humorous story about us getting it initially wrong, it is an example of how archaeological research is carried out and that initial interpretations end up changing as new information comes along.”


Explore the Callanish Standing Stones in 360 Degrees

This view gives you a close up 360 of how it feels to be right in the centre of the stones during a midsummer sunset. As you scroll around, the detail allows you to see and almost feel the texture of the standing stones, while the sea loch, Loch Ceann Hulabhaig flanks the small crofting peninsula. The main stone is estimated to be up to 7 tonnes in weight and is 4.8m high.

“To gaze into the circle stones of Callanish is to gaze into a place where time has no meaning.”

An Ancient Observatory?

No one truly knows why the stones were built, but many historians and scientists believe the most probable reason is that the stones are an ancient type of astronomical observatory or celestial calendar.

Archaeological research over a number of generations has uncovered that the Standing Stones of Callanish appear to be aligned with movements of the solar system. The stones are positioned to align with the path of the sun and the moon at different points in the solar circle. A tall monolith stands at the heart of the circle, with smaller stones radiating out to the east, west, and south. An ‘avenue’ runs from the north consisting of two rows of stones.

It seems too much of an incredible coincidence that it wasn’t the intention of the ancient people of Scotland.

The Summer Solstice

The longest day of the year, or the summer solstice, occurs once a year around 21st June. People all over the UK celebrate the longest day at landmarks throughout Britain including, most famously, Stonehenge. Here in Scotland the Callanish Standing Stones is the ideal place to enjoy the longest day and watch the sun both set and rise within a few short hours.

The word ‘solstice’ comes from the Latin word ‘solstitum,’ which translates to the ‘sun standing still.’ On the longest day the sun stops moving northward and it signals that each day will shorten in increments.

Historically pagans celebrated the summer solstice as they believed it was the day where the veil between our world and the next one was at its most fragile. Thus the fairies magic was believed to be at their most powerful.

Some Quirky Folklore

Since the erection of the stone circle thousands of years ago the human race has advanced at an accelerated rate but there’s one thing that hasn’t really changed: our capacity for imagination.

  • One early story was that the standing stones were living Giants that once walked among the earth, but they were petrified by St Kieran who thought them to be evil spirits when they refused to convert to Christianity.
  • In the 17 th century islanders on Lewis would refer to the stones in Gaelic as ‘fir bhreige,’ which translates to false men.
  • Another tale tells of a glowing entity, known as the ‘Shining One’, walking the northern avenue stones early midsummer morning, his arrival signalled by the call of a cuckoo.
  • Another legend states that the stones were once buried deep beneath the earth and were uncovered by a very determined and strong farmer who was out looking for rocks to build a wall.

THE JACOBITE RISINGS

It all started with James VII, as we called him in Scotland or James II as he was known in England, the last Roman Catholic monarch to reign over the kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland. Invaded by his Protestant son-in-law and subsequently overthrown, James was forced into exile in France.

From 1689- 1690 Viscount Dundee, James' most zealous Scottish supporter, rallied troops and turned to military action against William and Mary's government forces. The first Jacobite rising broke out but didn't prove popular at all.

In 1707, the two kingdoms of Scotland and England were united much to the dismay of those who supported the Jacobite cause. James VIII/III attempted to claim the throne twice, in 1708 and in 1715, which resulted in a rising led by the Earl of Mar. In 1719, the Jacobites found an ally in Spain and this rebellion was led by Lord Tullibardine and Earl Marischal.

After failing to persuade the French government to commit to another invasion, Prince Charles, the 'Young Pretender', decided to fund his own rising. He sailed from France to Scotland, arriving on Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides in July 1745 and then travelled across the Highlands, to assemble a Jacobite army. This venture ended in the Battle of Culloden in 1745 whereby the Scottish army was defeated in what is probably the worst event to have ever overtaken Scotland.


An ancient Scottish stone circle thought to be 4,000 years old turned out to be a 1990s replica.

A stone circle in rural Scotland that caused excitement among archaeologists when it was discovered last month is actually a replica built in the 1990s, it has emerged. When they were reported to authorities by a local farmer, the ring of ten stones in the parish of Leochel-Cushnie in Aberdeenshire were thought to be thousands of years old.

Archaeologists initially believed the site was a previously unidentified “recumbent stone circle”, a type of formation unique to north east Scotland. Almost 100 others exist across the region. Their defining feature is a large horizontal stone known as the recumbent, which is flanked by two upright stones and is usually situated between the south east to south west of the circle. At the time, the supposed new discovery was hailed by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and Aberdeenshire Council, which described it as an “amazing” find.

Recumbent stone circles are unique to the north east of Scotland (Photo: PA)

But as archaeologists set about investigating the site, a former owner of the farm contacted a stone circle specialist at HES to admit that he had constructed the circle in the mid-1990s. The confusion apparently arose because the current owner of the farm did not move in until long after the circle was made and did not realise it was the work of a previous occupant.

Missed Clue

When they first saw the circle, archaeologists thought it was unusual as its diameter was about 10ft smaller than most of the others in the area and it used smaller stones. But as there is wide variation in the style of such circles, these puzzling aspects were not enough to suggest it was a fake. Neil Ackerman, historic environment record assistant at Aberdeenshire Council, said: “It is obviously disappointing to learn of this development, but it also adds an interesting element to its story. “That it so closely copies a regional monument type shows the local knowledge, appreciation and engagement with the archaeology of the region by the local community. “I hope the stones continue to be used and enjoyed – while not ancient, it is still in a fantastic location and makes for a great feature in the landscape.”

He continued: “These types of monument are notoriously difficult to date. For this reason we include any modern replicas of ancient monuments in our records in case they are later misidentified. “We always welcome reports of any new, modern reconstructions of ancient monuments, especially those built with the skill of this stone circle and that reference existing monument types.” The average size of a recumbent stone is 24 tonnes. The people who constructed them carefully levered and chocked them up to ensure that their upper surface was as level as possible. While their purpose is still largely unknown, in several cases such circles appear to have been converted into burial monuments, usually signified by the construction of a cairn within the ring.


Archaeologists Fall Victim to an “Ancient” Scottish Stone Circle Hoax

Archaeologists studying a stone circle they believed to be thousands of years old were left embarrassed, when the former owner of the land admitted he’d built it in the 1990s.

According to The Guardian, the stone circle in Leochel-Cushnie in the northeast of Scotland was being studied by Historic Environment Scotland and Aberdeenshire Council archaeology service.

Appearing to be a recumbent stone circle, it struck archaeologists as worthy of study due to its unusually small diameter and the small size of its stones.

Recumbent stone circles are only found in Aberdeenshire in the northeast of Scotland, and Cork and Kerry in the southwest of Ireland.

Of approximately 200 known to exist, 99 of them are Scottish. They are made up of a ring of vertical upright stones and single recumbent horizontal one which is often raised on a bed of earth so that it has the same height as the other stones.

The Aberdeenshire stones were believed to have been used for astronomical purposes, as generally the horizontal stone is set on the southwestern side of the circle and once every 18 and half years the moon appears to be lower to the Earth (called a lunar standstill) and look as if it is “framed” above the horizontal stone.

Further evidence of sacred ritualistic use comes from the recovering of shards of pottery and charred human bones, and shards of glittering quartz crystal were scattered around the recumbent stone, perhaps to reflect the moonlight.

They’ve fascinated people for centuries. Antiquarians attributed them to the druids, the semi-mythical pagan priesthood of the Celts, and called them “Druid’s Temples” or “Druid Circles” — with the recumbent stone referred to as “the altar.”

In reality, very little is known of the belief systems of the ancient cultures who inhabited Britain, only the propaganda of the later Roman invaders, and the romantic fantasies of more recent writers.

With few facts to explain their purpose or indeed how these massive stones were moved into place, communities local to recumbent stone circles resorted to folklore instead.

Many recumbent stone circles have tales of guardian spirits or hidden treasure fixed to them. Hollow indentations in the stones were sometimes said to be the sinister cloven hoof marks of the Devil, while horizontal stones were described as the seats of early Christian saints and missionaries, especially if they were near to churches or other religious sites.

Aberdeenshire’s recumbent stone circles were erected between 3,000 and 2,500 BC during the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age — with one exception, of course. Not an intentional hoax, the Leochel-Cushnie stone circle was built in the Nineties as a replica, but when the farm which owned the land was sold, the new owners thought it was real and reported it to the authorities.

Neil Ackerman, the historic environment record assistant at Aberdeenshire council, tried to look on the bright side.

“It is obviously disappointing to learn of this development, but it also adds an interesting element to its story,” Ackerman told the Guardian. “That it so closely copies a regional monument type shows the local knowledge, appreciation and engagement with the archaeology of the region by the local community.

“I hope the stones continue to be used and enjoyed. While not ancient, it is still in a fantastic location and makes for a great feature in the landscape.”

Ackerman added: “These types of monument are notoriously difficult to date. For this reason we include any modern replicas of ancient monuments in our records in case they are later misidentified.

“We always welcome reports of any new, modern reconstructions of ancient monuments, especially those built with the skill of this stone circle and that reference existing monument types.”


Contents

The origin of human games and sports predates recorded history. An example of a possible early games venue is at Fetteresso, although that location is technically a few miles south of the Scotland Highlands.

The first historical reference to the type of events held at Highland Games in Scotland was made during the time of King Malcolm III (Scottish Gaelic: Máel Coluim c. 1031 – 13 November 1093) when he summoned men to race up Craig Choinnich overlooking Braemar with the aim of finding the fastest runner in Scotland to be his royal messenger. They were also thought to have originally been events where the strongest and bravest soldiers in Scotland would be tested. These gatherings were not only about trials of strength. Musicians and dancers were encouraged to reveal their skill and talents and so be a great credit to the clan that they represented.

There is a document from 1703 summoning the clan of the Laird of Grant, Clan Grant. They were to arrive wearing Highland coats and "also with gun, sword, pistol and dirk". [note 3] From this letter, it is believed that the competitions would have included feats of arms.

However, the modern Highland games are largely a Victorian invention, developed after the Highland Clearances.

Heavy events Edit

In their original form many centuries ago, Highland games revolved around athletic and sports competitions. Though other activities were always a part of the festivities, many today still consider Highland athletics to be what the games are all about—in short, that the athletics are the Games, and all the other activities are just entertainment. Regardless, it remains true today that the athletic competitions are at least an integral part of the events and one—the caber toss—has come to almost symbolise the Highland games.

Although quite a range of events can be a part of the Highland athletics competition, a few have become standard.

    : A long log is stood upright and hoisted by the competitor who balances it vertically holding the smaller end in his hands (see photo). Then the competitor runs forward attempting to toss it in such a way that it turns end over end with the upper (larger) end striking the ground first. The smaller end that was originally held by the athlete then hits the ground in the 12 o'clock position measured relative to the direction of the run. If successful, the athlete is said to have turned the caber. Cabers vary greatly in length, weight, taper, and balance, all of which affect the degree of difficulty in making a successful toss. Competitors are judged on how closely their throws approximate the ideal 12 o'clock toss on an imaginary clock. or “putting the heavy stone”: This event is similar to the modern-day shot put as seen in the Olympic Games. Instead of a steel shot, a large stone of variable weight is often used. There are also some differences from the Olympic shot put in allowable techniques. There are two versions of the stone toss events, differing in allowable technique. The "Braemar Stone" uses a 20–26 lb (9–12 kg) stone for men (13–18 lb or 6–8 kg for women) and does not allow any run up to the toeboard or "trig" to deliver the stone, i.e., it is a standing put. In the "Open Stone" using a 16–22 lb (7–10 kg) stone for men (8–12 lb or 3.5–5.5 kg for women), the thrower is allowed to use any throwing style so long as the stone is put with one hand with the stone resting cradled in the neck until the moment of release. Most athletes in the open stone event use either the "glide" or the "spin" techniques. : This event is similar to the hammer throw as seen in modern-day track and field competitions, though with some differences. In the Scottish event, a round metal ball weighing 16 or 22 lb (7.25 or 10 kg) for men, or 12 or 16 lb (5.5 or 7.25 kg) for women, is attached to the end of a shaft about 4 feet (1.2 metres) in length and made out of wood, bamboo, rattan, or plastic. With the feet in a fixed position, the hammer is whirled about one's head and thrown for distance over the shoulder. Hammer throwers sometimes employ specially designed footwear with flat blades to dig into the turf to maintain their balance and resist the centrifugal forces of the implement as it is whirled about the head. This substantially increases the distance attainable in the throw.
    , also known as the weight for distance event. There are actually two separate events, one using a light (28 lb for men and 14 lb for women) and the other a heavy (56 lb for men, 42 lb for masters men, and 28 lb for women) weight. The weights are made of metal and have a handle attached either directly or by means of a chain. The implement is thrown using one hand only, but otherwise using any technique. Usually a spinning technique is employed. The longest throw wins. , also known as weight for height. The athletes attempt to toss a 56-pound (4-stone) weight with an attached handle over a horizontal bar using only one hand. Each athlete is allowed three attempts at each height. Successful clearance of the height allows the athlete to advance into the next round at a greater height. The competition is determined by the highest successful toss with fewest misses being used to break tie scores. : A bundle of straw (the sheaf) weighing 20 pounds (9.1 kg) for the men and 10 pounds (4.5 kg) for the women and wrapped in a burlap bag is tossed vertically with a pitchfork over a raised bar much like that used in pole vaulting. The progression and scoring of this event is similar to the Weight Over The Bar. There is significant debate among athletes as to whether the sheaf toss is in fact an authentic Highland event. Some argue it is actually a country fair event, but all agree that it is a great crowd pleaser. [citation needed]
  • Maide-leisg (Scots Gaelic meaning 'Lazy Stick', pronounced[matʲəˈʎeʃkʲ] ): Trial of strength performed by two men/people sitting on the ground with the soles of their feet pressing against each other. Thus seated, they hold a stick between their hands which they pull against each other until one of them is raised from the ground. The oldest 'Maide Leisg' competition in the world takes place at the Carloway show and Highland Games on the Isle of Lewis.

Many of the Heavy Events competitors in Scottish highland athletics are former high school and college track and field athletes who find the Scottish games are a good way to continue their competitive careers.

Increasingly in the USA, the Heavy Events are attracting women and master class athletes which has led to a proliferation of additional classes in Heavy Events competitions. Lighter implements are used in the classes.

Music Edit

For many Highland games festival attendees, the most memorable of all the events at the games is the massing of the pipe bands. Normally held in conjunction with the opening and closing ceremonies of the games, as many as 20 or more pipe bands will march and play together. The result is a thunderous rendition of Scotland the Brave or Amazing Grace, and other crowd-pleasing favourites.

It is, in fact, the music of the bagpipe which has come to symbolise music at the Games and, indeed, in Scotland itself. In addition to the massed bands, nearly all Highland games gatherings feature a wide range of piping and drumming competition, including solo piping and drumming, small group ensembles and, of course, the pipe bands themselves.

Music at Highland games gatherings also includes other forms, such as fiddling, harp circles and Celtic bands, usually spiced with a large amount of bagpipe music.

Dance Edit

The Cowal Highland Gathering hosts the annual World Highland Dancing Championship. This event gathers the best competitive dancers from around the world who compete for the SOBHD sanctioned World Championship title.

Secondary events and attractions Edit

At modern-day Highland Games events, a wide variety of other activities and events are generally available. Foremost among these are the clan tents and vendors of Scottish related goods. The various clan societies make the Highland games one of the main focus of their seasonal activities, usually making an appearance at as many such events as possible. Visitors can find out information about the Scottish roots and can become active in their own clan society if they wish.

At modern games, armouries will display their collections of swords and armour, and often perform mock battles. Various vendors selling Scottish memorabilia are also present selling everything from Irn-Bru to the stuffed likeness of the Loch Ness Monster.

Herding dog trials and exhibitions are often held, showcasing the breeder's and trainer's skills. In addition, there may be other types of Highland animals present, such as the Highland cattle.

Various traditional and modern Celtic arts are often showcased. These could include harpers' circles, Scottish country dancing, and one or more entertainment stages. In addition, most events usually feature a pre-event ceilidh (a type of social event with traditional music, dancing, song, and other forms of entertainment).

Various food vendors will also offer assorted types of traditional Scottish refreshment and sustenance.

Location Name of Event Details
Alva, Clackmannanshire First Alva Highland Games were held in summer 1856. Johnstone park Alva at the foot of the Ochil Hills.
Blair Atholl, Perthshire Atholl Gathering [7] Europe's only private army, the Atholl Highlanders, open the games in the grounds of Blair Castle
Braemar, Aberdeenshire Braemar Gathering Attended by the British Royal Family.
Burntisland, Fife Burntisland Highland Games Second oldest in the world
Carloway, Isle of Lewis Carloway Show and Highland Games Home to the oldest 'Maide Leisg' competition in the world
Ceres, Fife Ceres Highland Games Oldest free games in Scotland
Crieff, Perthshire Crieff Highland Games Home of the Scottish Heavyweight Championships and has the Earl of Strathearn (Prince William) as the Royal Chieftain
Cupar, Fife Cupar Highland Games [8] Started in 1979
Dunoon, Argyllshire Cowal Highland Gathering Biggest games in Scotland
Glenisla, Angus Glenisla Highland Games [9] Started in 1869
Gourock, Inverclyde Gourock Highland Games [10] The first Highland games of the Scottish season – held on the second Sunday in May
Halkirk, Caithness Halkirk Highland Games Started in 1886
Inverkeithing, Fife Inverkeithing Highland Games
Lochearnhead, Perthshire Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre Highland Games Cameron, MacLaren and MacGregor clans linked to the games
Luss, Dunbartonshire Luss Highland Gathering Clan Colquhoun linked to the games. Held regularly since 1875.
Strathdon, Aberdeenshire Lonach Highland Gathering & Games Held by The Lonach Highland & Friendly Society Est. 1823, features the march of the Lonach Highlanders consisting of Forbes, Wallace and Gordons
Perth, Perthshire Perth Highland Games Held on the second Sunday in August
Pitlochry, Perthshire Pitlochry Highland Games
Portree, Skye Isle of Skye Highland Games
St. Andrews, Fife St. Andrews Highland Games
Stirling Stirling Highland Games First Stirling Highland Games were held in July 1870
Inverness Inverness Highland Games Staged in the world's oldest [ citation needed ] highland games stadium, Northern Meeting Park

Australia Edit

Belgium Edit

Bermuda Edit

Brazil Edit

Canada Edit

On 1 August 1997 Canada Post issued 'Highland Games' designed by Fraser Ross, based on photographs by Andrew Balfour. The 45¢ stamps are perforated 12.5 x 13 and were printed by Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited. [11]


Scottish stone circle isn’t so ancient after all, archaeologists say

Sometimes, doing good science means admitting you were wrong.

The best science is when you can admit you made a mistake. Humility is a good thing.

Archaeologist could not explain the large wooden rabbit nearby.

"Possibly it is a Pagan fertility idol or something other than a missing movie prop"

When in doubt, always say "religion." I was told this a long time ago and it is pretty true to life.

But the real story is actually pretty neat too.

This was his response on Twitter.

This feels like the most Scottish story, right down to the farmer who just happens to be particularly good at accidentally making ancient looking stone circles as a hobby. Feel good news clearly takes weird forms for me.

I'm half expecting some of the usual anti-evolution accounts to show up in this thread saying "see, science can be wrong!" while completely missing how solid science welcomes retractions like these.

So the aliens erected the stone circle 20 years ago? They must have done it on a lark, while making crop circles.

Ancient Scotland: the Grunge Years

When in doubt, always say "religion." I was told this a long time ago and it is pretty true to life.

But the real story is actually pretty neat too.

I did some archaeology courses in undergrad (medieval historian, figured it was a good call) and it was a running joke that 'when in doubt, just call it a ritual object'. It's not even a malicious thing, since ritual can be such a catch all term. If an alien species came in and saw us with our tech without understanding what we're doing with it, there's no doubt they'd see it as a ritual form of behavior. It puts the onus on the observer that what is being seen can't be fully explained due to lack of data, but that its use was important enough to exist.

Not as satisfying an answer as clearly understanding its use, but I sort of think that's the fun of looking at the past. They led complex lives, and we only see the glimpses that persisted in the material record. It's pretty neato.

In a surprising twist this week, the circle turned out to actually be the work of the local farmer who owned the land in the 1990s.

“It is totally OK to laugh at this story. We all have!”

LoL

I'm having difficulties understanding why these archaeologists could not tell the difference between a 3,500- to 4,500-year-old stone circle and a stone circle created in the 1990's before they announced their ancient Celt 3,500- to 4,500-year-old stone circle. Is there no peer review or testing or examination beyond 'this guy said' in the archaeology field beyond 'we suspect'?

Depends on the field of science, and it also takes a reporter willing to report on it.

Scientists really dont like it when the "Jenga tower collapses". Which is very understandable.

You can be right a thousand times but you’ll be remembered for the one one time you were wrong. While not in this case, it seems like some are just waiting to pounce on mistakes rather than learn from them.

. and 'love means never having to say you're sorry' and a lot of other made up sentiment excuse cliches that also are not true.

The best science is the science that gets it right before announcing it to the world.

In this case the best science would have been being able to distinguish between a 3,500 to 4,500 year old something and a something made in the 1990's using something other than 'this guy said so we suspect'.

"The story is a good example of how new information can force scientists to reconsider their initial conclusions"

Among endless other examples of non-observable science theories. You cannot just draw conclusions without knowing prior conditions. It makes you look uneducated when the next person comes along and proves you wrong, then them wrong, etc etc. This is how some areas of science continue to have a bad name.

In a surprising twist this week, the circle turned out to actually be the work of the local farmer who owned the land in the 1990s.

“It is totally OK to laugh at this story. We all have!”

LoL

I'm having difficulties understanding why these archaeologists could not tell the difference between a 3,500- to 4,500-year-old stone circle and a stone circle created in the 1990's before they announced their ancient Celt 3,500- to 4,500-year-old stone circle. Is there no peer review or testing or examination beyond 'this guy said' in the archaeology field beyond 'we suspect'?

Did you miss the part where they continued to research it, and found little to substantiate claims of an ancient site?


Sometimes it helps to read the WHOLE article.

In a surprising twist this week, the circle turned out to actually be the work of the local farmer who owned the land in the 1990s.

“It is totally OK to laugh at this story. We all have!”

LoL

I'm having difficulties understanding why these archaeologists could not tell the difference between a 3,500- to 4,500-year-old stone circle and a stone circle created in the 1990's before they announced their ancient Celt 3,500- to 4,500-year-old stone circle. Is there no peer review in the archaeology field?

Stones are old, so dating the stones themselves is useless. Surface weathering would tell you something, but if the replica was built from stones that had been sitting on the surface a long time themselves then that also gets you nothing. I assume that an excavation would have revealed the more recent soil disturbance but one wasn't done for the reasons explained in the article. So they dated it based on the style being consistent with other circles where more thorough investigations were done to produce the estimated dates.

I don't blame them for not initially suspecting a fake. What's the motivation? It's not like anyone stood to make a lot of money off of it, and it was reported by a *former* landowner. Everyone involved seemed to be acting in good faith, it was made from ancient, weathered stones in a typical arrangement and 20+ years is plenty of enough time to destroy any surface evidence of recent work.

The best science is the science that gets it right.

In this case the best science would have been being able to distinguish between a 3,500- to 4,500 year old something and a something made in the 1990's.

Science is a process, not an end goal. Fantastic science can be behind both successes and failures. It is the process that has the value, not simply the answer that comes out at the end.

In a surprising twist this week, the circle turned out to actually be the work of the local farmer who owned the land in the 1990s.

“It is totally OK to laugh at this story. We all have!”

LoL

I'm having difficulties understanding why these archaeologists could not tell the difference between a 3,500- to 4,500-year-old stone circle and a stone circle created in the 1990's before they announced their ancient Celt 3,500- to 4,500-year-old stone circle. Is there no peer review or testing or examination beyond 'this guy said' in the archaeology field beyond 'we suspect'?

Did you miss the part where they continued to research it, and found little to substantiate claims of an ancient site?


Sometimes it helps to read the WHOLE article.

yes i read the whole article, its a few weeks ago 'oh this guy said and we suspect so lets announce to the world we found a 3,500- to 4,500-year-old stone circle'

the it becomes now, as you put it, "'they continued to research it, and found little to substantiate claims of an ancient site" and now we can laugh at it because its a 'mistake'. The mistake was in announcing it without solid research behind it. So that's basically the part i'm having trouble with, why was there not enough solid research a few weeks ago before announcing it but now suddenly there is research that disproves it? It all sounds more like an excuse to me for not doing solid research to begin with.

Did you not read the whole article and miss the part where they announced their 3,500- to 4,500-year-old stone circle a few weeks ago which has now turned out to not be a few weeks later?

There is no RIGHT and WRONG in science only varying levels of supporting evidence or discarded hypotheses. Science finds truth with a small T and it is generally a tentative truth which holds until some compelling counter evidence disrupts the contention.

Next you'll tell me the Kensington Runestone wasn't left by Vikings in Minnesota in 1362 and was carved as a prank by a farmer in 1898.

Which, coincidentally, is why I base my outlook on Science rather than religion.

In a surprising twist this week, the circle turned out to actually be the work of the local farmer who owned the land in the 1990s.

“It is totally OK to laugh at this story. We all have!”

LoL

I'm having difficulties understanding why these archaeologists could not tell the difference between a 3,500- to 4,500-year-old stone circle and a stone circle created in the 1990's before they announced their ancient Celt 3,500- to 4,500-year-old stone circle. Is there no peer review or testing or examination beyond 'this guy said' in the archaeology field beyond 'we suspect'?

The best science is the science that gets it right.

In this case the best science would have been being able to distinguish between a 3,500- to 4,500 year old something and a something made in the 1990's.

Science is a process, not an end goal. Fantastic science can be behind both successes and failures. It is the process that has the value, not simply the answer that comes out at the end.

and just what does that have to do with announcing to the world something that is not true because they did not do the research?

Its an excuse. If 'scientists' are going to proclaim to the world they have discovered a 3,500- to 4,500 year old something they should have the research and work that backs that up. It seems all these guys basically did was 'oh this guy said so we suspect' type of thing and now its giving excuses for why they were wrong.

When others make mistakes its a mistake when scientist make a mistake its "Science is a process, not an end goal."

In a surprising twist this week, the circle turned out to actually be the work of the local farmer who owned the land in the 1990s.

“It is totally OK to laugh at this story. We all have!”

LoL

I'm having difficulties understanding why these archaeologists could not tell the difference between a 3,500- to 4,500-year-old stone circle and a stone circle created in the 1990's before they announced their ancient Celt 3,500- to 4,500-year-old stone circle. Is there no peer review or testing or examination beyond 'this guy said' in the archaeology field beyond 'we suspect'?

I have read it. it does not answer my question.

In a surprising twist this week, the circle turned out to actually be the work of the local farmer who owned the land in the 1990s.

“It is totally OK to laugh at this story. We all have!”

LoL

I'm having difficulties understanding why these archaeologists could not tell the difference between a 3,500- to 4,500-year-old stone circle and a stone circle created in the 1990's before they announced their ancient Celt 3,500- to 4,500-year-old stone circle. Is there no peer review or testing or examination beyond 'this guy said' in the archaeology field beyond 'we suspect'?

Did you miss the part where they continued to research it, and found little to substantiate claims of an ancient site?


Sometimes it helps to read the WHOLE article.

Overheard in a car nearby: "Come on, MacScully, this is definitely a cover up by government agencies hiding something from the public. Why can't you see that?"

In a surprising twist this week, the circle turned out to actually be the work of the local farmer who owned the land in the 1990s.

“It is totally OK to laugh at this story. We all have!”

LoL

I'm having difficulties understanding why these archaeologists could not tell the difference between a 3,500- to 4,500-year-old stone circle and a stone circle created in the 1990's before they announced their ancient Celt 3,500- to 4,500-year-old stone circle. Is there no peer review or testing or examination beyond 'this guy said' in the archaeology field beyond 'we suspect'?

I have read it. it does not answer my question.

By which you mean the article doesn't give you the answers you wanted to reinforce your preexisting views.

Once again, the process works. "We were wrong, our bad, no animals were hurt in the process." The evidence didn't support the initial hypothesis. Happens *all the time* in science. That's how it works. We all get to chuckle and move on.

Even this last summer there were cases in Britain of drought causing grass shadows of old building foundations and garden paths that had been gone for well over a hundred years.

The water system at Angkor Wat shows up very clearly on radar and lidar mapping satellites, as do old Aztec cities and roads.

It IS an ancient stone circle. I mean, it's a young ancient stone circle but one day it'll grow up to be a truly old ancient circle.

From henceforth we will call it Trainspotting Henge.

Even this last summer there were cases in Britain of drought causing grass shadows of old building foundations and garden paths that had been gone for well over a hundred years.

The water system at Angkor Wat shows up very clearly on radar and lidar mapping satellites, as do old Aztec cities and roads.

Which reminds me. Google Earth and Maps undated a lot of their UK aerial images in about July last summer.

Round my way in Essex/Suffolk details of things only known to the oldies in the village or that I know from old maps have become visible.

We've done it we have found the fountain of youth. Ummm no. That is just an old well near where a house used to be.

The farmer just didn't want to be unhinged.

The best science is the science that gets it right.

In this case the best science would have been being able to distinguish between a 3,500- to 4,500 year old something and a something made in the 1990's.

Science is a process, not an end goal. Fantastic science can be behind both successes and failures. It is the process that has the value, not simply the answer that comes out at the end.

and just what does that have to do with announcing to the world something that is not true because they did not do the research?

Its an excuse. If 'scientists' are going to proclaim to the world they have discovered a 3,500- to 4,500 year old something they should have the research and work that backs that up. It seems all these guys basically did was 'oh this guy said so we suspect' type of thing and now its giving excuses for why they were wrong

The point is not to deny the self correcting nature of science. It is to discuss when is the right time to announce a new discovery. Scientists are also skeptics and should act as one even (or especially) with their own work. Of course, there is always the danger of being scooped, but that is part of the challenge.

I think the original comment of this sub-thread could be interpreted as advice: either act on your internal skepticism before announcing a discovery or, at the announcement, discuss what would need to be done to prove this idea wrong or support it being right. They still could get an announcement but one with a different take home lesson.

Of course, these scientists recognized their own human tendency to err, did the work, and made the correction. Good on them for that. Double kudos for doing so with good humor.

When in doubt, always say "religion." I was told this a long time ago and it is pretty true to life.

But the real story is actually pretty neat too.

I'm half convinced that a good number of what gets classified as "fertility objects" were actually the equivalent of porn.

The best science is the science that gets it right.

In this case the best science would have been being able to distinguish between a 3,500- to 4,500 year old something and a something made in the 1990's.

Science is a process, not an end goal. Fantastic science can be behind both successes and failures. It is the process that has the value, not simply the answer that comes out at the end.

and just what does that have to do with announcing to the world something that is not true because they did not do the research?

Its an excuse. If 'scientists' are going to proclaim to the world they have discovered a 3,500- to 4,500 year old something they should have the research and work that backs that up. It seems all these guys basically did was 'oh this guy said so we suspect' type of thing and now its giving excuses for why they were wrong

The point is not to deny the self correcting nature of science. It is to discuss when is the right time to announce a new discovery. Scientists are also skeptics and should act as one even (or especially) with their own work. Of course, there is always the danger of being scooped, but that is part of the challenge.

I think the original comment of this sub-thread could be interpreted as advice: either act on your internal skepticism before announcing a discovery or, at the announcement, discuss what would need to be done to prove this idea wrong or support it being right. They still could get an announcement but one with a different take home lesson.

Of course, these scientists recognized their own human tendency to err, did the work, and made the correction. Good on them for that. Double kudos for doing so with good humor.

So then, using your explanation: Its ok for 'scientist' to announce something to the world that is not true and they should have known it not to be true if they had done complete solid research, but because they can come back later and say "whoopsie, made a mistake so lets laugh about it" then the blunder of not actually doing solid research to begin with is OK because we can say the 'point' is something else?

That's not science, its incompetence.

The best science is the science that gets it right.

In this case the best science would have been being able to distinguish between a 3,500- to 4,500 year old something and a something made in the 1990's.

Science is a process, not an end goal. Fantastic science can be behind both successes and failures. It is the process that has the value, not simply the answer that comes out at the end.

and just what does that have to do with announcing to the world something that is not true because they did not do the research?

Its an excuse. If 'scientists' are going to proclaim to the world they have discovered a 3,500- to 4,500 year old something they should have the research and work that backs that up. It seems all these guys basically did was 'oh this guy said so we suspect' type of thing and now its giving excuses for why they were wrong

The point is not to deny the self correcting nature of science. It is to discuss when is the right time to announce a new discovery. Scientists are also skeptics and should act as one even (or especially) with their own work. Of course, there is always the danger of being scooped, but that is part of the challenge.

I think the original comment of this sub-thread could be interpreted as advice: either act on your internal skepticism before announcing a discovery or, at the announcement, discuss what would need to be done to prove this idea wrong or support it being right. They still could get an announcement but one with a different take home lesson.

Of course, these scientists recognized their own human tendency to err, did the work, and made the correction. Good on them for that. Double kudos for doing so with good humor.

So then, using your explanation: Its ok for 'scientist' to announce something to the world that is not true and they should have known it not to be true if they had done complete solid research, but because they can come back later and say "whoopsie, made a mistake so lets laugh about it" then the blunder of not actually doing solid research to begin with is OK because we can say the 'point' is something else?



Comments:

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  3. Jax

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