Talk:Stone circle

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Suppressed text[edit]

User:adamsan recently suppressed the following text: The suggestion that they may have evolved from earlier burial mounds, which often covered timber or stone mortuary houses, is undercut by the fact that of hundreds of Neolithic and Bronze Age circles that have been identified, none are centered on a burial. That, and the astronomical precision that many exhibit, suggest a religious/calendrical/astronomical context, the details of which are still obscure. For a recently-publicized example, see Goseck circle. Unfortunate press characterizations of Goseck as a "German Stonehenge" are currently eliciting nationalist competitive resentment, expressed as English-language skepticism over the authenticity of finds and dating (compare Nebra skydisk)

He accompanied the suppression with the following entry at my User site:

"Uhh Wetman, I ought to point out that your edit to Stone circle is in the wrong place. You see, stone circles are circles made from stones. The Gosek circle you talk about is an earth bank and ditch, as attested by your own SciAm extract. Only visible from the air you see, in a flat wheatfield, a 'shadowy ring'- no stones. I suggest you find a more relevant entry in which to insert yourself. Kind regards

' --User:adamsan 19:51, 6 May 2004 (UTC)

Since this self-identified archaeologist and smart-arse is unaware that Stonehenge itself evolved from previous circles that were not marked with standing stones, what are we to do about this behavior? I hesitate to revert, but adamsan does reveal a nationalist agenda in "revisions" that suggest that stone circles are only genuine when they're in Britain.Wetman 21:20, 6 May 2004 (UTC)

Wetman, Wetman, Wetman. Prehistoric stone circles of the type I am discussing are unique to the British Isles not just Britain, aside from the two atypical examples in Brittany I have already mentioned. Small circular arrangements of stones are known in isolated examples elsewhere but they are later. There are no stones at Gosek therefore it is not a stone circle. Circular earthwork != Megalithic monument. They may appear together at Sonehenge but they are different phases. Warmest regards --adamsan 09:15, 7 May 2004 (UTC)

Response to comments inserted into source text:

  • Prehistoric '''stone circles''' are [[megalithic]] monuments found almost exclusively in the [[British Isles]], with two atypical examples known in [[Brittany]].<!--the atypical one should be identified by name. the reader can decide how they are atypical-->

The two sites are at Carnac and Er-Lannic. They are atypical because stone alignments and single megaliths were the order of the day in prehistoric Brittany, not circles.

  • Often orientated on sight lines for the rising or setting sun or moon at certain times of the year,<!-- a bit vague. is moon really intended?--> it seems likely that for their builders, [[fertility]]<!-- astronomy, calendar yes. fertility? is everything connected with fertility?-->

Yes it is a bit vague isn't it? Midwinter and midsummer and sunrises and sunsets are usually mentioned in connection with stone circles as well as the extremities of moonrise and moonset but it's rather verbose. Yes the moon was intended eg Callanish, as it too rises and sets and some archaeoastronomers will take any alignment they can get. Fertility would have been important to Neolithic farmers who were trying to master the best times of year to plant crops and manage animal husbandry.

  • The earliest circles were erected around five thousand years ago during the [[Neolithic]] period and may have evolved from earlier burial mounds which often covered timber or stone mortuary houses. <!--[[User:adamsan]] suppressed the following text here: "The suggestion that they may have evolved from earlier burial mounds, which often covered timber or stone mortuary houses, is undercut by the fact that of hundreds of Neolithic and Bronze Age circles that have been identified, none are centered on a burial. That, and the astronomical precision that many exhibit, suggest a religious/calendrical/astronomical context, the details of which are still obscure. For a recently-publicized example, see [[Goseck circle]]. Unfortunate press characterizations of Goseck as a "German Stonehenge" are currently eliciting nationalist competitive resentment, expressed as English-language skepticism over the authenticity of finds and dating (compare [[Nebra skydisk]])"-->

I deleted the that text for the following reasons:

    • Stone circles with contemporary or earlier burials in the middle include Stenness which has evidence of a wooden mortuary building within the ring, the cairn in the centre of Ballynoe, and Long Meg and her Daughters once had two cairns in its centre but they are now lost due to over-enthusiastic eighteenth century digging. Others have evidence of contemporary, but not central burial such as Swinside and Castlerigg.
    • Centrality was not an issue to these people as any plan of a Neolithic long barrow will show you.
    • In fact, I originally only meant that the circular design had evolved from earlier burial monuments not that individual sites had developed in this sequence. This is Aubrey Burl's interpretation, he sees the circular enclosure at Callis Wold round barrow as being an early move towards building a barrier between dead and living. He notes that calendrical orientations can only be conjecture whilst the presence of dead people is not.

I have covered the lack of astronomical precision elsewhere in the article but add the fact that many stone circles are in low-lying positions in valleys with outlying stones too low to make observations with. See Ballynoe again. I have also requested examples of this nationalistic fervour from the author of the Gosek circle article but to no avail.

  • Many had closely set stones, perhaps similar to the earth banks of [[henges]], others were made from unfounded boulders rather than standing stones.<!--a couple of typical examples are needed-->

Examples with close set stones include Swinside, Castlerigg and our old friend Ballynoe. Those with surface boulders include Machrie Moor with its attendant sandstone pillars and the two excavated at Beaghmore in County Tyrone.

  • Designs became more complex with double and triple ring designs appearing along with significant regional variation.<!--any to mention aside from Avebury?-->

Multi ring sites include Machrie Moor again and the Grey Wethers on Dartmoor. Regional variation is visible in the 12-stone circles in the Lake District and the 10-stone rings in NE Scotland.

  • By 1500 BCE stone circle construction had all but ceased. It is thought that changing weather patterns led people away from upland areas and that new religious thinking led to different ways of marking life and death.<!--too generic to be informative-->

Dating evidence from Ireland suggests they continued to be constructed during the Late Bronze Age (c. 1300-800BC)

I do not understand why this is considered generic and would be pleased to discuss further.

As a footnote, may I request that any clarification requests regarding articles to which I have contributed or which I have written, be raised on the relevant Discussion page rather than in the source text as I cannot always be guaranteed to see them. adamsan 21:12, 20 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Cromlech[edit]

Is it the same a stone circle than a cromlech? Or maybe cromlech are originally interred stone circles?

Although they aren't the same thing they may be connected, (it also depends on what you mean by cromlech). At least that's what Aubrey Burl thinks, ie that circular features at burial sites and then stone circles were part of an evolution of funerary monument building from the Neolithic into the Bronze Age eg Pitnacree. He is keen to illustrate that that these early structures and stone circles are the remains of similar attempts to enclose and 'neutralise' the dead. Bryn Celli Ddu however is a stone circle with a cromlech later built on top of it. Then you get things like the chamber tomb at the centre of Callanish and I'm not sure if anyone has produced a sequence for the activity there. Others prefer to see cromlechs and the rest as being 'houses for the dead' and to be based more on domestic structures. If you want more on Burl's ideas, and megaliths in general, his book are pretty widely available, although his ideas are by no means entirely accepted. adamsan 21:01, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)

African stone circles[edit]

Should the Sine-Saloum stone circles and Wassu stone circles of Senegambia not be included in this article (I don't feel I known enough about the British circles to add info myself). Warofdreams 19:21, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Oooh African stone circles! They're new to me, looks like they need mentioning here though. If you know any more about them then add it in. I will edit out my previous assertion that they are unique to the British Isles. Hey Wetman, you were right all along! adamsan 19:28, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I have found a list of worldwide stone circles here [1]. I am loath to incorporate it into the article at present mainly because it is a quote from a Von Danniken book and I would prefer some less controversial and more reliable source. Wheeler's work at Brahmagiri seems well-attested and Kete Ke'su can be Googled. Many seem to be odd examples rather than common monument types as they are in west Africa and the British Isles, The Polish ones at Odry look more like a conscious effort although they didn't look very circular in the image I found. adamsan 20:25, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Stone circles and fiction[edit]

Anyone constructed a list of stone circles appearing in stories, films and other works? (There must be more than Children of the Stones.) Could be extended to include hill figures carved into chalk and other such phenomena.


Merge with Stone circle (Iron Age)[edit]

Suggestion at Talk:Stone circle (Iron Age) NickW 14:40, 20 December 2005 (UTC)


List of Stone Circles[edit]

I have created a list of Stone circles, although I am hoping it will stay as a photographic list. My reason was that I wanted to complete links from List of English Heritage properties but the individual circles did not warrant their own article. I added a link on this page, but I do not like where I put it. Can anyone improve on that please. MortimerCat 02:43, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

I am very new, and am finding great difficulty using my account. Please include Bryn Celli Ddu Burial chamber and henge, stone circle with central mound.

"The site was visited from 1699, and excavated in 1865 and 1927-31. In the passage and in the chamber excavations revealed both burnt and unburnt human bones, a stone bead, two flint arrowheads, a scraper and mussel shells. Outside the entrance and the ditch, a small, unusual ox burial was found. On the ridge to the north of the site (on the right of the lane as you return) is a tall standing stone."

Ynys Môn (Isle of Anglesey), Gwynedd — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nosdda (talkcontribs) 15:26, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

France: Lacam de Peyrarines etc.[edit]

http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=6334839

http://cromlech1.free.fr/gard/

http://www.sunfrance.com/patrimoine/index.php3?id_gmenu=4778&langue=en

Would these not fit? 165.146.167.62 18:00, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

some moonrises are more equal than others[edit]

These recumbent stones are almost always in the SW quadrant of the circle, and are aligned on the major moonrise.

What's a major moonrise? —Tamfang 22:43, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Types of stone circles? Expansion please[edit]

Drombeg stone circle describes that one as "A 'Cork-Kerry type' stone circle," without explanation. What types of stone circle are there? Why doesn't this article answer that question?

Concentric stone circle and Recumbent stone circles could probably be improved with whatever sources are used to answer this question. Distinguishment from henges, kerbs, and peristaliths may be appropriate. GRBerry 18:22, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Merge with concentric and recumbent stone circle[edit]

It has been suggested that the articles on concentric and recumbent stone circles be merged into this article.

Off hand, it seems like a good idea to have all the discussions of stone circles in a single article. The concentric and recumbent circle articles are little more than stubs and are likely to remain so. Obviously the titles of those short articles should remain as redirects. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 02:20, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

of course. Imho the first step to cleaning up articles that have been rotting away for years is to pool the material, so we will have one bad article instead of half a dozen bad stubs. In a second step, such material as we have needs to be arranged in a coherent structure, and what is unreferenced needs to be either verified or thrown out.

Let's face it, this article contains very little of value, and all of it unreferenced. That about amounts to saying this article does not exist for all practical purposes (such as citing it, or relying on it). --dab (𒁳) 07:59, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

I agree that the articles should be merged, however it's not true to say that this article is completely unreferenced, there are three citations ( one of which I added). However, if you took out all the unreferenced information there wouldn't be enough left to call an article :) Unfortunately there are no references in the other articles either so they're not much help - some serious rewriting is needed. Richerman (talk)
This is old but should be done. Support, and willing to action. Ceoil 00:41, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
Done. The merged text may need clean up. Ceoil 00:48, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

hello, Ceoil I'm very confussed about my account and how to use it properly. user nosdda — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nosdda (talkcontribs) 15:02, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Welsh circles[edit]

Please consider that the stone circles in England are part of welsh heritage. please include 2 stone burial circles, on list of stone circles article from Wales.

In regards to R1b DNA, please see R1B graph, and contemplate over, the extinct culture group (the Gauls- North Germany) Extinction of this culture due to roman empire massacre- the 8th Cetlic nation. As relevant to this discussion. And number of stone circles along Atlantic fringes ( in connection to the R1b DNA- highest in Atlantic fringes) as possibly very relevant along side number of stone circles found in Europe. As a side topic- the R1b DNA ( ancestor gene) may be very relevant to Germanic ?. Celtic people hold the highest of R1b DNA and also Germans. This may be relevant to ancient movements in Europe in connection to cluster of stone circles across it. It appears that Britain and Ireland hold a GREAT number of stone circles in Europe. Please see bottom of list of stone circles.

In connection with the article below, suggesting that stone circles have evolved from burial mounds, please consider that all stone circles in Wales are burial stone circles with protruding mounds, the rest are of only burial stones. This may indicate a movement across Britain and Ireland ?

(which now has been removed)- Ireland holds a great number of burial stones, a tomb, and large number of stone circles not regarded as ancient grave yards user- adamsan I am very confused about my account and new, please some help would be great user- nosdda ( I am logged in)

also this association with astronomy may be very important as paganism and astronomy ( star sings) are celtic- I agree with your article below also. Goseck circle you have as a link, is in Germany. Is is possible that these circles and burial stones be rather than one issue but 2 as an ancient system? meaning that these stones and burial stones are of different meaning?- also "burial henge" in north Wales, has an entrance and large protruding mound circled with many stones- like the layout of the stone circles (no mound).Bryn Celli Ddu Burial chamber and henge Ynys Môn (Isle of Anglesey), Gwynedd

"The site was visited from 1699, and excavated in 1865 and 1927-31. In the passage and in the chamber excavations revealed both burnt and unburnt human bones, a stone bead, two flint arrowheads, a scraper and mussel shells. Outside the entrance and the ditch, a small, unusual ox burial was found. On the ridge to the north of the site (on the right of the lane as you return) is a tall standing stone." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nosdda (talkcontribs) 15:34, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Ancient Irish historical records say stone circles were cattle crushes[edit]

According to the ancient Irish historians stone circles were cattle crushes used to annually corral cattle in each district, in the whole world then, for treatment for airborne ticks which prevailed at those times. It was introduced by Baal son of Nimrod. Fires were lit outside the circles so that the fire, heat, and smoke would kill the murrain. The treatment was universally applied on the 1st May. I have more on this topic if anyone wishes to explore further. --Jaslynch1 (talk) 09:58, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

After looking at the discussion of Stone Circles on your home page, it seems to be seriously lacking in citation of reliable sources on Stone Circles. To the extent it cites sources, it cites primary sources, the interpretation of which is problematic and should be supported by reference to reliable secondary sources. You should base your discussion on the scholarly literature rather than presenting your own interpretation in Wikipedia. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 19:14, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Recumbant circles[edit]

These two sentences at the start of this section contradict each other: Recumbent stone circles are a variation found throughout the British Isles and Brittany. They are a form peculiar to the north east of Scotland and south west Ireland

86.185.138.10 (talk) 19:58, 10 August 2012 (UTC)