Friday, October 26, 2007

Mystery of Standing Stones and Henges


Like haunting faceless statues, Standing Stones rise up from the ground all across Europe and some of the most impressive circles can be found in Scotland.

One of the most fascinating circle of stones is the Ring of Brodgar or Brogar located on the Orkney Islands in the West Mainland parish of Stenness. Originally there were 60 majestic standing stones, but today there are only 27 stones remaining. These stones are part of a henge monument and is surrounding by a ditch and bank.
There were two entrances. One in the NW and the other in the SE. The circle diameter is 120 yards and the tallest stone remaining today is 15 ft tall. The dating of this site is around 2500 BC which places it in the Early Bronze Age. Four of these standing stones have carvings on them. One is a runes inscription that reads as the name Bjorn, which is speculated to have been a Norse visitor. The others are a cross, anvil and an ogham inscription. It is clear the carvings were done many many years after the stones were erected.

Why is this such a significant site? Just the sheer volume of rock excavated from the ditch makes it amazing. A ditch quarried out of solid sandstone some 12 feet deep and 30 ft wide. This is also a Henge monument. Henges were often thought to be ceremonial or burial sites and are underground structures. Why were the standing stones erected? What were they used for? There are many many theories. Were they like Stone Henge and used as calendar and maps for the stars?
What do you think they were used for?

For my first book in The Hussies™ series, Danu, The Beginning, I use henges as safety structures the villagers build to protect themselves from dragon attacks.

6 comments:

N.J.Walters said...

Standing stones are indeed fascinating. One has to be in awe of the sheer amount of work and determination that went in to erecting them. That alone tells us that they have to be very significant. If only they could talk...

Ciana Stone said...

Well, I would tell what they were used for, but I'm sworn to secrecy:) Such fascinating and awe inspiring monuments. Makes you wonder how many hands have touched these stones, how much energy has been absorbed by the stones and passed on to those who've touched them.

Great article Sally! Can't wait for Danu's story!!!!!!!!

Nicole Austin said...

The stones are amazing. One of the many things I want to see when I one day have the resources to travel the world.

Sally Painter said...

I agree, NJ. There are so many of them throughout Europe and when the Miami Circle was discovered, it just added to the overall mystery,

Sally Painter said...

LOL, Ci. Come on spill! Oh, I got chills about all the hands that hand touched the stones.

Thanks. I'm really having fun writing it!

Sally Painter said...

Me 2, Nic! Maybe the hussies can do Scotland. (eg)