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Encyclopedia > Stone circle
Swinside stone circle, in the Lake District, England.

A stone circle is a circular space, delimited by purposely erected stones and often containing burials. They should not be confused with henges or isolated monoliths, although all these features are often encountered together. Nor should they be confused with earlier rings, such as the Goseck circle in Saxony-Anhalt, that may have served similar religious/calendrical/astronomical purposes, though at a much earlier epoch. Archaeological evidence, coupled with information from astronomers, geologists and mathematicians, implies that the purpose of stone circles was connected with prehistoric peoples' beliefs and that their construction can shed light on ancient engineering, social organisation, religion and, for want of a better word, science. Their precise function however will probably always remain open to debate. Image File history File links Swinside_(p4160146). ... Image File history File links Swinside_(p4160146). ... Swinside is a hill in the North Western part of the English Lake District. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A henge is a roughly circular or oval-shaped flat area over 20m in diameter which is enclosed and delimited by a boundary earthwork that usually comprises a ditch with an external bank. ... A monolith is a monument or natural feature such as a mountain, consisting of a single massive stone or rock. ... Site of the Goseck circle. ... With an area of 20,447 km² and a population of 2. ... Lunar astronomy: the large crater is Daedalus, photographed by the crew of Apollo 11 as they circled the Moon in 1969. ... Geology (from Greek γη- (ge-, the earth) and λογος (logos, word, reason)) is the science and study of the Earth, its composition, structure, physical properties, history and the processes that shape it. ... Euclid, detail from The School of Athens by Raphael. ... Engineering is the application of scientific and technical knowledge to solve human problems. ... Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Science For the scientific journal named Science, see Science (journal). ...


Prehistoric stone circles are found as megalithic monuments in the British Isles, with two confirmed examples in Brittany on the island of Er Lannic and two more suggested at Carnac. The Petit Saint Bernard circle lies further afield, in the French Alps. A unique form of circle, the recumbent stone circle is to be found in North East Scotland, where the largest stone is on its side. Megalithic tomb, Mane Braz, Brittany A megalith is a large stone which has been used to construct a structure or monument either alone or with other stones. ... The British Isles consist of Great Britain, Ireland and a number of much smaller surrounding islands. ... Traditional coat of arms This article is about the historical duchy and French province, as well as the cultural area of Brittany. ... Carnac is a village and commune in the Gulf of Morbihan, on the south coast of Brittany. ... The Little St Bernard Pass (French: Col du Petit Saint-Bernard, Italian: Colle del Piccolo San Bernardo) is a mountain pass in the Alps. ... Easter Aquhorthies Recumbant Stone Circle Recumbent Stone Circles are a variation on the more familiar standard stone circles found throughout the UK and la Bretagne. ... Motto: Nemo me impune lacessit (English: No one provokes me with impunity) Scotlands location within Europe Scotlands location within the United Kingdom Languages English, Gaelic, Scots Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow First Minister Jack McConnell Area - Total - % water Ranked 2nd UK 78,782 km² 1. ...


In Scandinavia, there was a tradition of making stone circles during the Iron Age and especially in Götaland. The appearance of these circles in northern Poland is considered to be a characteristic of the migrating Goths (see Stone Circle (Iron Age) and Wielbark Culture). See also the Nordic countries. ... Iron Age Axe found on Gotland This article is about the archaeological period known as the Iron Age, for the mythological Iron Age see Iron Age (mythology). ... Götaland Maps of Swedens historical three lands, and Österland in Finland. ... Invasion of the Goths: a late 19th century painting by O. Fritsche portrays the Goths as cavalrymen. ... A minor stone circle in Brändåsen, Hardemo parish, Närke. ... The red area is the extent of the Wielbark culture in the first half of the 3rd century. ...


They are also known in the Basque country, where the villagers attribute their construction to jentils and mairus, giants of the pre-Christian era. The Basque Country (Euskal Herria in Basque) straddles the western Pyrenees mountains that define the border between France and Spain, extending down to the coast of the Bay of Biscay. ...


There was a separate period of stone circle building from the eighth to the twelfth century in West Africa. The best known are the Senegambian stone circles, built as funerary monuments, with more than a thousand known. Other stone circles can be found on the Adrar Plateau in Mauritania.  Western Africa (UN subregion)  Maghreb West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. ... The Senegambian stone circles lie in Gambia north of Janjanbureh and in central Senegal. ... The Adrar Plateau is a highland area of the Sahara Desert in northern Mauritania. ...


Stone circle construction has become popular since the 1970s, built either for purely monumental purposes or to serve a particular mystical purpose. The new stone circles typically lack henges or other auxiliary features and are not on a particular alignment. Notable examples include the Swan Circle at the Glastonbury Festival, while Stonehenge at Maryhill (ultimately built of concrete rather than stone) is an early example, being completed in 1918. The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, commonly abbreviated to Glastonbury Festival or Glasto, is the largest greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world, and it is one of the two biggest festivals in Europe (the other being the Roskilde Festival). ... Placing a concrete floor for a commercial building. ... 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ...


Stone circles in the British Isles

The French archaeologist Jean-Pierre Mohan in his book Le Monde des Megalithes described the unusual concentration of stone circles in the British Isles as follows:


British Isles megalithism is outstanding in the abundance of standing stones, and the variety of circular architectural complexes of which they formed a part...strikingly original, they have no equivalent elsewhere in Europe - strongly supporting the argument that the builders were independent.


Often oriented on sight lines for the rising or setting sun or moon at certain times of the year, it seems likely that for their builders, fertility and the cycle of life were very important concepts. The crudeness of the stones means that they could not have been used as advanced astronomical calculators however, and their positioning is more symbolic than functional. Fertility is the ability of people or animals to produce healthy offspring in abundance. ...


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. The Neolithic (or New Stone Age) was a period in the development of human technology that is traditionally the last part of the Stone Age. ...


During the Middle Neolithic (c. 3700-2500 BC) stone circles began to appear in coastal and lowland areas towards the north of the British Isles. The Langdale axe industry in the Lake District appears to have been an important early centre for circle building, perhaps because of its economic power. Many had closely set stones, perhaps similar to the earth banks of henges, others were made from unfounded boulders rather than standing stones. The Neolithic, (Greek neos=new, lithos=stone, or New Stone Age) is traditionally the last part of the stone age. ... (5th millennium BC – 4th millennium BC – 3rd millennium BC - other millennia) // Events Sumerian city of Ur in Mesopotamia (40th century BC); Sumerian hegemony in Mesopotamia, with the invention of writing, base-60 mathematics, astronomy and astrology, civil law, complex hydrology, the sailboat, the wheel, and the potters wheel, 4000... (4th millennium BC – 3rd millennium BC – 2nd millennium BC – other millennia) // Events The 3rd millennium BC represents the beginning of factual history, since it is the first time we do have real names to name and detailed stories to tell. ... The British Isles consist of Great Britain, Ireland and a number of much smaller surrounding islands. ... The Langdale axe industry is the name given by archaeologists to the centre of a specialised stone tool manufacturing in Englands Lake District during the Neolithic. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A henge is a roughly circular or oval-shaped flat area over 20m in diameter which is enclosed and delimited by a boundary earthwork that usually comprises a ditch with an external bank. ...


By the later Neolithic, stone circle construction had attained a greater precision and popularity. Rather than being limited to coastal areas, they began to move inland and their builders grew more ambitious, producing examples of up to 400 m diameter in the case of the Outer Circle at Avebury. Most circles however measured around 25 m in diameter however. Designs became more complex with double and triple ring designs appearing along with significant regional variation. These monuments are often classed separately as concentric stone circles. The Neolithic (or New Stone Age) was a period in the development of human technology that is traditionally the last part of the Stone Age. ... Avebury is the site of an enormous henge and stone circles in the English county of Wiltshire, surrounding a village of the same name. ... Arkaim in Russia was constructed by Aryan tribes some 4000 years ago. ...


The final phase of stone circle construction took place in the early to middle Bronze Age (c.2200-1500 BC) and saw the construction of numerous small circles which, it has been suggested, were built by individual family groups rather than the large numbers that monuments like Avebury would have required. The Bronze Age is a period in a civilizations development when the most advanced metalworking has developed the techniques of smelting copper from natural outcroppings and alloys it to cast bronze. ... (4th millennium BC – 3rd millennium BC – 2nd millennium BC – other millennia) // Events The 3rd millennium BC represents the beginning of factual history, since it is the first time we do have real names to name and detailed stories to tell. ... (17th century BC - 16th century BC - 15th century BC - other centuries) (1600s BC - 1590s BC - 1580s BC - 1570s BC - 1560s BC - 1550s BC - 1540s BC - 1530s BC - 1520s BC - 1510s BC - 1500s BC - other decades) (3rd millennium BC - 2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC) Events 1700 - 1500 BC -- Hurrian conquests...


Many fine examples are to be found within Dartmoor National Park, Devon - the site of 18 recorded stone circles (and 75 stone rows) dating mainly from the late Neolithic to mid-Bronze Age. Grey Wethers, a double circle on an isolated plateau, is among the most significant sites. Dartmoor is a National Park in the centre of the English county of Devon. ... The inner harbour, Brixham, south Devon, at low tide Devon is a large county in South West England, bordering on Cornwall to the west, Dorset and Somerset to the east. ... Grey Wethers consists of a pair of prehistoric stone circles, situated on grassy plateau to the north of Postbridge, Dartmoor, in the United Kingdom. ...


By 1500 BC 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. Stone circles have often been associated with the druids, but they were abandoned long before druidism came to Britain, and there is no evidence that they were ever used by the druids. (Redirected from 1500 BC) Centuries: 17th century BC - 16th century BC - 15th century BC Decades: 1550s BC 1540s BC 1530s BC 1520s BC 1510s BC - 1500s BC - 1490s BC 1480s BC 1470s BC 1460s BC 1450s BC Events and Trends Stonehenge built in Wiltshire, England The element Mercury has been... Druidry or Druidism was the religion of the ancient druids, the priestly class in ancient Celtic and Gallic societies through much of Western Europe north of the Alps and in the British Isles. ...


See also

Lisseyviggeen stone circle, just outside Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland. Also known locally as the Seven Sisters.

Image File history File links Lisseyviggeen_(998906). ... Image File history File links Lisseyviggeen_(998906). ... St. ... Reconstruction of circular ditches at Heldenberg, Lower Austria About 150 arrangements of prehistoric circular ditches are known to archaeologists spread over Germany, Austria and Slovakia and the Czech Republic. ... T shaped Hunebed D27 in Borger-Odoorn, Netherlands, recent. ... A menhir is a large, single upright standing stone (monolith or megalith), of prehistoric European origin. ... Map showing the Neolithic expansions from the 7th to the 5th millennium BC Europe in ca. ... A minor stone circle in Brändåsen, Hardemo parish, Närke. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
NationMaster - Encyclopedia: Stone circle (2334 words)
Prehistoric stone circles are found as megalithic monuments in the British Isles, with two confirmed examples in Brittany on the island of Er Lannic and two more suggested at Carnac.
Stone circles have often been associated with the druids, but they were abandoned long before druidism came to Britain, and there is no evidence that they were ever used by the druids.
Similar circles were used for popular assemblies in Denmark until the 16th century, and in Vad parish in västergötland, the village assemblies were held in a stone circle until the 19th century.
Stone circle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (933 words)
Swinside stone circle, in the Lake District, England.
Prehistoric stone circles are found as megalithic monuments in the British Isles, with two confirmed examples in Brittany on the island of Er Lannic and two more suggested at Carnac.
Stone circles have often been associated with the druids, but they were abandoned long before druidism came to Britain, and there is no evidence that they were ever used by the druids.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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