Callanish Stone Circle – 1

After I visit places such as Callanish I am always bewildered, as I am sure that I can’t satisfactorily answer any of the obvious questions – why was it built, how was it built, who built it, what was the reason for building it here rather than on any other hillock in the area? Even the question as to when the site was constructed is open to discussion.

Callanish comprises a number of different elements – a stone circle containing a central monolith and a chambered tomb, three rows of stones intersecting with the circle, and an avenue of stones heading roughly northwards away from the circle. All the stones are Lewisian gneiss and were quarried locally.

The stone circle consists of thirteen stones, with an average height of 3 metres. The circle is not quite perfect as the east side is slightly squashed. The circle covers an area of 124 square metres with a diameter of 11.4 metres. The circle was built between 2,900 BC and 2,600 BC making it slightly older than Stonehenge.

4 thoughts on “Callanish Stone Circle – 1

  1. If your introductory sentence is real and not just an attention grabber I’d like to respond. Probably like you I am someone who needs answers and craves explanations for what people have done. I can identify. But I also recognize (observing some of my own decisions) that often they are impulsive choices–or based on the weariness of deciding or of gathering more information in order to decide. Some things ancient people did may have also been the inscrutable product of similar conditions. Just a thought.

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    • I hope the sentence is an attention grabber, however it’s also true because that’s what I felt after considering what I had seen at Callanish. Why was that stone circle placed there as opposed to another hillock nearby of similar size? Here’s an idea – is it because 5,000 years ago the circle could be seen from the open sea at that precise location?. Was it a navigational aid? I don’t believe so, but who am I to say? It could have been. There’s a reason Callanish is where it is, but the fact is we’ll never know will we?

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