Nine Stanes Stone Circle

A recumbent stone circle on the edge of Mulloch Wood in S Aberdeenshire, the Nine Stanes Circle is situated at Garrol, 3 miles (5 km) southeast of Banchory. Recumbent stone circles are unique to the North East of Scotland. Built between 2500 and 1500 BC, they are thought to have been used to observe the phases of the moon for the purposes of charting the agricultural seasons. Originally comprising a ring of nine granite stones, up to 1.5m (5 feet) in height, its oval shape suggests that Nine Stanes was constructed in the later stages of this period. One stone is now missing and another has been reduced to a stump. The southernmost of the stones is the recumbent, weighing 16 tons, which was once supported by two upright flanking stones (one now fallen) and the ring measures 17.5m (57 feet) by 14.6m (48 feet).

Some time after the circle was finished, a low cairn was built inside as a burial monument. This was excavated in 1904 and cremated bone and charcoal was found within a funnel-shaped pit, lined with slabs.

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