Newest Review: ... size of Sunhoney is very impressive especially when you consider who moved the large rocks, and why. Firstly, the rocks would have require... more
Archaeological Importance in Aberdeen.
Aberdeen in General
Member Name: gonowheres
Aberdeen in General
Advantages: Interesting Archaeologically.
Disadvantages: Hard to navigate around Aberdeenshire.
I'm going to talk about important aspects of Archaeology in Aberdeen. This is one of my favourite aspects and is a must for anyone interested in Archaeology or history in the North of Scotland.
The site with the most archaeological importance in Aberdeen I feel is Recumbent Stone Circle in Echt. It is currently the biggest, oldest, and best preserved stone circle in Aberdeenshire. It dates from between the 2nd and 3rd Millenium BC, and was excavated in the middle of the 19th Century after several burnt bones were found at the site.
The recumbent contains at least 28 cup marks (as shown in picture A), which is indicative of many other stone circles. It also faces South West which is also indicative of other recumbent stones. The size of Sunhoney is very impressive especially when you consider who moved the large rocks, and why. Firstly, the rocks would have required a large amount of people to move them, especially when the main recumbent is over 30 tonnes in weight.
According to Aberdeenshire Council, Sunhoney as well as other various Stone Circles were used as burial areas. This was ascertained after the discovery of the aforementioned burnt bone remnants. This may not have been the sole reason for the construction of Sunhoney, but it certainly offers some insight into what it might have been used for. Some have even suggested that Sunhoney has an astrological importance, but there is very little evidence for this. This is a fairly decent suggestion, because presumably the people who had it had a certain belief system, which maybe could have been twinned to astrology.
The cup marks are very visible on the picture below. A)
Some people have suggested that Sunhoney, like its name was used to see the stars or the sun rising. This has been ascertained by the fact that "the long recumbent stone [was] generally between two of the upright stones of the circle itself and to obtain the direction of the sun or star by sighting across the circle at right angles to the length of the recumbent stone" This is a suggestion made by historians from the early 1900's, but it isn't a known fact, it is simply a suggestion at what it was possibly used for.
Whilst Sunhoney does not give us any direct indication as to what it was used for, its age and size certainly throws up lots of questions as to what Stone Circles can be used for. It certainly was an important structure at the time. The fact that people moved the large rocks and put such an obvious amount of effort into it at the time signifies its importance to the society at the time. Its increasing archaeological importance will be reflected in the future when we have established exactly what it could have been used for.
Certainly on the day, Sunhoney was by far the most important archaeologically. On a global scale at the time? Maybe not. But it's clear that the structure meant something big to the people that created it, and that cannot be ignored, especially when we still don't know why or what they used it for. Sunhoney gives us a decent insight as to what our ancestors were prepared to do for their beliefs and for that reason is the most important site visited on the 2nd May.
Summary: Sunhoney is a lovely aspect of Scottish archaeology.