Calanais Neolithic Standing Stones Lewis - Pictures & Images - { 109 images } Created 14 Dec 2016

Calanais or Callanish Neolithic Standing Stone (Tursachan Chalanais) , Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland. Situated on a hill overlooking Loch Roag and the Great Bernera hills, the Calanais stones are an impressive site and a testament to the determination and ingenuity of the Neolithic peoples that inhabited this area 4000 years ago. Archaeology has shown that the site at Calanais (Chalanais) has been occupied since around 3,500BC when the land was cultivated by Neolithic farmers. Between 2900-2600BC a ring of stones 11 metres wide was erected. At the centre of the ring stands a huge monolith stone 4.8 metres high weighing about 7 tonnes, which is perfectly orientated so that its widest sides face due north south. Around 2600BC a small burial chamber, 6.4 metres long had been erected inside the Calanais stone circle and by 2000BC this had been encased in a stone cairn within which cremated bones and votive pottery was placed. By this date the standing stone monument also had two stone avenues and 3 stone rows radiating from the central circle. The northern avenue is 83 metres long with 19 stones set 7 metres apart, the largest to which stands 3.5 metres high. It can never be known exactly what the Calanais Stones were used for apart from the fact that it was used as a Neolithic burial ground. Other Neolithic smaller standing stone monuments are situated close to Calanais and can be found all over Scotland. The size of the Calanais Stones and the investment of time it would have taken to erect them means that they had great importance to Neolithic community of Lewis. The orientation of the stones make it seem likely that the Calanais Stones played a part in some sort of ritual that revolved around the seasons, in particular the midwinter sunrise and sunset. The introduction of a later burial chamber which is squashed into the centre circle seems to be part of later rituals that probably revolved around ancestor worship. The fact that the purpose of the Calanais Standing Stone is not known only add to their mystique making them the most important historical monument on the Isle of Lewis. Browse or download pictures of Calanais or Callanish Neolithic Standing Stone (Tursachan Chalanais) on line as stock photos or buy as photo art prints.

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