-Stonehenge Rival? 2003-08-28Posted by clype in Discovery, Humanities, Scotland.
The circle is the latest to have been discovered at a site widely considered as second in importance to Stonehenge.
Experts said the new circle was very exciting, as it had been built not into soft ground but propped up on a rocky outcrop. They have also located the quarry where the rocks came from, a rare discovery in archaeological terms.
The circle, called Na Dromannan, has been found overlooking the standing stones of Callanish on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.
Archaeologists from Manchester University had been working near the four other existing circles, a popular tourist attraction on the island, for about two years.
Because the 30 metre wide circle had been made on a rocky outcrop, many of the stones, which measure up to four metres long, have been found lying broken where they fell.
It is also thought the circle was built on the site of the quarry from which the stones came. Although archaeologists have been able to trace the mountains from which stones such as those in Stonehenge came, no evidence of the actual quarry has ever been found.
Senior lecturer Colin Richards [email@example.com, tel: 0161 275 3313] says the find is also important for the island's tourism economy. He said:
'There are not many stone circles in this condition and I have never seen this type of construction used before. They are located quite impressively in an elevated position on a rocky outcrop.
'It was long thought that there may be a further stone circle on the site but, until now, it has lain undiscovered, buried in the peat.'
His team has uncovered about half of the stones in the circle so far and plan to return next year .