Wednesday, October 5, 2011

There's Rocks and Then There's Rocks

From Stone Pages Archeo News5 October 2011

[Excerpted] Survey work in the Loch of Stenness (Ortkney, Scotland) has revealed what could be a massive prehistoric monument lying underwater to the south of the Ring of Brodgar. The underwater 'anomaly' has come to light in a project looking at prehistoric sea level change in Orkney. The project, The Rising Tide: Submerged Landscape of Orkney, is a collaboration between the universities of St Andrews, Wales, Dundee, Bangor and Aberdeen.

Although it is tempting to speculate that the ring-shaped feature, which lies just off the loch's shore, is the remains of a henge or perhaps a prehistoric quarry, at this stage the project leaders are urging caution. Orkney-based archaeologist, Caroline Wickham-Jones, a lecturer at the University of Aberdeen, explained: "The preliminary results are suggesting that there is an unusual 'object' in the shallow water just off the shore, but more work is needed before we can identify it or even confirm whether it is a natural, perhaps geological, feature, or something man-made."

Dr Richard Bates from the School of Geosciences, St Andrews University, added: "The character and size of this feature - approximately 90m in diameter - are about the size of the main Ring of Brodgar. If it turns out to be artificial, the massive anomaly has to predate the influx of the sea into the Stenness Loch basin."

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