Megalith stonecircle and stone row
In our days they are often used to build up the national pride, even when the concept nation is very young compared with five to six thousand years of stone draught. An English man asked me if we have stone circles in Scandinavia. At once I thought I have to tell about something in the size of Avebury and Stonehenge at Birkende gaard Zealand.
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If we want to be chronological about megaliths we should of course start with Carnac Bretagne. But I think it is easier if we take a longer path to the core of stony monuments with big boulders. However I think that is wrong. Archaeologists are much of journalists seeking scoop. That means they rather write about thing that seems magic, gigantic, spectacular or what gives a good story. That means earthwork is not seen as important ritual places and maybe they should "see" some woodwork there. It is just human and natural that the early science documented big visible things. We should not forget that the remains should have roots in local population so that they want to save them
Arch has not been too interested in the long mound or long barrow with stonework. In Denmark it is called "langdysse" and when we look closer at the type they are often like a ritual placed from maybe 6th to 5th millennium to Bronze Age and during the ages stone row, dolmen, passage grave, mound of soil and maybe cist is added. The types of megaliths are too squared and do not tell about local individuality and changes through the time. I follow many old schemes and that is because people would understand that better.
I think that finally the Danish Arch discovered that around 90% of early known earth-stonework have disappeared. Now we begin to see books with statistic and analysis of the remains. However it is almost too late. I have been searching for what I call "idea carriers". That mean we can find the society ideas in some original works that tell more than others that have been copycats in their age. It is not easy to find the description and arguments that tell about the wordless culture.
In Denmark the long barrow has often a row of stones or is guarded around by standing boulders
Holmshus lies in the belt from Haderslev to Esbjerg with many cultural remains during the ages. This is one of Jutlands most impressive establishments from the Stone Age. It consists of among other things two parallel long barrows, both more than 100m long. There is access to a big passage grave (remember torch), and over the long barrows chamber lies a 7-ton-heavy deck stone. The stonework of which has represented an overwhelming performance at the time - 3200 BC.
The King Size seemingly continued into Bronze Age with the long house more than 50 metres long second longest in Denmark. In the neighbourhood they have found the tall Skrydstrup Blondie ca 1350 BC with 60 centimetres long hair set up in coiffure of Knossos style. She is as one of two in Denmark that perhaps made a trip to the Minoans. We often see that "high culture" was tied to certain places/ landscapes
I suppose that earthworks and avenue could be the oldest types of ritual framework. Like the alignments at Carnac it speaks for "Following her" as general idea. In South England are very long earthworks in combination with existing rivers so maybe they made up the ritual landscape. British Archaeology Issue 69 March 2003http://www.britarch.ac.uk/ba/ba69/feat2.shtml write about earthwork, avenue and double ditch or cursus as types in the landscape. The longest is nearly 10 kilometres long and there are several at typical 2 - 4 kilometres but mostly they are 250 meters. But now back to stones:
It is quite normal to compete ... when it does not cost too much. When we look at those stone monuments in all sizes we can ask "Why all this sweat?" ... "Did they want to impress others or were there some purpose behind?" On the other hand many of us are looking for big buildings and much gold in the past. So maybe they were wise and knew that we would not notice small things? Many archaeologists and the journalists love things that can make sensations and scoops.
Of course we have also in Sweden some big monuments and the early tradition in West Gautland in the big passage graves. There is also a big stone ship in Askeberga with boulders weighing 20 to 30 tons and at highest more than three metres. We heard all about this when they had a historical fight with the Swedes in Uppland some decades ago. The theme was the biggest stones and the oldest "nation". Even in Texas everything is big.
I do not think that the size has anything to do with my topic and with the ideas as such. However maybe it has been a second thought when they build those megalith monuments. Visitors saw at once that they had manpower in places with big monuments. Still I think it was only a spin-off effect. We know for instance that the Minoans spread a rumour that they had a copper giant somewhere on Crete. The minus legend is of the same kind. They were hoping that it would scare away invaders and perhaps it did.
In Skaane they have their old giant Finn still going strong I saw in some movie and they have big stone ships too.
As always it is often that with some action and work follows other fortunes than calculated ... and maybe some problems too. That kind of facts we can only speculate about. I think our ancestors hated perspiration as much as I do. They would not draw big boulders without a very good reason. It is not reasonable that they would have done it only for the sake of spiritual religion.
We have no evidence that there were a big population. Since we do not work hard any more we think it was a big work to fool around with big stones. To our time it has been custom to underestimate our forefathers' intelligence. This lead to the normal formula when writing about their inventions "already then ...". In fact many times the earliest artefact is not for sure the absolute date of the first occurrence of the idea. We need instantly remember that they had an intelligent past even 6000 years ago.
All the monuments show that they were very skilled in mechanics and we must remember that the buildings were one-time job. Many of the buildings have been there for more than five thousand years without maintenance. The knew of course that the stone would be there ad eternity. Who would move them again? But we do not know if they literally build them for eternity.
Religion in our organised sense we can speak about only within Christianity and related religions. In Egypt, Sumer and maybe some other bigger cultures they had advanced rituals but were they religion? We have to define these things before we speculate. We have naturally no churches, but the monuments and some artefacts maybe tell about more or less organised rituals but were it religion of fundamentalism?
Since many of the stone circles are oriented to catch celestial events it is natural to think that their "religion" set the Time as the highest phenomenon in their World Order. We know that Egypt and Sumer saw most of their idols and gods in the sky as a common memory.
That world order is important in for instance Indian early religion. Varuna was the symbol of world order. Then it is the question was the physical phenomenon primary or the way they measured the phenomenon. Here I mean if they talk about "Four Corners of the world" and orient them after the Pole Star and the Equinox Sun the phenomenon are real but the ideas about corners are abstractions. All this may seem simple to us, but still we use all these basic concepts without thinking.
We know very well that the religions we know usually strive to conquer the entire world. Did the early religions do that? Can we expect missionaries even 6000, 5000, 4000 years ago when we in Scandinavia see influence from south? Or was it occasional trade? Was it an ancient kind of mission that brought the novelties to Europe, Scandinavia and Lapland in the same pace as we see them in Egypt and Sumer?
In our sense there has to be a staff of priests and a collection of songs and texts in a ritual year before we can speak about an established religion. In Egypt there were many temples each with their own version and in Sumer every city has their own version of annual rituals. Can we speak about religion in a manifold culture?
In Europe we have no evidence of city culture and must see it as a sparsely populated wilderness. Can there be organised priesthood and a collection of dogmatic rules in a sparsely populated landscape? Those questions are of the logic kind.
On the other hand we can look back in the stream of history. Then we can use the few facts we have and see that we have no tradition of pure clergymen. Instead we have the folk memory of lawmen and ritual leaders keeping track of time. Before we begin to speculate about ancient religion I think it is better to seek after "aldermen" and methods of deciding time rituals.
Asko Parpola studying the Indus Script made me recognise that the nobility carried the early script. We do not know for sure is the script language normal spoken language and we do not know how spread the ideas were. It is more likely that most of the scripts we see and the cultural artefacts were a matter form the nobility of the time ... so it is still today that only a fraction of the population consume what we call "culture". Still it so that historians seek the deed s of nobility and the fine things in culture and seldom ask about the substrate and surroundings to the remains.
The logic of a circle is both that it encloses something or excludes something and it is a whole. When we look at the perimeter it is a closed loop in space-time. In rock-carvings they usually mark with a cupmark were checkpoint of the loop is. They also cross it and part it in four seasons or something like that. On the British Isles they mostly use concentric circles that probably symbolise seasons.
The stony circle is divided in units it is a whole and could be used as a stable place for observation of the moving celestial sphere as we see. We need the parted circle or a square when we want to see the relation between the stars and of course how the sun and moon behave in the hood. The inventions of these things were pure science and first-time-acts so they could prove how the celestial hood behave in a years time.
A plan ofCallanish is available on Jerry Wellard's Ancient Britain site. http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/2621/callanis.htm
Robert Pollack has good pictures on his site
I took Callanish as an example since it is not too spectacular and the arrangement shows the main directions in observations. At Callanish we find most of the ancient orientations in one place and we should ad that there is a special notch for watching the midsummer sun and maybe they also find the 19 years cycle in the configuration.
In fact in any formation with many stones we can always point out all the directions we may use for ancient kind of astronomy! The difference in these stony monuments is that they by making the alignments point out just the main directions.
Equinox was everywhere the reference and a natural beginning of the season that lead to harvest. Only a minor part of the monuments are oriented for midsummer and it was not important for the labouring people. For them was bread on the table the issue and the myths and rituals were headed for the harvest and storing season.
Maybe the time is gone when we always ask if some stony monuments were used as instruments for deciding time. There is no need to make it mystical. Firstly it is only natural that they needed to keep track of time and a sort of calendar was useful in planing at least the growing season. Secondly archaeoastronomers and others have clearly shown that a good part of the establishments are oriented after the main celestial phenomenon.
Europe was not isolated but in phase with the known cultures in south where we have written evidence about time scheduling. A lot of artefacts show clear influence from south while others seem to be imports. Still several cultures use the very ancient rituals of the year and our time counting. Many things can only be done in one way.
Napoleon came to Egypt and saw the pyramids and said something like, "Gentlemen, 3000 years of history look down upon you". Little he knew or recognised that in his France the menhirs and boulders at Carnac have by now approximately 8000 years of history.
I do not immediately applause that Napoleon started the robbery of the history of Egypt to get borrowed feathers to Paris. Others followed and stole whatever that they could get loose as for instance the English took the best reliefs and destroyed many more and millions mummies were used as fertiliser. This is just a reminder of the robbery that still is going on.
There is not much of science in this and it sound more like politics and nations wanting to get shiny feathers. If we want to really know the development of ideas and civilisation we do not find it by studying the Giza plateau without end. We should know how it all began and understand that extremely fertile places like the river valleys create culture, but there are others outside. Big, is not always the sustainable culture or anything else.
Since they began the Carnac alignments 2000 years before the first dynasty in Egypt I would say, "civilisation began at Carnac". The arrangements prove the intellectual efforts behind the work. That is because I see the alignments as manifestos of the human suite. To create these mighty monuments with more than 3000 boulders they must have the intellectual tools to get people to work in suite.
That means the leaders and the people had to enlighten, refine and educate them selves to work under certain rules. That is just the definition of civilisation in our vocabulary. They must gather people from a large area and get them to work together under a long time, i.e. maybe 2000 years or 66 generations. The long alignment alters slightly direction so maybe they had to make the correction after the experience they got.
Egypt's archaeology creates frames that cover the real meaning of things. Now they childishly talk about sun cult as soon as they see a circle and even crossed circles are the sun cult. The only real concentration on the sun was the period with Echnaton, when the farmers surely followed Toth, the moon as they always had done. But he was also misunderstood then and now. Read his "Sun song" and realise that he was an ecologist we should listen to even today. There is no fault in his ecological worldview. A man does not become "the heretic" even if Amun priests and scientist in our days put on that label.
Often it is a matter of understanding their flowering language with many allegories. We do not understand and call their warnings for taboo and spirits: They could be like our plague of bacteria, virus and things that gives us allergies. In those days they were different since even plague alters its face with time. An African proverb says, "Do not talk at the table - mother in law could die".
We westerners do no realise that always when we are talking near each other small particles fly in the air and could infect others. Then it does not help how much we keep clean in the kitchen. In fact is like a lifestyle for us westerners to come together and talk over a bit good food. Maybe our general cleanness help us to keep the evil spirits down?
We have no evidence of cults rational or magic during Stone Age. We have only flowering imagination and hubris of westerners believing we are superior and our ancestors were primitive. No food is produced by magic or by cult. Effective work needs a plan and the right tools and means. Let us stay at the logic analysis.
We can only deduce that they surely started their work with rituals that maybe included processions and the elderly decided by using practical astronomy when it was time to delegate the works. Such big arrangements as those at Carnac need ingenious leaders and much skilled technique and as said that began around 2000 years before the first dynasties in Egypt according to the monuments. However it could have a longer prehistory.
Carnac is the mother of all science since they surely gathered much knowledge about the celestial sphere how it could be used as carrier of the calendar. We can not separate the celestial object and say that the moon calendar was first or most important. We have to take it all with the sun and the stars. I doubt they were interested in the planets in the early state.
Besides the science they shaped some of the boulders and then we have the construction business and how to feed many people during the work. Fortunately they lived at the shores of Morbihan bay and the Biscayan that brought plenty of fishes, mussels and other goodies besides the hunting in the area. Surely agriculture began early in this part of France. Still lots of planning and many sitting before all was done.
The planets do not follow the year as need in agriculture. They could not avoid planet Venus as evening and morning star to be noticed by its brightness. We know that it was used in the Sumerian symbolism as an incarnation of Ereshkigal (sister of Inanna) and she was the birth-giving Lady in Underworld. So we should search for the sun, moon, Venus and the stars as object for the scientific studies at Carnac those days.
The pollen curves from the area shows a sloping line for trees from 4000 to 3000 BC. In the middle of the millennium there are a few hundred years with seed pollen and that is surely the age for building ritual passage graves. Maybe they also harvested grasses to try if they could get well-acclimated plants to harvest . SeeGavrinis for symbolism
Around 3100 BC onward there is a heavy drop in tree pollen and rise in grasses as well as "domesticated" wild plants that follow rising culture/ agriculture. Seed pollen become almost continuous compared with Ireland and Sweden inland where there are only trials a few hundred years before 3000, 2000 and 1000 BC to be continuous after 500 BC.
Naturally the eye catch firstly the four alignments with around 3000 standing stones at Le Menec, Kermario, Le Mario and Kerlescan that lay in 3 mile/ 5 kilometres long line from southwest to northwest with a "little" alignment at Petit Menec 250 stones. Then we have Ker Zehro 10 rows 1100 stones 8 kilometres northwest of Carnac and maybe another belonging to the same alignment. In some places local people have "borrowed" stones so we can never be sure of the original shape. Anyway these later alignments crosses in direction the main alignments.
We should note that there are cromlechs = stone circles belonging to these. There are several possibilities of use. They could have been as a counter of a fixed value used when they followed the celestial objects. It could have been a meeting place with delegates symbolised by the stones then I compare with our doom rings suitable for the "college of seven" Some of the stones have special shape and could have been used as the observation place.
In Bohuslen there is a row with eleven stones in sliding scale. They call it "The Bride's Suite". Probably they followed a specific star. The asterism Aurigae with Capella was used for this purpose until ca 1900 BC when it became circumpolar. Folk memory tells that "She disappeared for 70 days". That sentence could only be about an asterism and its origin must be in 5th millennium. The alignment Le Menec at Carnac has 12 rows and nowadays ca 1100 stones. In the end of the alignment there is a stone circle/ cromlech with 70 stones. That could mean they followed the asterism Aurigae at the alignment. It is in the southwest end of the four major alignments and could have been the first they made.
About 200 metres from Kermario there is the Quadrilateral 10 time 40 metres fence with stones that could have been a ritual place. The 6 metres tall menhir Le Geant has survived 50 metres from the stonework. It is shaped and they suggest it has been used for observations.
Then there are the big standing stones called menhirs with the tall Le Grand Menhir once 20 metres high and visible from the entire area. The big one could be used for sun, star and moon observations and it seems to be the right solution.
There are also other types of sites dolmen, passage grave, tumuli, and barrows and some of these could have been used for the "go-beneath-ritual". Since they believed in resurrection the ritual at s owing was just copying the funeral. In Egypt a dummy of Osiris was used. The arrangements with menhirs remind of Egypt with the seasonal movement between the stelae and the underground. There are a few serpent symbols in the reliefs that tie ideas to the ritual astronomy.
At Kermario they found amber beads in the passage grave. AS a half-dane I think naturally about the connection to Scandinavia with stone rows at Jutland and amber at the west coast and very many passage graves. Especially the Carnac area contends all kinds of stonework that must be seen in its context. But that is hard work since it is hard to technically date such huge monuments.
I think I could spend a lifetime in Bretagne. Here I only comment a little since there is a very good and informative site showing the essentials of the whole area with stony boulders. Have a look at Vicki Sherwood's "The Megaliths of Carnac and Locmariaquer" with informative maps showing many of the sites.
Carnac is/ was bigger than I thought
Before we leave the menhirs of Carnac here a picture from Tsingala Siberia early in this century. It is of course not as primitive as some may think. The method worked for thousands of years and is naturally the same as the Celts used as Irminsul before the barbarians came from Rome.
Avebury copy at Zealand
I lived my childhood at West Zealand and the landscape was open with no woods in sight. Three and plantations were around the farms and there were trees along some of the road. To that came all ancient monuments long barrows, dolmens, passage graves and big mounds that were like islands in the farming land.
The ancient remains were game places for us children. For instance two long barrows on my neighbouring girls land were our favourite place. On one of them there were two passage graves in the heel. I got the chance to show my male courage when. I first time in spite of the nettles dared to look inside while my girl said, "Don't dare. My ma'am say there are ghost in there".
Long after that I learnt the nettles are the real resurrection since they re-circulate food that was eaten in front of the passage grave. For the archaeologist such thing and dark soil are indications of ancient activity. The light marks in vegetation gives also information since under them there could be remains after stony buildings.
Until our time it has been costly to get air photos and there have been many military restrictions. But nowadays when the satellites can spot the smallest things on earth there is not much use of military secrecy on that point. Nowadays the archaeologists can easily get air photos from many areas and the use of mini helicopters could be versatile. In Sweden the surveying institute has a good service and can furnished us many maps/ pjhotos. But as always in Sweden the land is big so it is like the needle in the haystack. However it seems that several methods are needed.
In my early years I visited all remains within ten kilometres. I never discovered our big stone circles. Still I have perhaps walked over the land at Birkende gaard near Kalundborg Zealand since I visited once the long barrow in the same area. Not long ago I got the information of the Avebury-like stone circles in "our" parish. The discovery was made in 1967 from air photo of 1965 showing light and dark marks in the field around a mound.
But Denmark is open land so maybe next generation of archaeology will find more archaeology from the air. Not long ago for instance the Sarup earthworks were sensational and mystic scoop for the journalists. By now they have found 30 sites of the kind. But it seems that they have not the 100 000 Dkr needed for documentation of the big circles at Birkende gaard.
Quarter of the site with the mound marked
Thorkild Ramskov excavated a small part of the site in 1969 and it was published in an article "Nationalmuseets arbejdsmark" 1970. However the documentation seems lost and there has been no interest from the archaeologists in charge. Maybe it is the high costs maybe it is the general lack of interest in Stone Age Denmark? and there is no A.P.Möller?
In 1969 the modern analysing methods with the magnetometer and other technical tools were not invented. It is hard digging if only a shovel is used for sites of this size. In fact there could be another stone circle of the same size. Birkende have the double big stone circles in common but there are no signs of earthwork yet
Still Ramskov excavated some stone holes that have been bed of about 250 big boulders in the size of 3 - 5 tons in three rings. Surely they by now are walls in the churches of the neighbourhood. There have been two rows with stones and between them a row of small pits as far as the excavations show: The diameter is 320 meters that is around the size of Avebury. Some finds of pottery suggest that the circles were made around 1000 BC.
We could presume that the big stones were used for the nearby castle at Kalundborg now at the bottom of the fjord. Esbern Snare builds it in late 12th century at the same time as his brother bishop Absalon build Copenhagen castle on founded the town. As bishop the stool of Roskilde owned big estate Birkendgard and Loegtved in the Aars county. That same bishop was the one that as Knight Templars destroyed the temple at Arkona Rügen in 1169. Both belonged to the mighty Hvide clan that gave land for 75 churches at Zealand.
Still the excavating is too small to rely on, but enough to make some of us curious. The Danish open landscape is like some plains in Sweden are under heavy use in agriculture. When the later generation got knowledge they tried to raise money but as I remember from my childhood Stone Age is not the first people are interested in. That is because they have the rich semi-golden Bronze Age with very many finds. For some reason they have not been interested in the real Golden Age during Great Migration either I really do not understand the sense behind the attitudes, since I think we should know about all ages if we want to understand the evolution.
At Birkendegaard they found a bronze bucket containing 2 bigger plus 4 smaller buckles. The stone circle was situated on the height that dominates the landscape and could be seen from most of NW Zealand and preliminary dated to around 1000 BC. It was there at the time of the buckles and surely until the churches and castle builders needed stone. So we could speculate in processions there.
I compare this to my experience from childhood during WW2 when the youngsters rode with the Spring Bride in wagon with feast mountings and plumes. They were asking for seed to the bride and the ritual was similar when the bride and bridegroom rode around asking for things to the farm and inviting to wedding. It was much the same the wedding day. Here at Dal Sweden in my county it was much the same. I must see this as direct heritage among farmers from Bronze Age to our days. For picture of the buckles seeBronze Age goddesses in wagon or boat
Short stone row
There need to be at least two stones before we can define it as stone row, of course. This section is about short rows. For longer rows see Danish stone rows. For practical astronomic observation the stable viewpoint is needed.
That means a sightstone and a heelstone and there was usually a "first time" when the needed direction was decided and practice is then to use it at a certain moment.
Hobby astrolabe and diopter
In practice it is called the astrolabe and there is some grading. Then it is possible to define different levels and the direction is usually some old convention. For instance the oldest conventions seem to be that spring equinox and sunrise is the normal viewpoint. Lowest sunrise is another.
There has been much discussion about archaeoastronomy. Mostly it is because there is not ancient labels on the sites telling in plain English or other languages what the boulders have been used for. There has been too much valuing and labelling and too littlepretending the life and need of our ancestors.
We are dependable of logic reasoning and at once it is open for the sophists that do no believe in anything. Maybe it is the lack of knowledge about what was necessary in society. In the big culture we see that astronomy was important since the most important deities are marked with stars and the calendar was correlated to celestial objects.
For me it is enough when we see that some sites could be used for practical alignments according to the celestial objects. In practise they only needed to decide some season dates. Initially it was the science we call astronomy. But as always our ancestors used the "first-time" experience if it was successful. After that they locally practised the knowledge. see alsothe survey of early astronomy
In modern science we have the demand that others should verify an experiment before we can make any statement of success. We can verify that some of the stone arrangements could be used in practical astronomy for deciding important days in relation to the celestial object that were like role models. That is enough proof up to my mind. However we can never verify that all stone sites were used in astronomy.
Journalists and archaeologists searching for scoops have done their best to mystify things and scientist seldom agree on anything. Other makes our ancestors more spiritual and cosmological than we are. I just wonder how they will prove that scientifically.
We should not make things too difficult. Practical astronomy needs only the astrolabe for deciding single days. So stones in circle is not at all needed. They are need if we what to orientate in the heavenly hood for other stars/ asterisms at a certain time. Stones in rows sound more like ritual use since a row has definite length in space-time
For the single day/ night you need only the stable viewpoint. The Egyptian symbol is for the time "when earth-hood rises" again, i.e. midwinter. The bow is sun orbit and above that the fixed point. Near Stonehenge they have found three holes that may have been three high wooden pillars used for the fixed viewpoint for watching the turning point of the moon.
At Callanish two stones with a notch form an aperture and once you know the heelstone and the time you can watch the midsummer sunrise. From earth seen the heavenly bodies reach the exactly the same point only once a year. Only the planets have a cycle. Seemingly only the moon was used and they knew early that the cycle is 243 moon or 18,61 year.
Hovsten Fergelanda Dal and we can call it atwo-stone monument
Originally the Hovsten may have been used as a sight-stone with a heel-stone and then used as reference when observing celestial phenomenon. I feel that some of the monument stones may have been shaped for the purpose and they have found that important stones have got a finish.
I call this a Maiden Stone since the top is in the shape of the asterism Auriga. The position is on one half end of Watergate. That was obviously an important fix-star for spring equinox before 3100 BC and later. The local memory about the stone tells that it was transported to the place and then they dropped it by accident and it got the hack. Hard to believe when we see this.
Maiden Stone from Scotland
This stone we find in Scotland near Aberdeen. It is decorated with four images that may be celestial symbols. We cannot say if the relief was made when they "first time" set up the stone. It may be later inventions.
We find names like Maiden Stone, Gyrstone and even Edstone that may commemorate the time when to "Follow Maiden". That means that the method was to follow a star or asterism the entire year. There is also a fragment telling that "She was away for 70 days". The star Capella became circumpolar about 1900 BC so we can date such a sentence several thousand years earlier.
In Bohuslaen there is a row with eleven stones in sliding scale. They call it The Bride's Suite. If people have lived there continuously it is fully possible that the name have been preserved as long as there has been a settlement. The dating of this is then fourth to fifth millenniums BC provided that none have needed a stone from the row.
Maybe the graded figure is a standing stone at Rock 1 Haugsbyn
Another possibility is that they have used the standing stone with heel stone to decide the height of the moon symbolised by the little boat on the left side of the standing stone. This seems to be in the spring and the circle with a dot is the sun in the beginning of the yearly flow.
This picture is in semi-Egyptian style with understandable figures combined with script symbols however there are some Sumerian symbols too. It is typical for symbols of Dal that it is a mix of import and local symbols. see more under Ground grooves.
Bockesten on Dal /Buck Stone
The imagination of the Dal people tells that the buck used to jump up on the stone when the wolves hunted it. I am the sceptic since we note the two small stones on each side marking directions. Why did the buck use this particular stone among many other stones and rocks in the forest?
The Buck and the Ram have been celestial symbols from ca 1200 BC so that may be the truth in the name. The fact that they give this special stone a name among many many other big stones in the neighbourhood tells us that this stone was special.
In this case we see the arrangement clearly and can make the qualified guess that the establishment was used in practical astronomy, since the only thing you can align are the celestial objects in the sky. The simplest arrangement is to choose a reference direction and from the beginning they seem to often have preferred north-east to south-west. See for other directions under Stone circles and Danish stone rows.
In these cases there is not much of myth or ritual in the arrangement. In fact we do not know much about a ritual of the kind "Follow Maiden", but the Egyptians still recognize the picture of a Maiden with two servants as "Shemesu Hor/Her", i.e. "Follow the Time". Then we have to understand the time ritual behind and that their entire year was lead by this in much the same way as the ritual year of Christianity for instance. It still begins at the first moon after spring equinox in the same way as it approximately began around 4000 BC.
Danish Hestestene (Horsestone)
Three stonesare quite frequent and it seems that they are from last millennium BC onward. Three idols are called "a hov" ... and the Russians call it "troika". It surely originates from the trisection of the celestial round. In our days the Swedish word "hov" = court.
Naturally three stones in a row can also be used for alignment, but the fact that they are three speaks for ritual and myth as the meaning ... and seldom three dies at the same time. Since the local name is horse-stones and they mention drowned we may ask were they horses?
In Scandinavia the monk Adam of Bremen have much influenced this concept, since he told about a temple in Uppsala with a hov with Thor Odin and Frey. He had never been longer than in southern Jutland and his knowledge was in second and third hand. He shows that he has read many of the antique writers and the Bible of course. That is perhaps why he caricaturise Nordic people much in the same way as for instance some Greeks that in Thule saw one-eyed giants, amazons, one footed and those with the head in the stomach. His description of the temple sounds like that of Salomo there has never been that much gold in Scandinavia I explain the trinity in another place.
I would never listen to my enemy for Adam it was a question of politics. I am pretty sure that my ancestors were descent people. Otherwise there would not have been humble me. Still it is quite normal that cultural imperialism tries to wipe out the former culture and made it heathen.
In research we can not have preconceived ideas and know the answer in advance. Why should our European ancestors be much different compared to the known cultures in Sumer and Egypt? That is why I try to understand and see if the same main time ritual is valid also in our stone arrangements.
I do not say that all are of the kind and there are many variations. Most important is that I can show my ancestors were intelligent besides the humble human way of life I expect. Ordinary people care for their life and respect others otherwise the specie would not survive.
Three-stone-hov symbolising three seasons perhaps
At Bjaurketorp in Sweden there are three stones with runic texts, which are hard to understand. Earlier interpreters read magic texts, but I think I understand some of the words belonging to the celestial sphere. If we don't understand we should not call it magics, I think.
This was surely a hov and manifested the trinity. We must always remember that gods and idol were abstractions and concepts for their daily life. These idols represented three seasons and the work and life during each season should be understood behind the concepts. The idea came surely from Egypt that has three natural seasons. For us is the Celtic four seasons the most natural.
See also IRISH GENIUShttp://www.irishmegaliths.org.uk/pillarstones.htm