The Moon and the Bonfire: An Investigation of Three Stone Circles in North-East Scotland


Richard Bradley (ed)


stone circles, ring cairns, fieldwalking survey, landscapes, cremation burial, archaeoastronomy, recumbent stones

Tarland, Keig, Old Deer, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, UK


Chalcolithic; Bronze Age


This volume presents the result of three excavations and two field walking surveys in Aberdeenshire. They were intended to shed new light on the character, chronology and structural development of the distinctive recumbent stone circles which are such a feature of north-east Scotland. Although the monuments share certain elements with other traditions of prehistoric architecture, and, in particular, with the Clava Cairns of the inner Moray Firth, no excavations at these sites had been published since the 1930s and their wider contexts  had not been investigated by field survey. The new project took advantage of techniques which had not been used before, including pollen analysis and soil micromorphology, in an attempt to interpret these monuments in their wider chronological and geographical contexts. In that respect this work was the sequel to an earlier investigation of the Clava Cairns.


  • Front matter
    Richard Bradley
  • The origins and objectives of the project
    Richard Bradley
  • Excavations at Tomnaverie
    Richard Bradley, Tim Phillips, Alison Sheridan, Angela Boyle, Stephen Lancaster, Donald Davidson, Ian Simpson, Brian Matthews, Peter Brewer
  • Excavations at Cothiemuir Wood and Aikey Brae
    Richard Bradley, Sharon Arrowsmith, Chris Ball, Tim Phillips, Catherine Chisham, Petra Dark, Donald Davidson, Stephen Lancaster, Ian Simpson
  • The result of Fieldwalking at Tarland and Castle Forbes
    Tim Phillips
  • The implications of the project
    Richard Bradley
  • References
    Richard Bradley
  • Index
    Richard Bradley


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December 15, 2023


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