Stone circle: Aberdeenshire Recumbent Stone Circle turns out to be a 1990s copy

Last updated at 09:44
Recumbent Stone Circle in AberdeenshireAberdeenshire Council/PA

An archaeologist who thought he'd found a prehistoric stone circle was left quite embarrassed after realising that it was just a copy.


Back in December 2018, it was reported that a new stone circle, that was around 4,500 years old, was found in Aberdeenshire in Scotland.

The stone circle which is called a 'Recumbent Stone Circle' sits on a farm in Aberdeenshire, was reported by the the farmers who owned the land - it had unusual features including smaller than usual stones.

Neil Ackerman, the archaeologist who had to figure out if the stones were real and how old they were, decided that they were the real deal and the find was celebrated.

But... Mr Ackerman was left red faced when the former farm owner came forward to say that he had built the stone circles in the 1990s.

Recumbent Stone Circle copy in AberdeenshireAberdeenshire Council/PA

The archaeologist was able to laugh about it, though.

On social media he said: "If you are having an awkward day at work at least you're not that guy who identified a new prehistoric stone circle to the press that now turns out to be about 20 years old."

He added: "It is obviously disappointing to learn of this development, but it also adds an interesting element to its story... These types of monument are notoriously difficult to date."

What is a Recumbent Stone Circle?

Recumbent Stone Circles were made around 3,500-4,500 years ago and they are found in parts of Scotland and Ireland.

They are usually have a large horizontal stone - known as the recumbent - with two upright stones on each side.

These stones are well known and spread throughout the north east of Scotland, but it is rare to find one that hasn't been recorded before.

Mr Ackerman said: "I hope the stones continue to be used and enjoyed - while not ancient it is still in a fantastic location and makes for a great feature in the landscape."