The Recumbent Stone Circles of Aberdeenshire: Archaeology, Design, Astronomy and Methods

Recumbent Stone Circles are a distinctive architectural style of British stone circle. Built circa 2500 BC, they dominated the Late Neolithic landscape of Aberdeenshire, Scotland. This book discusses their archaeology and, using experimental archaeology, explains how the original builders went about building these magnificent stone circles.

Sharing the results of the author’s unique experiments, the book demonstrates how measured ropes were used to set out the geometrical design of the stone rings, as well as dictate the dimensions of the circle’s respective orthostats. Moreover, given the book’s provision of instructions on to repeat these experiments, the reader will be able to explore how these circles not only captured their corresponding astronomy, but how they were also positioned in the landscape so that they were astronomically aligned towards each other, creating a network of inter-aligned stone circles that enabled the prehistoric communities to synchronise both time and space across the vast regions of Aberdeenshire.


Dr John Hill is an experimental archaeologist. His field of research investigates the architectural designs of British Neolithic structures—both domestic and ceremonial monuments. He utilises his original, practical techniques of experimental archaeology in order to determine how the Neolithic communities could have designed and constructed such impressive structures using rudimentary methods. Although now retired, he still finds time to teach archaeology and history at the University of Liverpool’s Continuing Education Department, as well as its International Summer School.

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ISBN: 1-5275-6585-8

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-6585-2

Release Date: 17th March 2021

Pages: 212

Price: £61.99

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