I intend dealing with the question of the Druid circles from an anthropologist point of view, and my argument will run in two main lines, positive and negative. The positive argument will, after a general description of the characteristics and geographical distribution of stone circles, consider the history and tradition in regard to them, and then inquire if any such or similar structures are set up or used now-a-days anywhere, and, if so, what their purpose is. The negative side of my argument is the most important ; here I will endeavour to prove who did not build them, and what they were not built for, an argument onthe lines of elimination, for which I will lay under contribution what modern research—so far as is known to me—has done in unravelling the early history of Europe and of the races that successively were prominent there. The stone circles consist of undressed stones, more or less pillar-shaped, set on end in the circumference of a circle. That is the only general statement that can be made about them, for they continually differ as to the size, interval, and number of stones in the circle ; as to the size or number of circles, concentric or adjacent; and as to the existence of other structural accom-paniments, such as outside trenches, cairns or mounds inside,dolmens or menhirs at or near the centre, or avenues of stones. The drawings of Druid Temple, Clava Cairns—north and south,and the northern cairn of Clava are lithographs from originaletchings by Mr Smart ; and I take this opportunity of thanking him for the immense trouble he undertook to illustrate my paper. The excellence of the work speaks for itself. Mr Smart gave me also valuable assistance and suggestions throughout.

 

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Scoto-Celtic Studies- Essays - Papers - A Macbain 1900

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