An 'Ancient' Stone Circle Was Actually Built By A Farmer In The '90s

Archaeologists could barely contain their excitement after an ancient stone circle, believed to be built in the Bronze Age, was discovered in north-east Scotland in 2018.

But in a plot twist you couldn't make up, it turns out the precious stone circle was actually just put together by a humble farmer back in the 1990s.

A landowner in Aberdeenshire contacted historians back in December after he found what looked to be a Recumbent Stone Circle on his property.

These types of formations are well-known and spread throughout the region, and there's often a huge amount of variation between them, but it's not often a previously unrecorded one is found.

Stone circle in the parish of Leochel-Cushnie, in Aberdeenshire, originally thought to be legit. SOURCE: Aberdeenshire Council

At the time, historic environment record assistant at Aberdeenshire Council, Neil Ackerman, hailed it as a thrilling find and dated it as 4500 years old.

"It is rare for these sites to go unidentified for so long, especially in such a good condition," Ackerman said.

The finding was reported far and wide, as experts began their analysis of the rocks and their formation.

But a former owner of the farm caught wind of the discovery and contacted the archaeologists, informing them that he had actually built the stone circle with his bare hands sometime in the 1990s.

The Aberdeenshire Council made the disappointing announcement and Ackerman copped it on the chin.

And 12 hours later, he's confirmed he's kept his credentials.

Despite the blunder, Ackerman is still keen to hear from people who've stumbled across similar sites.

“We always welcome reports of any new, modern reconstructions of ancient monuments, especially those built with the skill of this stone circle and that reference existing monument types,” he said.

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Recumbent Stone Circles are unique because one large stone is laid on its side. They're among the oldest surviving structures in Scotland.