Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The ancient site of Clava Cairns in Celtic Guide

Celtic Guide is a fine online magazine published by Mr. James McQuiston. The monthly periodical is an excellent resource for Celtic history and a real joy for the history buff or for anyone who just likes to read some great stories. The pieces included in all eight issues of Celtic Guide are highly readable and dispense with the `scholarly tone' of narrative which so often mars articles concerning history. Mr. McQuiston is an able editor and consistently produces a magazine which reads like a collection of fine, themed short stories. I was honored to have my piece on Clava Cairns included in the most recent issue and I'm very proud to be among such good company. One of my fellow writers at Ancient History Encyclopedia, Mr. James Blake Weiner, will be publishing a piece in the September issue of the magazine. If you like Celtic history, or just a pleasant read, have a look and I hope you enjoy the time spent.  All eight issues of Celtic Guide may be found here: http://celticguide.com/

The August issue alone is here: http://celticguide.com/pdfs/aug12.pdf

My article begins:

Over 4,000 years ago our ancestors raised huge megaliths and positioned them in the earth with care. Sites such as The Ring of Brodgar in Stenness, Orkney, or the famous Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, mystify and enchant visitors from around the world today. There are many other more modest sites, however, which reward a visitor’s time and effort just as much as these more famous places and, perhaps, more so. Five miles east of the city of Inverness, Scotland, just down from Culloden Moor, rests one such site: the Balnuaran of Clava - popularly known as Clava Cairns.

Dating from the late Neolithic period, Clava Cairns consists of three well-preserved cairns and a number of free-standing stones strategically placed for astronomical purposes. There is no doubt among the scholarly community that the site was used both as a burial ground and as some sort of celestial marker. According to Andis Kaulins of Megaliths.net, Bal meant Pole and Nuaran, River of Light, thus designating Balnuaran as the center of the heavens from which the ancients could chart the stars.

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