An Aberdeenshire stone circle initially thought to be thousands of years old has been identified as a modern replica.
An investigation into the site at the parish of Leochel-Cushnie found the stones to be about 20 years old.
It was originally thought to be the site of a recumbent stone circle - until the man who built it came forward.
The findings sparked excitement among experts and were widely reported.
They were initially celebrated as an authentic recumbent stone circle by Adam Welfare of Historic Environment Scotland and Aberdeenshire Council's Archaeology Service.
Further archaeological analysis of the stones was being conducted when a former owner of the farm contacted Mr Welfare to say he had built the stone circle in the 1990s.
That's as good as the OOPARTS that crop up regularly on Pinterest, such as a prehistoric mobile phone or two stone slabs melted together, which have "baffled the archaeologists".(Plot spoiler- I heard this being reported on BBC Radio4UK yesterday evening, via a live interview with the lead archaeologist: Alford in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Local civic and archeological experts are pleased & proud to be able to publicise the presence of a large mysterious substantially-unrecorded large stone circle, of a style consistent with others in the area.
All goes well, until the farmer who previously owned the land confesses that he built it himself as a hobby project in the early 1990s. Numerous classic tropes apply, including false memories (people who claim it was there in the 1930s), 'experts' who were taken-in completely, false (or at least unupdated) news, supernatural claiments, post-facto statements by authorities....etc)
BBC Scotland News on 'replica stone circle'
I heard this story on the talking wireless yesterday and wondered a few things.Seriously though, I do worry this gives fuel to the sort of person who often uses the phrase "so-called experts", but even more troubling, if there was no record of this circle before the 1990s, what made the archaeologists think it was authentic? It's kind of hiding in plain sight.
So the stones were there by chance?I've visited a minor stone circle which some sources say is prehistoric but others say that there's no reason to suggest it's an antiquity because none of the stones were 'earth-fast'. 'Entirely fortuitous' was the term used.
(First, to avoid misunderstanding, I'll reiterate that the original reference to the position of stones being "entirely fortuitous" related to another "minor stone circle" and not the one that is the subject of the recent story.)