The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Comet Stone

Standing Stone / Menhir


This site shows how size isn't everything. There was a complicated set of ceremonies surrounding matrimony involving all three rings and another Bookan site. Though nothing is recorded for this place, if the early name of Ulie Stane comes from dialect ullie 'oil' might I suggest a reference to chrism and perhaps ceremonies surrounding childbirth ? Note that this was the way to the Ring of Brodgar on the old track that ran through the "sacred monuments", making it a gatekeeper kind-of - in the 19th century gentlemen still doffed their caps to it.

[My stone measurements are likely accurate but the distances between them and across the mound are as near as I could manage alone. {NMRS converted to metric} ]
The Comet Stone aligns NW/SE and sits in a depression presently measuring 2.7m by 2.3m and 20cm deep. The main stone stands 1.88m at the SE end {1.75m} and 1.97m at the NW, depth 27-28cm {29cm}, width 70cm at base increasing to 73 {76cm}. Measured height differs enough from NMRS to indicate surface erosion [there is a long scrape in the northern half too]. "Lines on the Landscape, Circles from the Sky" by Trevor Garnham gives an alignment to Maes Howe. but unless my compass reading is absolutely useless is incorrect this is not so, explaining why the meticulous antiquarians would miss such a thing- the alignment would seem, rather, to carry on to the Ring of Bookan [though this is on the hillslope invisible from here unless it stood higher formerly or had a superstructure such as a stone ring or posts] and perhaps ? to something roughly in the Dowsgarth region in the other direction. This NW/SE alignment is shared by the Stanerandy Tumulus (for a long while thought to be standing stones) and the Deepdale Stones, both on Mainland, and the Langsteeen on Rousay - we know so few s.s. orientations that there could well be more. The relationship with the recorded 'stubs' is striking, forming a geometric unequal tee-formation. Following the alignment 2.97m {2.67m} brings you to the western edge of Stub i and from that 2.75m takes you to the eastern edge of Stub ii. These define the mound's axes. Axis A , defined by Comet to Stub i 'W', is perpendicular to Axis B which is along the line of the two stubs (a NE/SW alignment shared with the Watch Stone stump and the Spurdagrove s.s. pair). Using 'mound' for the area currently left rough then the mound is 16~16.5m along Axis A and ~11m along Axis B - NMRS gives approximate size of 13.7x12.8 and ~80cm high. At the edge, 6.5m from the Comet Stone's SE end only a few inches away [
wideford Posted by wideford
14th August 2009ce
Edited 14th August 2009ce

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