JIM HENDERSON PHOTOGRAPHY

Aberdeenshire Professional Photographer,  Royal Deeside, with Photo Library of Aberdeenshire & Scotland, Scottish Aurora Borealis displays and photographs of Ancient Egyptian sites from Cairo to Abu Simbel

 

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The photographs in this Gallery are views of the excavation of the Tomnaverie Recumbent Stone Circle near Tarland, to the north of the River Dee, in Aberdeenshire in North East Scotland. The work, which was undertaken by Reading University, on the site was for two seasons during 1999 and 2000 under the leadership of Professor Richard Bradley. The photographs show the site on the 23 April, 2000 the day before the dig was finally completed and the site restored as the final few photographs show.

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Tomnaverie Overhead View tomld001

23rd April, 2000 was the last day the tower was available and was the day before the site began to be covered over again for probably my lifetime. The Reading University archaeological investigation was complete and the planned restoration of the sites' main features were successfully achieved.

Aberdeenshire Bronze Age Circle tomld002

The site viewed from the northern boundary and which was considered the probable main entrance to this Aberdeenshire Bronze Age Recumbent Stone Circle.

Stone Circle under Clouds tomld003

Viewed from the main kerb, looking southwards to the recumbent, the spectacular clouds seemed to put a seal of approval on the work undertaken and give this last photographic opportunity a very special quality.

Stone Circle Central Platform tomld004

The recumbent and flankers are viewed from the center of the circle near where the original funeral pyre's might have been undertaken and which would have been the spiritual heart of this ancient burial site.

Tomnaverie & Lochnagar tomld005

Closer to the restored recumbent and with its distant view to the dominant snow capped outline of Lochnagar, one can understand the view by Professor Bradley that this was probably the last act of the builders, the final closure of this site, its final burial act completed.

Tomnaverie & Morven Hill tomld006

This east side view of the flankers and recumbent frames its other distant hillline of note that of the Hill of Morvern, its white top often an early sign that another winter is about to descend on Deeside and probably the sort of markers our ancestors even those many centuries ago would have understood.

Flankers & Monolith tomld007

Moving round the site, these monoliths prepare for the final act of coverage and the peacefulness yet again as men move on and the site is left to itself apart from the occasional visitor or a photographer chasing an interesting foreground for a winter Aurora Borealis display.

Low Angle Viewpoint of circle tomld008

Where once I lay but no more; a low view of the central stone complex from the southern edge of the site.

Excavation Trench into Centre tomld009

Probably the most distinctive evidence of the archaeological investigation that will remain buried under the top cover for future historians to mull over in some future dig and uncovering and one wonders whether our theories will stand the test of time.

Tomnaverie eastern aspect tomld010

A low view taken from the eastern side of the site, giving a view of the several monliths that mark the radials identified in the earliest stages of the dig in 1999 and of course, although not completely circular, give the name to these ancient 'religious' sites that are found throughout the island.

Boundary monoliths at Tomnaverie tomld011

Moving slightly closer to give alittle more detail of the monolith and the surrounding cairn. The monoliths are often of fascinating shapes and many are of quartz, a stone with many attributes of colour and of superstitious qualities. Most of the stones used at Tomnaverie were of red granite, common to the area.

Spring light over Scottish Stones tomld012

The sort of light a photographer dreams of, clear sharp and with white clouds to set the stones off against. Despite the sunshine it was also freezing cold even if it was April!

Monolith not restored tomld013

One of those monoliths that were not adjusted and which will give that pleasing irregularity to the site in years to come?

Tower View in Final Stage tomld014

23rd April 2000 and a last chance to get an overhead view before the tower is removed. When it was first built and completed this was the priviledge of a passing bird, so we have had at least a little advantage over our ancestors.

Updated View of Tomnaverie tomld015

1st April, 2003 and a progress report. This is how it looks today; the fence still there as the quarry is not filled in yet, a new carpark and access for the disabled and little remains of the dig evidence except a few holes where rain and settlement require some infill.

Stone Circle Against Clouds tomld016

The recumbent and east flanker looking settled and of course the clouds just as effective - goes with the territory so to speak!

Scottish Ancient Stones tomld017

This is the power of these sites and one can see how our ancestors saw the visual strength of these mighty blocks of stone and it was no mere whim that they were dragged onto these hilltops by massive community effort - at round the same time in history the pyramids of Egypt were being built.

Tomnaverie Recumbent Stone Circle tomld018

Thanks to the Reading University team we have a partly restored Tomnaverie Recumbent Stone Circle and it is there and very accessible for all to visit and enjoy, as well as maybe understand just a little bit better than we did.

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Contact Information:

Telephone/Fax: 44 01339 882149

Email : JHende7868@aol.com

Address: Crooktree, Kincardine O'Neil, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, UK AB34 4JD

Send mail to JHende7868@aol.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 2009 Jim Henderson Photography
Last modified: 19,Oct, 2017