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8 PhASeS Of cOnStructiOn five thousand years at Callanish A major excavation took place at Callanish in 1980 and 1981, directed by Patrick Ashmore, who distinguished several phases of activity see his impressions opposite. In around 3000 BC early farmers ploughed the soil, which later developed into pasture. A ditch was dug, defining an enclosure which may have been used for ritual purposes. Fourteen megaliths were erected as a circle with a central stone upper drawing. Small stones and clay were built into a mound around each stone to compensate for the shallowness of the socket holes. Probably the rows were added later, but there is no evidence to prove this. Later, the chambers of the cairn were constructed on a specially levelled area. A circular kerb was added a little later lower drawing. Later again, perhaps around 1000 BC, the capstones were thrown off the cairn and its contents scattered. Land within the circle was ploughed. Maybe a culture with different beliefs had taken over. Strangely, the cairn was then partially rebuilt, using former capstones to make a northern kerb. Not long after this, peat began to form, burying the cairn over the next 3000 years. 9
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