The Hill o' Many Stanes

October 27, 2013


Photographer: Stu Witmer   
Summary Author
: Stu Witmer

October 2013 Viewer's ChoiceStane-closeupThe Hill o' Many Stanes is a mystery. Some 4,000 years ago, unknown and forgotten people spent considerable energy finding, shaping and carefully setting up about 600 stones, of which about 200 remain, roughly one meter high and several inches wide. The stones are arranged in more or less parallel, or perhaps somewhat fan-shaped, lines on the south side of a hill in Caithness, Scotland. The site is not important enough to have attracted much scholarly attention. Suppositions about what it represents range from a lunar observatory to a memorial for the dead of a battle between two Highland clans. One thing is certain, the Hill o ' Many Stanes is a wonderful spot to pause and reflect on humanity and our relationship with our planet. Unlike many other more popular historic sites in Britain, the hill is covered with heather and gorse rather than nicely mowed, carefully tended grass. Some of the stones are nearly hidden by the overgrowth (inset). Little seems to have changed here for generations. Far from traffic, cities, and ticking clocks, the Hill remains part of a landscape moving slowly through time. Viewing the hill from the circle path around the perimeter seemed to me like looking into a portal of time and imagination. Photo taken September 22, 2011.

Photo Details: Panorama - Camera: Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS; Focal Length: 5.0mm; Aperture: f/8.0; Exposure Time: 0.0063 s (1/160); ISO equiv: 80. Single stone: same except - Aperture: f/2.8; Exposure Time: 0.0025 s (1/400). Panorama contains five photos stitched together with HugIt.