|18 November 1999
A face carved on a standing stone at Callanish?
Last month, Archaeo News reported the claims of Dr Terence Meaden, an archaeologist who said there is a carving of a face on one of the major stones at Stonehenge. Now, there is a second report of the presence of another carved face, this time on the side of one of the Callanish stones in the Western Isles of Scotland.
Ancient stones enthusiast Martin McCarthy is a self-proclaimed sceptic when it comes to the suggestion that heads and faces have been carved into Neolithic standing stones, but he did get a surprise when studying some photographs he had taken at the Callanish complex a few years ago.
"One stone had a pattern on it that could have been a head, so I poked around through my other pictures and found a reasonably clear picture of the stone in question. It has a very clear - to my eyes, anyway - left-facing head with nicely proportioned eye, nose, cheek, lips and chin."
Is it really another face or is it the eye playing tricks? Humans are programmed to see patterns, especially faces, in natural objects. As babies, we learn this skill when we try to focus on our mother's face.
As others look and make up their own minds, Martin McCarthy remains a sceptic. "Whilst I do believe that this is probably just a random alignment of naturally-weathered shapes, I'd be delighted to be proven wrong."
Other archaeologists are in the process of studying the face supposed to be carved at Stonehenge. Many are remarking that, face or not, it is amazing that nobody has pointed out the markings before.
BBC News (November 9 1999)
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