200 stones are arranged in a fan-shaped pattern on a slope
This unusual site is well described as the Hill o'Many Stanes:
around 200 small stones are arranged in 22 apparently parallel rows. Actually,
these rows aren't parallel, but fan-shaped, running north to south. There
is evidence that suggests that there may originally have been over 600 stones.
Unlike those in Carnac (France), these stones are small, less than 1 m high
(3 ft 3 inch) and mostly only a few inches wide. They are set on a south-facing
slope, below a cairn lying on top of it.
Professor Alexander Thom thinks
the site (which he designated as Mid Clyth) may have had an astronomical
function, and that the stones could have formed a kind of grid by means
of which observations of the moon were plotted.
The site must have been
set up in about 1900 BC. A standing stone, now fallen, 45 m (147 ft) to
the west of the cairn, might well have been associated with this prehistoric
In local tradition, the Hill o'Many Stanes marks the site of
a battle between two rival clans, the Keiths and the Gunns. The Gunns won
the battle and set up a memorial to the day by burying the dead of both
clans in rows, marking the head of each dead warrior with a stone.