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11 June 2011
A comet carved on a reconstructed stone circle in Wales?

Plas Newydd stone circle is a relic of the 19th Century Llangollen Eisteddfod, a Welsh festival famous for its revival of the 'Bardic Tradition' and therefore is not an ancient monument. However, there are some issues with the stones themselves: about a third appear to be cup marked; they are very weathered and may already have been on this site or else transported from an existing ritual site.
     Mr Mike Field noted that one of the stones carries a very interesting image: there is a round cup mark with what looks like carvings of a fan tail streaming from it. This is not an unusual depiction of a comet, as the same iconography is used across many cultures. The fantail is clearly carved and not naturally occurring, there are also other semi circular marks on this stone of concentric rings but these fail to resolve themselves into anything recognisable as the stone may have fractured.
     According to Mr Field, the potential for Plas Newydd to have ben an early monastic site and an even earlier proto Celtic site is high. Although in later convention, the Eisteddfod Gorsedd stones were quarried as new from the Minera limestone quarries some six miles away, the Plas Newydd stones look genuinely ancient. It is not known, however, if the carving is truly of prehistoric origin, and its true sigificance is open to debate.
     Plas Newydd is just above the A5 road East out of Llangollen (Denbighshire, north-east Wales) and is a well established tourist site run as a museum by Denbighshire County Council.
Edited from The Megalithic Portal (25 May 2011)

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