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Monday, May 28, 2012

'Cursing stone' found on Isle of Canna

19 May 2012


The bullaun stone was found in an old 
graveyard



A stone discovered by chance on the Isle of Canna is Scotland's first known example of a bullaun "cursing stone", experts have revealed.

Dating from about 800 AD, the stones are associated with early Christian crosses - of which there is one on the isle.

It was found in an old graveyard by a National Trust for Scotland (NTS) farm manager.

The stone is about 25cm in diameter and engraved with an early Christian cross.

It was later found to fit exactly into a large rectangular stone with a worn hole which was located at the base of the Canna cross. (...)

'Cursing stones'

Katherine Forsyth, an expert in the history and culture of early Celtic-speaking peoples, based at the University of Glasgow, described it as an "amazing find".

"Stones like this are found in Ireland, where they are known as 'cursing stones', but this is the first to be discovered in Scotland," she said.

This is the first time a top stone has been discovered

"They date from the early Christian period but have continued to be used by pilgrims up to modern times.

"Traditionally, the pilgrim would recite a prayer while turning the stone clockwise, wearing a depression or hole in the stone underneath."
(...)

Full article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-18130259

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