London, March 28 (ANI): An amateur archaeologist has suggested that a giant boulder on a hill overlooking Loch Ness, a Scottish lake, was used as a guide for crop sowing and harvesting by residents of the Great Glen more than 5000 years ago.
According to a report in The Inverness Courier, John Forsyth, the archaeologist in question, is convinced that the five-meter wide rock was intentionally placed there by early man.
Forsyth said that the boulder was positioned and sculpted so people could use it as a marker against the sun to signal when their crops should be planted in spring and harvested in autumn.
He believes a community lived to the east of the boulder, which is between Creag Dhearg and Meall Fuar-Mhonaidh, and used the setting of the sun to establish the spring and autumn equinoxes - when day and night is roughly the same length.
As part of his research, Forsyth used a global positioning system to locate another rock behind his home, which lies directly east of the boulder and has the same latitude, suggesting an alignment that he thinks is deliberate.
"I'm very confident it's from that time because the boulder is firmly embedded in peat and there is lichen on its surface," he said.
How the people of the time managed to put the boulder there is another question, admitted Forsyth, who is confident of his findings, despite another school of thought that markers were also used by man in an attempt to find out more about the sun, moon and stars.
According to Highland Council archaeologist Kirsty Cameron, "People who were living in that time had a very good use of astronomy."
"We encourage people to contact us about sites of possible interest but establishing a time for this is hard to prove and because it's a stone, it can't be excavated. I would be keen to find out more about it," she said.
Forsyth believes the boulder was last moved at around the same time as the Callanish Standing Stones on Lewis and the structures at Stonehenge were erected. (ANI)