Built some 4,000 years ago, Corrimony Cairn is a passage grave of the Clava type. Built by neolithic farmers, skilled in working stone, they were the first people to domesticate animals, till the land and clear the forests for farming, their society was cooperative.
Corrimony Chambered Cairn was built for collective burials, the beliefs of the builders remain unknown, it is believed these people existed from 3,500BC to 1,500Bc. Each group had their own collective tomb, built with the help of other groups in the area, with feasts and gifts being given to the helpers.
The astronomical alignment and orientation (the entrance passage is orientated towards the south west), has led people to suggest that the builders of Corrimony Chambered Cairn believed in the migration of the souls of the dead to the stars.
There is eveidence in some tombs that the bodies were prepared for the journey, with the bodies being dimembered, ceramic vessels shattered and animal bones indicate food offerings. Fires were then lit so the tomb acted as a crematorium.
Pieces of the original capstone, decorated with cup-mark designs, are still to be seen on top of the cairn. For a monument built four thousand years ago, Corrimony Chambered Cairnis remarkably well preserved, the best example in the region. Corrimony-cairn5.jpgIt was excavated in 1952, in the centre of the cairn there was only a dark stain visible evidence that any remains had deteriorated in the acid soil.
There are 12 standing stones surrounding Corrimony Cairn, is suspected that some of these may have been added since the building of the original cairn.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.