Dating Balbirnie: recent radiocarbon dates from the stone circle and cairn at Balbirnie, Fife, and a review of its place in the overall Balfarg/Balbirnie site sequence
Bone, Balbirnie Stone Circle, Cairn, Ritual, Balfarg, Balbirnie
Balbirnie; Glenrothes; Fife; Scotland; UK
Bronze Age, Later Neolithic
The interpretation of the sequence at the Balbirnie stone circle and cairn was based largely on stratigraphy and the then-perceived chronology of ceramic styles. An increased radiocarbon database and the facility to date cremated bone have now allowed the sequence at this site to be refined and reinterpreted. The construction of the stone circle can be demonstrated to have begun 1,000 years earlier than originally reported and the stone circle can be shown to have been in use for over 1,500 years. These new data, as well as an increased and growing amount of research on later Neolithic and earlier Bronze Age ritual monuments in Britain as a whole, has further allowed the position of this site within the Balfarg/Balbirnie ritual complex to be reconsidered and as a result it is possible to suggest a revised sequence for the complex.