Stane Definition

Discover the ancient significance of stanes in Scotland, their historical importance, and the mysterious beauty of standing stones. Explore examples, case studies, and statistics on stanes.

What is a Stane?

A stane is a colloquial term used in Scotland to refer to a stone or a pillar. It is often seen in the Scottish Highlands, where standing stones are a common sight, and hold historical significance.

Significance of Stanes

Stanes are believed to have been erected by ancient civilizations for various purposes, such as marking boundaries, serving as a monument, or as a religious or ceremonial site. They are seen as a connection to the past and a reminder of the people who inhabited the land before us.

Examples of Stanes

  • The Callanish Stones in the Isle of Lewis are a famous example of stanes that date back to the Neolithic era.
  • The Standing Stones of Stenness in Orkney are another example of stanes that are believed to have been used for rituals and ceremonies.

Case Studies

Archaeological studies have shown that stanes can provide valuable insights into ancient civilizations and their beliefs. For example, the alignment of standing stones in a specific direction may have astronomical significance, indicating a calendar system or an observatory.


According to a survey conducted by Historic Environment Scotland, there are over 1,000 standing stones in Scotland, with some dating back over 5,000 years. This highlights the rich history and cultural heritage associated with stanes in Scotland.

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