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Merlin's Land?
Merlin's Land?
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Merlin's Land?

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Merlin's Land? by Blandine Anderson  
Unique stoneware sculpture
35 x 22 x 9cm 

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Merlin's Land? shows the neolithic stone circle and stone road at Calanais on Lewis. The stone circle was positioned around 2900 BC with the stone road added about 500 years later. The site is one of many neolithic sites dotted around the island and archaeologists are now able to establish that these are linked with similar sites in Orkney and beyond, revealing that our ancient ancestors were well travelled and had extensive cultural and trading connections with places well beyond their own shores. The title is dual aspect – it refers both to the bird depicted in the piece, a merlin which is a summer visitor to the isles, but also to the stories of magic which surround the megaliths.  Forerunners of today’s archaeologists, the antiquarians of 400 years ago, seemed very much inclined to attribute any stone remains as the work of more able outsiders, or perpetuated the myths of wizards and sorcerers who might have turned humans into these stones. It was perhaps easy to believe that stereotypical druids, and those perceived to have magical powers, had a hand in creation and use of these landmarks. The real answer is that this was the work of skilled and intelligent people with sophisticated technologies, a deep knowledge of the seas and skies, and is evidence of the rich cultural life which they enjoyed.