'World's oldest calendar' discovered in Scottish field
The experts who analysed the pits said they may have contained a wooden post.
The Mesolithic "calendar" is thousands of years older than previous known formal time-measuring monuments created in Mesopotamia.
End Quote Dave Cowley RCAHMSIt is remarkable to think that our aerial survey may have helped to find the place where time itself was invented”
Vince Gaffney, Professor of Landscape Archaeology at Birmingham, led the analysis project.
The universities of St Andrews, Leicester and Bradford were also involved.
Dr Richard Bates, of the University of St Andrews, said the discovery provided "exciting new evidence" of the early Mesolithic Scotland.
He added: "This is the earliest example of such a structure and there is no known comparable site in Britain or Europe for several thousands of years after the monument at Warren Field was constructed."
The Warren Field site was first discovered as unusual crop marks spotted from the air by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS).
Dave Cowley, aerial survey projects manager at RCAHMS, said: "We have been taking photographs of the Scottish landscape for nearly 40 years, recording thousands of archaeological sites that would never have been detected from the ground.
"Warren Field stands out as something special, however. It is remarkable to think that our aerial survey may have helped to find the place where time itself was invented."
Crathes Castle and its estate is in the care of the National Trust for Scotland (NTS).
From 2004 to 2006, trust staff and Murray Archaeological Services excavated the site.
NTS archaeologist Dr Shannon Fraser said: "This is a remarkable monument, which is so far unique in Britain.
"Our excavations revealed a fascinating glimpse into the cultural lives of people some 10,000 years ago - and now this latest discovery further enriches our understanding of their relationship with time and the heavens."