Shop Windows to the Universe

Please help support Windows to the Universe, and our activities to help Earth and space science teachers, with a tax-exempt donation today!
This is a photograph of the main tomb of Clava. You can also see the circle of stones surrounding the tomb.
Click on image for full size
Photo courtesy Diego Meozzi/Stone Pages

The Cairns of Clava

Not too far from Loch Ness, there lies three giant tombs made of stones. They are called the Balnuaran of Clava.

The Balnuaran of Clava, giant tombs encased in stone, can be found close to Inverness in Scotland. Their structure is similar to the Newgrange tomb of Ireland in that stones encase a burial chamber. Human bones were found in two of the tombs. Archeologists think that these were a burial ground for elite male and female members of this ancient community.

As with other stone sites, this site does have astronomical alignment. Two of the three cairn entrance passages align exactly with the Sun's setting position on the winter solstice. And so this site might have been used at some point for astronomy.

As seen from the photograph, each of these giant tombs is surrounded by a set of standing stones.

Last modified September 18, 2000 by Jennifer Bergman.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

The Fall 2009 issue of The Earth Scientist, which includes articles on student research into building design for earthquakes and a classroom lab on the composition of the Earth’s ancient atmosphere, is available in our online store.

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Cool It! Game

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Megaliths Revealed

Many people are interested in the mysterious megalithic structures that can be found around the world. A megalithic structure is a ancient monument made of large stones. Megalith comes from Greek; "mega"...more

Native American Astronomy

People from Asia crossed the Bering Strait into North America. These people were first in this new land and so they are known as Native Americans. Over time, these people broke into tribes (as seen on...more

Archeoastronomy

"The movements of the heavenly bodies are an admirable thing, well known and manifest to all peoples. There are no people, no matter how barbaric and primitive, that do not raise up their eyes, take note,...more

The Stones of Carnac

The stones of Carnac, France, are probably the most famous stones markings outside of those found at Stonehenge in England. There are many, many stones at Carnac. And these stones are very old too, the...more

The Cairns of Clava

Not too far from Loch Ness, there lies three giant tombs made of stones. They are called the Balnuaran of Clava. The Balnuaran of Clava, giant tombs encased in stone, can be found close to Inverness in...more

Cuzco

Cuzco is located in Southern Peru. It is the ancient capital of the Inca Empire. It is the oldest, continuously occupied city in the Americas. In ancient times, Cuzco was the ceremonial capital and hub...more

The Stones of Fossa

The stone structures of England and France are very famous. In Italy, you'll also find standing stones, stone rings, and stone tombs. An example of these stone structures is in Fossa, Abruzzo, in Italy....more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA