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Garn Goch CIC

Our Longest, Largest, Oldest, Slowest Built Linear Cairn?

Pastoral cultures worldwide (such as the 'British' Neolithic) have given religious significance to building up stones into cairns, and there are examples from Tibet and India across Africa to native cultures in South and North America, while they are also found in ancient Arabian, Levantine, Turkish and Greek cultures. Among people in central India, cairns are regarded as houses of the dead, but with fertility powers for both women and crops.

So, it might turn out that the key to the 'secret' history and purpose of Garn Goch has been, all the time, hiding in plain sight, there in its very name: garn, cairn. The cairn referred to is probably the large, stone burial mound. Garn Goch, then, is the Cairn of Goch, Goch's Cairn. The Cairn Of Sacred Stones.

Equally, the lines of stones are an extended linear cairn identifying and symbolising the boundary between life and death, stone representing death in Neolithic culture. 

The stones were quarried on site as can be clearly seen from the steep sided, quarried banks on both sides of the central space as well as on the quarried cliff face to the south. They were split into carriable pieces, and you'll notice every stone has one flat side where it was cleaved from the rock, but usually no more than one as they were not shaped for building. 

Every man, woman and child could respectfully place a stone in honour of their ancestors, so the linear cairn was never 'constructed'. It was assembled, and its purpose was religious, never military. It was about honouring the dead, not killing people.

The simple explanation is that Garn Goch is a huge linear or ring cairn assembled equinox after solstice event, generation after generation, and that's very Ockham's Razor: the simplest explanation is probably the most likely to be true (whereas the multiple hoops you have to jump through to explain Garn Goch as an Iron Age fort are anything but simple).

As a linear cairn then, Garn Goch may well be:

•    Britain's longest continuous cairn

•    Britain's largest cairn 

•    Britain's largest ring cairn 

•    Britain's oldest cairn (most enduring anyway)

•    Britain's slowest built cairn.

Even if it is only one of those things, Cairn Goch certainly should be a pride and joy of Wales.

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