Quote: "When the peat was removed it immediately became clear that the reason for the tilt of the recumbent monoliths was that each stone rested on the slope of a pile of large packing-stones which resembled small cairns..............While some stone blocks were clearly displaced others resembled the packing stones commonly seen surrounding the bases of standing monoliths; supporting and stabilizing the standing stones within their sockets (Fig. 8)."
Once again we see the tendency of archaeologists to interpret entirely natural phenomena as man-made. In some cases, I accept that a leaning or recumbent monolith may be found with packing stones around its base. But if Colin was to wander about in the Callanish area, as I did, he would discover in the course of a single afternoon twenty or thirty beautiful glacial erratics with stones wedged underneath them, just as they were dumped by the ice at the end of the last glaciation. In most cases the fine material -- till and fluvio-glacial sediments -- has been washed away during the ice wastage process. But sometimes patches of sediments remain beneath the erratics which can be the size of houses. See previous Callanish posts.
This "packing stone" idea involves very sloppy thinking -- and we see it too at Rhosyfelin, where the presence of "packing stones" beneath the famous "forgotten monolith" has been interpreted as unequivocal evidence of human quarrying at the site. If I may be so bold, that is total nonsense. In the case of Rhosyfelin, the monolith has fallen onto a bank of rockfall debris and scree. Perhaps a course in geomorphology should be compulsory for all archaeologists?