Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism
by Thomas Inman, M.D. (1874)
Pagan and Christian symbolism
Figures 85, 86, represent a Yorkshire and an Indian stone circle. The first is copied from Descriptions of Cairns, Cromlechs, Kistvaens, and other Celtic, Druidical, or Scythian Monuments in the Dekkan, by Col. Meadows Taylor, Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, vol. xxiv. The mound exists at Twizell, Yorkshire, and the centre of the circle indicates an ancient tomb, very similar to those found by Taylor in the Dekkan; this contained only one single urn, but many of the Indian ones contained, besides the skeleton of the great man buried therein, skeletons of other individuals who had been slaughtered over his tomb, and buried above the kistvaen containing his bones; in one instance two bodies and three heads were found in the principal grave, and twenty other skeletons above and beside it.
A perusal of this very interesting paper will well repay the study bestowed upon it. Figure 86 is copied from Forbes Leslie's book mentioned above, plate 59. It represents a modern stone circle in the Dekkan, of very recent construction. The dots upon the stones represent dabs of red paint, which again represent blood. The circles are similar to some which have been found in Palestine, and give evidence of the presence of the same religious ideas existing in ancient England and Hindostan, as well as in modern India. The name of the god worshipped in these recent shrines is Vetal, or Betal. It is worth mentioning, in passing, that there is a celebrated monolith in Scotland called the Newton Stone, on which are inscribed, evidently with a graving tool, an inscription in the Ogham, and another in some ancient Aryan character (see Moore's Ancient Pillar Stones of Scotland).