By James Irvine RobertsonF
rom the '45 Rising until now seven generations have passed. Mankind was living in Strathtay for two hundred generations before records begin. Of those lives we know virtually nothing. The double stone circle of Mary's Croft, the most impressive such monument on the Scottish mainland, is their most obvious legacy in the strath. The Gaels called this place Stucis meaning stones, and the farm is still called Stix.
All that can be said about this structure is that it was built as a place of ritual and it moved Robert Burns to pray in the midst of the circle when he passed through. Other smaller standing stone monuments exist at Fortingall, in the Appin of Dull, at Grantully, and the memory of others can be deduced from some place names. In addition dozens of stones incised with cups and rings are scattered across these hills whose purpose or meaning is also unknown although they are generally placed at the boundaries of tillable land. The excavated tumuli produce earthenware urns containing cremated human remains, as did the ground beneath some standing stones.