Stonehenge

JamesWhitehead

Piffle Prospector
Joined
Aug 2, 2001
Messages
12,532
Likes
9,876
Points
309
“There are amazing photos from societies in Indonesia and parts of India within the last 100 years or so of people practising stone moving and raising. They show people in ceremonial dress, amazing feasts happening, hundreds of people coming together and having a good time.

“As soon as you abandon modern preconceptions that assume neolithic people would have sought the most efficient way of building Stonehenge, questions like why the bluestones were brought from so far away – the Preseli Hills of south Wales – don’t seem quite so perplexing.”

Stonehenge as a ritual site of social unification. :cool:
 

pandacracker

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Jan 16, 2004
Messages
508
Likes
1,017
Points
164
I am very attracted to the hypothesis that the process of building was as/more important than the finished construction. I have read that it is thought that the Heel Stone was always in situ and that a possible dried water course coincidently pointed up a slope to it (part of the processional way which you can walk and see the effect for yourself) so a whole project of building and digging started around something that was possibly already a special place and used ceremonially before any construction started.
 

Swifty

doesn't negotiate with terriers
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
25,649
Likes
31,645
Points
284
I am very attracted to the hypothesis that the process of building was as/more important than the finished construction. I have read that it is thought that the Heel Stone was always in situ and that a possible dried water course coincidently pointed up a slope to it (part of the processional way which you can walk and see the effect for yourself) so a whole project of building and digging started around something that was possibly already a special place and used ceremonially before any construction started.
I think I've mentioned this already in this thread but I'm a fan of one cartoonist's theory .. a three drawings strip .. the first sketch shows cavemen busying themselves with erecting stonehenge, the second sketch shows a caveman wearing a tie and a hard hat with a clipboard talking to caveman B, the third sketch shows caveman B saying to the other caveman "Sorry lads .. you've all been laid off." ..
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
13,706
Likes
16,061
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
... Geologist Herbert Henry Thomas first proposed in 1923 that the rocks which form the giant inner ring were specifically quarried for Stonehenge by Neolithic man around 5,000 years ago, and were hauled to Wiltshire via land and sea.

However, other geologists theorise that they were carried east on an ice-age glacier 20,000 years ago. ...
Here's the latest addition to the debate over where certain Stonehenge stones originated ...

Famed British Geologist Was Spectacularly Wrong About Stonehenge
In 1923, famed British geologist Herbert Henry Thomas published a seminal study on Stonehenge, claiming to have found the precise spots where prehistoric people had quarried the stones.

There was just one problem with his analysis: It was wrong. And it has taken geologists about 80 years to get it right, a new study finds.

"At best, he [Thomas] was forgetful and sloppy, but at worst he was being deceptive," said study co-researcher Rob Ixer, a geologist at the University of Leicester and an honorary senior research associate at the Institute of Archaeology at University College London, in England. ...

In addition to debunking Thomas' influential work, the researchers announced an additional Stonehenge discovery: Prehistoric people likely didn't boat the stones though Bristol Channel on the way from where the stones were quarried, in western Wales, to where Stonehenge stands today, in Salisbury Plain.

Rather, ancient people probably used a so-called inland superhighway, although this finding has yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, said Ixer and study co-researcher Richard Bevins, a geologist at the National Museum Wales. Such a monumental procession would have been akin to transporting the space shuttle Endeavor in a parade, for all to see and celebrate, the archaeologists said. ...

After spending 10 years examining various rocky outcrops in the Preseli Mountains, Bevins and Ixer realized that Stonehenge's bluestones did, in fact, come from the Preseli Mountains, but from completely different outcrops than Thomas had initially identified. ...

In the new study, the scientists noted that "Thomas was without doubt an excellent petrographer," but his work wasn't complete, given he had spent just one day in the Preseli Hills and had only collected 15 samples. ...

Now, it looks like the prehistoric people quarried the bluestones at Craig Rhos-y-felin and Carn Goedog and then traveled inland, picked up the altar stone at Herefordshire and then traveled southward on an ancient "superhighway," to Stonehenge, Ixer said. ...

Both findings — the newly published study and the unpublished work — emphasize the idea not to blindly accept published work as gospel, Ixer noted.

"No serious paper in the last 60 years has discussed Stonehenge without quoting Thomas or starting with Thomas," Ixer said. "It's perhaps the single most famous 20th century Stonehenge paper." But though the general location of the Preseli Hills was correct, the specific outcrops Thomas named were not, and that influenced how people thought of possible routes prehistoric people took back to Stonehenge, Ixer said.

"In this case, the damage has gone down the decades, really," Ixer said.
SOURCE: https://www.livescience.com/63003-sloppy-stonehenge-study.html

ABSTRACT of the Cited Researchers' Paper in Antiquity: https://www.cambridge.org/core/jour...ancing-study/CAD5AD26468F0FF5433BA78B9FECF1FC
 

CuriousIdent

Not yet SO old Great Old One
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Messages
1,442
Likes
1,077
Points
184
Location
Warwickshire, England.
This is first I've heard of an ancient "superhighway". I'm a little skeptical of that, in as much as the name implies a truly organised and understood road having been intentionally built (and used) of which no evidence whatsoever survived into other eras of documentation. The note of no peer-reviewed confirmation of this feels a bit of a red flag, too.

I'm not saying that I believe the ferrying of stones by sea is a given, either. But I have reservations. :)
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
13,706
Likes
16,061
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
Some initial illumination has been obtained on the other side of Stonehenge mysteries - the people who built and used it ...
Stonehenge: First residents from west Wales
Researchers have shown that cremated humans at Stonehenge were from the same region of Wales as the stones used in construction.

The key question was to understand the geographic origin of the people buried at Stonehenge.

The key innovation was finding that high temperatures of cremation can crystallise a skull, locking in the chemical signal of its origin.

The findings have been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The first long-term residents of Stonehenge, along with the first stones, arrived about 5,000 years ago. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45046354
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
13,706
Likes
16,061
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
Here's the abstract from, and a link to, the published article on which the BBC story (post #510 above) is based ...

Strontium isotope analysis on cremated human remains from Stonehenge support links with west Wales
Scientific Reportsvolume 8, Article number: 10790 (2018)

Abstract
Cremated human remains from Stonehenge provide direct evidence on the life of those few select individuals buried at this iconic Neolithic monument. The practice of cremation has, however, precluded the application of strontium isotope analysis of tooth enamel as the standard chemical approach to study their origin. New developments in strontium isotopic analysis of cremated bone reveal that at least 10 of the 25 cremated individuals analysed did not spend their lives on the Wessex chalk on which the monument is found. Combined with the archaeological evidence, we suggest that their most plausible origin lies in west Wales, the source of the bluestones erected in the early stage of the monument’s construction. These results emphasise the importance of inter-regional connections involving the movement of both materials and people in the construction and use of Stonehenge.
FULL ARTICLE: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-28969-8.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
48,850
Likes
20,924
Points
284
Location
Eblana
Review of a Legends Of The Lost episode about Stonehenge.

... The fact of the matter is that there are no surviving records of the specific beliefs of the people who built Stonehenge. Archaeologists have drawn some conclusions from excavations, but many attempts to reconstruct the intellectual or spiritual world of the site’s builders are by necessity conjecture. Some types of conjecture are better supported than others. Obviously, the hypothesis that it was a platform for UFOs to land on is much more poorly supported than the claim that it served as an observatory.

Legends of the Lost spends the first third of the show presenting a fairly standard portrait of the construction history of Stonehenge, from the earliest earthwork to the massive trilithons to the final small bluestones within the more famous megalithic ring, and she describes the monument’s place in the prehistoric landscape. Fox speaks with a number of archaeologists, and her affectless, passive presence offers little more than a sounding board for pretty standard material—though with the caveat that Fox is looking for “the” reason Stonehenge was built, while the site was remodeled several times over its 1200+ years of active construction. One reason its purpose may seem ambiguous and mysterious is that it may have served different purposes across the many incarnations it had over time. When looking for “the” purpose of Stonehenge, it helps to identify which period we are talking about. ...

http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/review-of-legends-of-the-lost-s01e02-stonehenge-the-healing-stones
 
Joined
May 30, 2010
Messages
7,485
Likes
7,195
Points
284
Apparently the upright stones sing, quite literally, when struck. Why does Wiltshire host so many sacred objects in the spaces there? I very much doubt material archaeology can give any clear answers as to its uses. Watching Standing With Stones as per @Ulalume 's recommendation I'm reminded that there are so many common, yet diverse erections across Europe that the cultural implications must be to some extent assumed to be shared, yet a coherent picture of their significance still eludes science. Mythology and the emerging prehistory of the spirits may be the best hope there is of a paradigm we can relate to and use. Their magical function must connect with the stories that inform the western esoteric and spirit traditions. I'm very attracted by the idea that Goblecki Tepi in Turkey will serve as some kind of cypher for the arrangements once the stars align in relation to mythological interpretation of the cultures that built the temples. And I reckon there'll be a far closer connection with both the mainstream religions as well as the occultures that continue to descend earthward this year. It does all mean something we can use.
 

AlchoPwn

Public Service is my Motto.
Joined
Nov 2, 2017
Messages
1,835
Likes
2,543
Points
154
I am sure that it has been covered elsewhere, but here is a clip about the Pink Flint of Stonehenge:
In cross section it looks like meat. How could it not be magical?
 

Dropship

Devoted Cultist
Joined
Jan 20, 2019
Messages
161
Likes
101
Points
28
Location
England
BTW, the generally accepted explanation of Stonehenge is that it was built to be a calendar, but I'm not sure I buy that, what do other members think?
I mean, it seems a colossal amount of effort just to be able to know the seasons.
 

PeteByrdie

Privateer in the service of Princess Frideswide
Joined
Jan 19, 2014
Messages
2,145
Likes
1,769
Points
159
BTW, the generally accepted explanation of Stonehenge is that it was built to be a calendar, but I'm not sure I buy that, what do other members think?
I mean, it seems a colossal amount of effort just to be able to know the seasons.
I suppose in a stone-aged world, the bringing together of a community with so great a symbol of the passing seasons that are shared by all may have been unifying and edifying to the individuals, but I'll admit it's never made much sense to me. I'm hoping to visit the site for the summer solstice this year, perhaps I'll be inspired to understand it all.
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
36,928
Likes
23,740
Points
309
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
BTW, the generally accepted explanation of Stonehenge is that it was built to be a calendar, but I'm not sure I buy that, what do other members think?
I mean, it seems a colossal amount of effort just to be able to know the seasons.
I'm convinced it was used as a meeting place of all the clans.
 

catseye

Old lady trouser-smell
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
1,096
Likes
3,183
Points
159
Location
York
I suppose in a stone-aged world, the bringing together of a community with so great a symbol of the passing seasons that are shared by all may have been unifying and edifying to the individuals, but I'll admit it's never made much sense to me. I'm hoping to visit the site for the summer solstice this year, perhaps I'll be inspired to understand it all.
I guess that clans would need to come together for the swapping of livestock, to ensure that breeding stock came from new genetic lines (and also the same with people, you'd want to find partners outside of your close family). So twice yearly 'get togethers' would make good sense. You'd build an awesome creation somewhere that everyone could find easily, that had family memories associated with it, on land that didn't 'belong' to any particular clan, and use it as a central meeting point.
 

Bad Bungle

Dingo took my tray bake.
Joined
Oct 13, 2018
Messages
1,168
Likes
2,904
Points
154
Location
The Chilterns
An extra detail on a story I already knew.

View attachment 9771
I could swear blind I saw some-one on the Antique Road Show a few years back bring in a document showing the Compulsory Purchase of Stonehenge from some reluctant Lord in 1919. On reflection though, maybe it related to neighbouring land on Salisbury Plain for the War Office ?
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
36,928
Likes
23,740
Points
309
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
I guess that clans would need to come together for the swapping of livestock, to ensure that breeding stock came from new genetic lines (and also the same with people, you'd want to find partners outside of your close family). So twice yearly 'get togethers' would make good sense. You'd build an awesome creation somewhere that everyone could find easily, that had family memories associated with it, on land that didn't 'belong' to any particular clan, and use it as a central meeting point.
Yes!
It would be neutral territory where the tribes, clans and kingdoms could meet, trade, build relationships without fights breaking out. There'd be markets, pageantry, partying etc.
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2015
Messages
8,865
Likes
10,789
Points
279
I guess that clans would need to come together for the swapping of livestock, to ensure that breeding stock came from new genetic lines (and also the same with people, you'd want to find partners outside of your close family). So twice yearly 'get togethers' would make good sense. You'd build an awesome creation somewhere that everyone could find easily, that had family memories associated with it, on land that didn't 'belong' to any particular clan, and use it as a central meeting point.
I kind of feel that why markets still have an appeal, it's the "get together" thing that we've done for so long it's part of our makeup.
 

PeteByrdie

Privateer in the service of Princess Frideswide
Joined
Jan 19, 2014
Messages
2,145
Likes
1,769
Points
159
Yes!
It would be neutral territory where the tribes, clans and kingdoms could meet, trade, build relationships without fights breaking out. There'd be markets, pageantry, partying etc.
Sounds like a lark. I'm hoping to get handfasted there in the next couple of years if we can scrape the dough together.
 

Dropship

Devoted Cultist
Joined
Jan 20, 2019
Messages
161
Likes
101
Points
28
Location
England
Just to digress slightly, there are stone circles all over Europe of various sizes, so perhaps the locals made them to mark the spots where they saw UFO's land or hover, regarding them as "sacred sites"?
 

PeteByrdie

Privateer in the service of Princess Frideswide
Joined
Jan 19, 2014
Messages
2,145
Likes
1,769
Points
159
Just to digress slightly, there are stone circles all over Europe of various sizes, so perhaps the locals made them to mark the spots where they saw UFO's land or hover, regarding them as "sacred sites"?
...or perhaps where they saw elf troops dancing in circles. I'm more inclined towards elves than UFOs. I prefer the elves explanation.
 

Ermintruder

Delineated by a professional cryptozoologist
Joined
Jul 13, 2013
Messages
5,423
Likes
7,287
Points
284
Although I would normally trawl through this thread myself to confirm the veracity of my suspicions, I can't, because it's far too late/early: can anyone else confirm my recollections / belief that Stonehenge was extensively rebuilt/repaired in the early 20thC, perhaps even including concrete/cement patching, and that photographic records exist of this unsympathetic restoration (possibly pre-WW2 1920s).

(I post before I forget to table this whole query).

EDIT
Was it the case that the late (semi-) lamented UK Alternative Media "The Unexplained Channel" on Sky/Astra satellite tv channel 201 (or was it "Controversial TV" on Channel 200 from Edge Media TV / Conscious Media CMTV?) used to use such a picture as a continuity/channel-filler content piece?

Amazing to think that EMTV has been off our screens for half a decade, already
 
Last edited:

maximus otter

Recovering policeman
Joined
Aug 9, 2001
Messages
5,012
Likes
9,236
Points
309
Stonehenge is perhaps the most famous rock structure in the world and the mystery surrounding its formation has stumped humanity for generations. Now, a new study suggests that it, along with other rock structures across Europe, may have been influenced by prehistoric sailors.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, theorizes that these megalith structures have been around for nearly 7,000 years and may have originated in northwestern France.

The result presented here, based on analyses of 2,410 radiocarbon dates and highly precise chronologies for megalithic sites and related contexts, suggests maritime mobility and intercultural exchange,” the study’s abstract reads. “We argue for the transfer of the megalithic concept over sea routes emanating from northwest France and for advanced maritime technology and seafaring in the megalithic Age.

https://nypost.com/2019/02/12/prehistoric-sailors-may-be-responsible-for-stonehenge/

maximus otter
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
48,850
Likes
20,924
Points
284
Location
Eblana
Stonehenge is perhaps the most famous rock structure in the world and the mystery surrounding its formation has stumped humanity for generations. Now, a new study suggests that it, along with other rock structures across Europe, may have been influenced by prehistoric sailors.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, theorizes that these megalith structures have been around for nearly 7,000 years and may have originated in northwestern France.

The result presented here, based on analyses of 2,410 radiocarbon dates and highly precise chronologies for megalithic sites and related contexts, suggests maritime mobility and intercultural exchange,” the study’s abstract reads. “We argue for the transfer of the megalithic concept over sea routes emanating from northwest France and for advanced maritime technology and seafaring in the megalithic Age.

https://nypost.com/2019/02/12/prehistoric-sailors-may-be-responsible-for-stonehenge/

maximus otter
Bloody foreigners designed Stonehenge!
 
Top