New Clues to Stonehenge Mystery

DFN: I very fondly remember a trip to England / London / Stonehenge, spectacular site, in the middle of nowhere.

New Clues to Stonehenge Mystery
Scientists Find a Second Stone Circle Close to the Original
© Rupert Taylor

Oct 8, 2009
The latest discovery in the vicinity of Stonehenge in England points to the original landmark being connected to funerals. Stonehenge is an impressive circle of massive stone blocks on Salisbury Plain in southwest England. The location is bleak and almost treeless, but as National Geographic writer James Owens points out
Stonehenge “ranks among the world’s most iconic archaeological sites and one of its greatest enigmas.”

The 80 stones used in the construction, weighing up to four tonnes each, were quarried in Wales, 380 kilometres away. They were then dragged to the site and erected by a people whose technology involved using deer antlers for picks and the shoulder blades of cattle for shovels.

What is thought to have been the construction process is described by

Some Bizarre Theories about Stonehenge’s Purpose
The huge blocks of stone used to build the monument were erected about 5,000 years ago by people who left no record of how they built the stone circle or why.

The folklore theory is that Stonehenge was built by Merlin, the wizard of Arthurian legend.

There are those who believe the stone circle was left behind by space travellers, and others who say it was put up by invading Danes or Romans.

There is even the notion that Stonehenge is homage to some fertility god because, with quite a bit of imagination, the circle can be seen to resemble female genitalia.

Scientific Theory for Stone Circle more Reliable
More plausible explanations for the monument’s existence come from archeologists who have studied it for years. Britannia History writes that some have suggested “it was a temple made for the worship of ancient earth deities. It has been called an astronomical observatory for marking significant events on the prehistoric calendar. Others claim that it was a sacred site for the burial of high-ranking citizens from the societies of long ago.”

This last speculation is gathering credence with a recent discovery. “Bluestonehenge” Found Close to Original Site Writing for Associated Press (October 6, 2009), Gregory Katz reports that scientists have found another, smaller, stone circle 2.8 kilometres from Stonehenge.

According to Katz this new find “may confirm the theory that the mysterious monument in southwest England was part of a massive funeral complex built around a river.”

Called “Bluestonehenge,” after the colour of the 25 Welsh stones of which it was once made up, stood beside the Avon River. The actual stones were removed thousands of years ago, but an archeological dig has found the holes in which they stood in a circle about 10 metres in diameter.

Standing Stones Marked Processional Route
The group that made the Bluestonehenge discovery is part of the Stonehenge Riverside Project, a consortium of university teams.

In a news release (October 5, 2009) the finding of this previously unknown stone circle is confirmation of the Project’s theory “that the River Avon linked a ‘domain of the living’ – marked by timber circles and houses upstream at the Neolithic village of Durrington Walls discovered by the Project in 2005 – with a `domain of the dead´ marked by Stonehenge and this new stone circle.”

Professor Mike Parker Pearson at the University of Sheffield is Director of the Project. He said, “It could be that Bluestonehenge was where the dead began their final journey to Stonehenge.”

He thinks the bluestone circle is where the dead were cremated. Their ashes were then carried to Stonehenge for burial.

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