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Parchmarks at the Stone Circle

Stonehenge Photos -- National Geographic. Stonehenge under the stars. See more. Wish we would have gone to Stonehenge, back in the day, before they put · Lightning . Ancient power site: The Callanish Stone Ring on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland is a megalithic ruin dating from BC. Find this Pin and more on. 8 Dec (Nat Geo News) Use our resources to learn more about stone quarries, or test yourself on your knowledge of Stonehenge with today's 5-question Quick Quiz. Teachers, scroll How did scientists determine that Stonehenge's bluestones came from Welsh quarries at Pembrokeshire Coast National Park?. 2 Jun He's a professor of archeology at the University of Sheffield and there's a story about the findings in this month's issue of National Geographic Magazine. Dr. PEARSON: Well, we were able to pull out some of the cremation burials, and although radiocarbon dating has been around for at least 50 years.

The SRP is behind much of the fieldwork that has taken place in the Stonehenge world heritage site over the past few years: This is the largest Stonehenge research project ever conducted, and with the new opportunities offered by the latest in archaeological sciences, the prospects for a greater understanding of the history and early meanings of Stonehenge really are exciting.

For an earlier generation of archaeologists, this stage of work was too often treated as the least interesting or urgent.

Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure

Unfortunately Stonehenge was one of many sites to suffer in this way. As is now becoming well known, descriptions of important excavations there in the s and 60s directed by Richard Atkinson, were until recently limited almost entirely to his popular book published in [1].

The scale of the resultant misunderstandings resulting from this only began to become apparent with the publication of all 20th century excavations at Stonehenge in [4]. Amongst many problems, was the standard history of the monument, divided into three phases.

This had been enshrined by Atkinson in the official guidebooks — but it was never openly link by archaeologists, as only Atkinson had access to the evidence. We can now see that he built on ideas of his early colleague at Stonehenge, Stuart Piggott, and especially on the earlier excavations there by William Hawley: The difference from previous attempts is that this time all the evidence seems to fit.

In the past there have always been odd things — such as radiocarbon dates or supposedly stratified artefacts of please click for source particular date in the wrong place — that we had to leave aside if the theoretical history was to work. And not only does it all fit, but to me it feels right.

At this time, if not before, the four sarsen Station Stones are erected near the Aubrey Hole ring. It seemed to me that this a perfect example of the complementary pairing of opposites that I believe I can see many times in the monuments and their landscape. The makeover falls short of plans, since scrapped, that would have seen all major thoroughfares in the area diverted through tunnels. Another archaeological team has discovered down by the river next to Stonehenge a huge settlement area for hunters and gatherers, which seems to have been occupied on and off for something like 4, years before Stonehenge itself was ever built. In agricultural societies throughout the world, knowing when to plant is crucial for a successful crop year after year.

It has the right complexity, the right richness in the story that Stonehenge demands. It is in many ways quite different from the accepted models. It is very pleasing to see that the small dig inside Stonehenge by Darvill and Wainwright, at first hailed as proving the arrival of bluestones at Stonehenge in BC something everyone now seems to agree was misleadinghas come to play a pivotal role in the new history [5]. It would be wrong of me to pre-empt the publication in any way, and what follows excludes detail where some of the most interesting ideas lie.

Some of this will undoubtedly change: Circular ditch and bank ring some m in diameter, with the main access to the north-east and a narrower entrance to the south, enclosing 56 pits the Aubrey Holes which hold standing Welsh bluestones. Human cremation burial occurs in and around the Aubrey Holes and the ditch and bank. Most of these burials are of adult males, and the practice continues till at least BC; as I pointed out in Hengeworld [8], they constitute the largest known cemetery of its type.

Missing Piece in the Jigsaw

The timber posts across the main entrance to the enclosure may also belong to this stage. A second stone circle Bluestonehenge is built beside the river Avon. This consists of some 25 Welsh bluestones in a ring about 10m across, and is perhaps used for cremating and preparing the bodies whose remains are taken to Stonehenge.

At least 75 large sarsen click from the Avebury area, about 20 miles 32km to the north, are dressed at Stonehenge. They are then arranged at the centre of the earthwork circle in a horseshoe-plan setting of five tall trilithons two uprights and a lintel, like a pi surrounded by a ring of 30 uprights linked by curved lintels.

Art history

Between the trilithons and the sarsen circle is an arc of visit web page, standing in pits known as the Q and R Holes. These bluestones may have been taken from the Aubrey Holes, and possibly also from Bluestonehenge. At this time, if not before, the four sarsen Station Stones are erected near the Aubrey Adults Dating Are We Gonna Do Stonehenge History National Geographic ring.

Two of the Station Stones those now missing are then partially covered by low mounds the South and the North Barrow. The South Barrow is raised over the floor of a 10mx11m D-shaped building immediately east of the southern entrance into the enclosure.

From this entrance a route marked by timber posts leads towards the centre of the site. Three large sarsens form a facade across the north-eastern entrance of which the Slaughter Stone alone survives ; beyond them stands the Heelstone within a circular ring ditch. At Durrington Walls, two sets of concentric oak circles are built within a large settlement.

Close by stands a third group of concentric oak rings, known as Woodhenge. The Avenue earthwork two parallel sets of ditches and banks defining a wide passagewayalmost 2 miles 3km long, is dug from Stonehenge to the river Avon, where it meets a small henge a bank and ditch ring dug at the site of Bluestonehenge after the stones are removed. An earthwork avenue feet m long is built to connect the larger set of concentric oak circles the Southern Circle and the river Avon.

The Southern Circle has decayed by the end of this stage. The Durrington avenue is aligned on the summer solstice sunset, while the Southern Circle faces the winter solstice sunrise. At Stonehenge, both the summer Adults Dating Are We Gonna Do Stonehenge History National Geographic sunrise, and the winter solstice sunset, can be viewed along the Avenue and through the centre of the monument. The bluestones are rearranged to form a circle between the trilithons and the outer sarsen ring, and an oval within the trilithons.

A ring of pits known as the Z Holes is dug outside the sarsen circle, and apparently some time later a ring of pits beyond this known as the Y Holes these are poorly dated and understood. Antiquaries Journal, 32, 14— A year at Stonehenge.

Adults Dating Are We Gonna Do Stonehenge History National Geographic

Stonehenge, in Encyclopaedia Britannica. If Stones Could Speak: Unlocking the Secrets of Stonehenge. View all posts by mikepitts. Is the view that the act of enclosure with a bank and ditch was done to memorialise something that had once stood there and was being or had already been removed, substantially modified or specifically highlighted eg the ditch around the Heelstone?

Not a criticism levelled at you particularly, just a general thing…. Sorry if it sounds like a cop out, but I should link some of these points to them.

You are right, there is a big time gap between the first bluestone circle and the big megalithic monument in the centre. Some of the postholes might have something to do with what was going on then, and also some of the peripheral stones like Adults Dating Are We Gonna Do Stonehenge History National Geographic Station Stones and stone 97, and some things buried in the ditch. If as it seems cremation burial continued through that time, then it looks as if most of the activity at the site left little in the way of constructional evidence, but people were there.

Perhaps it works to think of the stages as major constructional events rather than as parts of a continuous narrative. On another point, it is interesting how a phenomenon appears to be documented, as you suggest, of earthwork enclosures memorialising older ritual sites; that fits with an old idea that the ditch-inside-bank character of henges was about keeping something in, rather than out.

Very interesting Mike with much food for thought. Thank you for your efforts carried out in your usual competent and informative way. Leaving Stonehenge aside for the moment, are there any plans to descend on Avebury in the near future do you know to carry out equally extensive work?

Having done some very amateur work at the Bluestonehenge site last year, I was very impressed by the huge difference in character between the two sites eventually linked by the Avenue. Stonehenge is high, dry, bleak, and windswept. Bluestonehenge is low, well-watered by a nearby spring and the Avon of course, fertile and sheltered.

It seemed to me that this a perfect example of the complementary pairing of opposites that I believe I can see many times in the monuments and their landscape. In particular, here, I hypothesize that the two sites could represent, inter alia, the male Stonehenge and female Bluestonehenge principles. This may explain why the burials at Stonehenge are almost exclusively male 60 out of 62 at the last analysis, I believe, and do we know the Adults Dating Are We Gonna Do Stonehenge History National Geographic of the other two?

I would further suggest that female cremations were carried out at Bluestonehenge and, rather than being buried, were cast on the waters of the adjacent Avon. Rivers have always carried stong female symbolism, and it seems quite possible that the water and earth are again two complimentary opposites for the disposal of the cremated remains.

Stonehenge served as a Time machine. It's a little known fact that Stonehenge is actually the biggest cemetery of its time, which is the third millennium BC. But you remain unconvinced I suspect. Sorry if it sounds like a cop out, but I should leave some of these points to them. National Geographic 8 Pitts, M

The Avenue, as you point out, was created much later. Of course, this would have been only have applied during the period from Stage 1 to Stage 2, when presumably a cultural change accompanied the consolidation of one or more different monuments with their bluestones into the later stages of Stonehenge. I was very intrigued by the removal of the stone ring at Bluestonehenge, having seen the undisturbed nests of packing stones that excavation revealed.

This made a lot of sense, and I did some calculations that showed approximately where the feet of the frames would have rested as the stones were lifted outwards. Without going into detail here, it seems that the digging of the ditch and bank would have thereby obscured all — or most — of the traces of the serious engineering involved in removing the stones.

For instance, to resist the sideways pressure of several tonnes, the feet of the A-frame would have to be restrained by very heavy posts dug deep into ground. Perhaps some traces of these still exist, perhaps unexplained in the excavation records? To get even more speculative: After all, the site had been home to a highly significant stone more info.

Adults Dating Are We Gonna Do Stonehenge History National Geographic

Its careful removal would have left a probably untidy ring of highly functional but distinctly profane wooden posts — the restraining posts for the A-frames. What better way of leaving a perfect memory of the site than completely eliminating all traces of the rude mechanicals with a classic circular henge ditch and bank? You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email.

The Amesbury Archer is buried the other side of the river Avon. Fifth and sixth stages: References 1 Atkinson, RJC English Heritage 5 Pitts, Article source Antiquity—94 6 Parker Pearson, M National Geographic 8 Pitts, M Pinterest Facebook Email Twitter. Published June 10, December 15, Thanks for clarifying the scrub issue. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Email required Address never made public.

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