The Pages for: Solving Stonehenge
There are clues in the archaeological record which take us on a remarkable journey into the sublime prehistoric dimension. Much of it concealed within the intrinsic details of the structure of Stonehenge. The monument sits astride the solar corridor, marking the longest and shortest days of the year, but inside the surrounding earthwork not one single stone of the mirrored symmetrical plan deviates from the master geometric model. Moreover the order of construction suggests that the focus of interest was the midwinter sunset towards which the Great Trilithon was designed to face. The idea of dividing the year into two halves, summer winter, light and dark and themes accommodating the concept of duality of the natural and spiritual world into mirrored domains may well explain the preoccupation with symmetry of design seen in both monuments and artifacts of the period
Top: Stonehenge midwinter sunset, James Mitchell©
Below: How the ravages of time have taken their toll on Stonehenge Anthony Johnson©
Interpretations (which pretend to be ‘explanations’) of Stonehenge almost invariably start ‘too far down the line’, that is – they look at the finished monument. Or worse, they start with a theory and select only the details that supposedly fit the argument, there are even some archaeologists who are guilty of this curious practice. If we take one step back, and examine the logical process of its design, we see evidence for both the setting out and prefabrication of the structure, this is the area where we gain real insight into the prehistoric mindset. I guess this is largely where I am at odds with a lot of material written on Stonehenge, do we really want to know what people think it ‘means’ today – better by far to begin with an examination of the processes which determined its construction, by sound archaeological enquiry, only then can we really begin to offer our own vision of what it was ‘for”.
Regular visitors frequently ask about the chronological framework, so I’ve just added a timeline. This gives a fair and graphic approximation of the phases of construction and contemporary events during the time when Stonehenge was being constructed and modified. I Hope people will find this useful. The latest news is that radiocarbon dates from samples taken in 2008 indicate that the first central stone construction belongs to the period 2400 – 2300 BC – a little later than previously thought. However in yet another recent interpretation it has been suggested the idea advanced in the 1920s – that the Aubrey Holes held stones may be correct. If this was the case then the date for the first stone structure would be nearer to 3,000 BC. It should be stressed however this currently remains a speculative view.
Oh and here is a little gem from 2002…*
‘Stonehenge Will Be Reunited With Its Natural Landscape By 2008’ Says Arts Minister Tessa Blackstone…