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Stonehenge
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rynner2Online
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PostPosted: 22-06-2012 16:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stonehenge was built to unify Britain, researchers conclude

Building Stonehenge was a way to unify the people of Stone Age Britain, researchers have concluded.
Teams working on the Stonehenge Riverside Project believe the circle was built after a long period of conflict between east and west Britain.
Researchers also believe the stones, from southern England and west Wales, symbolize different communities.
Prof Mike Parker Pearson said building Stonehenge required everyone "to pull together" in "an act of unification".

The Stonehenge Riverside Project (SRP) has been investigating the archaeology of Stonehenge and its landscape for the past 10 years.
In 2008, SRP researchers found that Stonehenge had been erected almost 500 years earlier than had originally been thought.

Now teams from the universities of Sheffield, Manchester, Southampton, Bournemouth and University College London, have concluded that when the stone circle was built "there was a growing island-wide culture".
"The same styles of houses, pottery and other material forms were used from Orkney to the south coast - this was very different to the regionalism of previous centuries," said Prof Parker Pearson, from University of Sheffield.

"Stonehenge itself was a massive undertaking, requiring the labour of thousands to move stones from as far away as west Wales, shaping them and erecting them.
"Just the work itself, requiring everyone literally to pull together, would have been an act of unification."

Stonehenge may also have been built in a place that already had special significance for prehistoric Britons.
The SRP team found that its solstice-aligned avenue sits upon a series of natural landforms that, by chance, form an axis between the directions of midsummer sunrise and midwinter sunset.
"When we stumbled across this extraordinary natural arrangement of the sun's path being marked in the land, we realised that prehistoric people selected this place to build Stonehenge because of its pre-ordained significance," said Mr Parker Pearson.

"This might explain why there are eight monuments in the Stonehenge area with solstitial alignments, a number unmatched anywhere else.
"Perhaps they saw this place as the centre of the world".

Previous theories suggesting the great stone circle was inspired by ancient Egyptians or extra-terrestrials have been firmly rejected by researchers.

"All the architectural influences for Stonehenge can be found in previous monuments and buildings within Britain, with origins in Wales and Scotland," said Mr Parker Pearson.
"In fact, Britain's Neolithic people were isolated from the rest of Europe for centuries.
"Britain may have become unified but there was no interest in interacting with people across the Channel.
"Stonehenge appears to have been the last gasp of this Stone Age culture, which was isolated from Europe and from the new technologies of metal tools and the wheel."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-18550513
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MythopoeikaOffline
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PostPosted: 22-06-2012 19:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interestingly, that's very similar to a theory I have suggested on this very board.
My idea was that it was a place where leaders from all the clans and kingdoms would regularly make a pilgrimage to, so they could all communicate and consolidate friendships and alliances.
It was in fact, Arthur's Round Table.
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rynner2Online
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PostPosted: 12-07-2012 09:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stonehenge gets £27m facelift to end 'national embarrassment'
English Heritage begins project to build new visitor centre and close nearby Steven Morris
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 11 July 2012 12.00 BST

Stonehenge, one of the world's most famous prehistoric sites, has long been criticised for traffic noise and poor facilities for visitors.
Work is beginning to transform the area around Stonehenge from a "national embarrassment" into a tranquil setting for one of the world's great prehistoric monuments.

English Heritage said that the £27m project to build a new visitor centre out of sight of the stone circle to replace the shabby collection of buildings beside the monument and to close a nearby A road was under way.

Contractor VINCI Construction UK has taken possession of the site at Airman's Corner, 1.5 miles west of the stones, to start work on the new exhibition and visitor building. In September, the Highways Agency will begin preliminary work that will lead to the closure of the A344 at Stonehenge.

Simon Thurley, the chief executive of English Heritage, said: "A new dawn at Stonehenge is truly upon us. Though the stones themselves have never failed to awe visitors, their setting has been a national embarrassment and disgrace.
"After nearly 30 years English Heritage finally has a scheme that will transform the setting of the stones and our visitors' experience of them.
"The restoration of the landscape together with a major new exhibition on site will finally give our greatest and most famous monument the treatment it deserves."

The heritage and tourism minister, John Penrose, said: "People have been talking about the project for nearly 30 years and so I'm absolutely delighted that work is finally under way to preserve this internationally recognisable prehistoric world heritage site, and to improve the visitor experience for those who come to marvel at it too."

The project, developed with the support of the National Trust, Wiltshire council, the Highways Agency, and Natural England, will transform the setting of Stonehenge. The section of the A344 that runs past the monument - almost touching the heel stone - will be closed and grassed over, reuniting the stone circle with the surrounding landscape. A remaining part of the road will be closed to public vehicles, and will become the route of a new visitor shuttle service to the stones.

The existing outdated facilities, car park, fences and clutter near the monument will be removed. Visitors will be welcomed at new facilities located at Airman's Corner and, instead of approaching the stone circle from the east on a busy road, they will approach over chalk downland from the west, either via a 10-minute journey on the visitor shuttle, or on foot.

A visit to the stones should, for the first time, be enhanced by a large exhibition curated by English Heritage experts that will tell the story of the complex site and its relationship with the wider landscape. It will feature important objects excavated near the site on loan from the Wiltshire Heritage Museum and the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum. The visitor building also features education rooms and improved amenities with full disabled access.

Throughout the construction, visitors will continue to be able to visit Stonehenge.

The project will not satisfy everybody. The A303 will continue to rumble just south of the site. A plan to build a tunnel so that traffic was not visible or audible to visitors to Stonehenge was rejected by the government because of the high costs.

Apart from a £2.6m Department for Culture, Media and Sport grant spent before government funding was withdrawn in June 2010, the money for the project comes from a combination of grants (including £10m from the Heritage Lottery Fund), gifts from charitable trusts and individuals, and English Heritage profits from its commercial activities at the stones. English Heritage said it needs to raise only £500,000 more.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2012/jul/11/stonehenge-facelift-a344-english-heritage
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JamesWhiteheadOffline
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PostPosted: 09-10-2012 01:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

New Stonehenge Digital Laser Scan suggests that most attention was lavished on the most important bits. Who would have thought it!
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rynner2Online
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PostPosted: 09-03-2013 07:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stonehenge builders travelled from far, say researchers

Thousands of people came from across Britain to help build Stonehenge, experts investigating the origins of the monument have said.
They said people travelled from as far afield as the Scottish Highlands.

Researchers from University College London said their findings overturned what was thought about the origins of the monument.
Until now it had been thought that Stonehenge was built as an astronomical calendar or observatory.

The latest findings, which came after a decade of research, suggested it was the act of building the monument rather than its purpose that was key.
The researchers believed as many as 4,000 people gathered at the site, at a time when Britain's population was only tens of thousands.

Analysis of animal teeth found at a nearby settlement suggested people travelled the length of the country to help with the building.
Professor Mike Parker Pearson, from University College London, said the scene would have resembled a cross between the Glastonbury Festival and a motorway building scheme.
He said a settlement at nearby Durrington Walls had about 1,000 homes, the "largest Neolithic settlement in the whole of northern Europe".

Prof Parker Pearson said: "What we have discovered is it's in building the thing that's important. It's not that they're coming to worship, they're coming to construct it."
He added: "It's something that's Glastonbury Festival and a motorway building scheme at the same time. It's not all fun, there's work too."

The academics suggested that Stonehenge was built about 200 years earlier than previously thought, some 4,500 years ago.
Their findings will be revealed in a Channel 4 documentary, Secrets of the Stonehenge Skeletons.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21724084

I expect someone on Facebook started this. "Hey guys, why don't we all meet up on Salisbury plain and drag some huge rocks around - it'll be a LOL!" (Of course, it wouldn't have been called Salisbury plain back then, as Salisbury hadn't been built yet.)

And Facebook being Facebook, some people would have whinged that the gig was too far south, couldn't they do it somewhere more central, like Yorkshire.. (Of course, it wouldn't have been called Yorkshire back then, etc...)

But finally the Salisbury group prevailed and the gig went ahead down south. It must have taken a lot of organisation, though - I'm surprised the archaelogists haven't found a few lost neolithic iPhones...
Rolling Eyes
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Pietro_Mercurios
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PostPosted: 09-03-2013 07:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

rynner2 wrote:
...

I expect someone on Facebook started this. "Hey guys, why don't we all meet up on Salisbury plain and drag some huge rocks around - it'll be a LOL!" (Of course, it wouldn't have been called Salisbury plain back then, as Salisbury hadn't been built yet.)

And Facebook being Facebook, some people would have whinged that the gig was too far south, couldn't they do it somewhere more central, like Yorkshire.. (Of course, it wouldn't have been called Yorkshire back then, etc...)

But finally the Salisbury group prevailed and the gig went ahead down south. It must have taken a lot of organisation, though - I'm surprised the archaelogists haven't found a few lost neolithic iPhones...
Rolling Eyes

If they had used, Facebook, then all the information would still be on the database, somewhere.
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MythopoeikaOffline
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PostPosted: 09-03-2013 10:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

This seems to add further weight to my theory that it was a meeting place for all the tribes and kingdoms in Britain.
It is Arthur's Round Table...
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Pietro_Mercurios
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PostPosted: 09-03-2013 11:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mythopoeika wrote:
This seems to add further weight to my theory that it was a meeting place for all the tribes and kingdoms in Britain.
It is Arthur's Round Table...

Apart from the three thousand year gap, between the building of Stonehenge and the rise of the legend of King Arthur, of course. Nor is it the only major henge, from around that period, worthy of consideration.

The cultural make-up and the accompanying belief system, of the British Isles back then must have been very different indeed.
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Ronson8Offline
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PostPosted: 09-03-2013 11:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pietro_Mercurios wrote:


The cultural make-up and the accompanying belief system, of the British Isles back then must have been very different indeed.
Everyone was ginger and spoke Welsh. Smile
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MythopoeikaOffline
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PostPosted: 09-03-2013 11:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pietro_Mercurios wrote:
Mythopoeika wrote:
This seems to add further weight to my theory that it was a meeting place for all the tribes and kingdoms in Britain.
It is Arthur's Round Table...

Apart from the three thousand year gap, between the building of Stonehenge and the rise of the legend of King Arthur, of course. Nor is it the only major henge, from around that period, worthy of consideration.

The cultural make-up and the accompanying belief system, of the British Isles back then must have been very different indeed.


No, I'm not suggesting Arthur built it, I'm suggesting he used an already-existing meeting place. It had probably already been used as a meeting place of kings, chieftains and nobles and over time it fell out of use. I think 'Arthur' or whoever he was, revived the use of the old meeting-place.
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Pietro_Mercurios
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PostPosted: 09-03-2013 14:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ronson8 wrote:
Pietro_Mercurios wrote:


The cultural make-up and the accompanying belief system, of the British Isles back then must have been very different indeed.
Everyone was ginger and spoke Welsh. Smile

Your private fantasies are your own affair. Wink
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PostPosted: 09-03-2013 18:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the idea of Stonehenge built just for the hell of it. No model railways or computer games in those days, so how else would they fill the time? Probably good exercise, too.
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Pietro_Mercurios
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PostPosted: 09-03-2013 18:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

gncxx wrote:
I like the idea of Stonehenge built just for the hell of it. No model railways or computer games in those days, so how else would they fill the time? Probably good exercise, too.

There would have to have been a really good reason to bring people there from all over Britain, back then. Away from the little agricultural settlements it was mostly thick forest, or bog. How easy was it to negotiate the way between different tribal territories, as well?

What drove the Stonehenge builders? Was it fear of a powerful priestly, or warrior caste and the anger of the gods? Or, was it the need to get together to meet up, to mark the passing of the seasons, exchange partners, celebrate births, hold marriages, or funerals, trade, or some combination of all of these things?
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Ronson8Offline
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PostPosted: 09-03-2013 23:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find it difficult to believe that people came all the way from northern England and Scotland, how long would it have taken them? but I'll reserve judgement until I've seen the program.
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Pietro_Mercurios
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PostPosted: 10-03-2013 00:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ronson8 wrote:
I find it difficult to believe that people came all the way from northern England and Scotland, how long would it have taken them? but I'll reserve judgement until I've seen the program.

I'd be more interested to know how they were all related.
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