Sunday, 5 July 2015

Another Super-Stonehenge Discovered

Southern England, particularly the West Country, is the richest location for prehistoric monuments in the world. Almost everybody has heard of Stonehenge, but there are so many others. In fact some of them are much bigger than Stonehenge and, some would say, far more interesting; for example Avebury. There are still new sites waiting to be discovered and every so often a new monolith or old burial mound shows up. However there have also been discoveries of far larger and more impressive full circular complexes which are not as well-preserved as Avebury or Stonehenge, but are no lesser original constructions. One turned up in my hometown of Oxford a few years back. This one was five hundred feet across, making it one of the biggest in the country, see here for details: http://hpanwo-tv.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/oxford-henge.html. Now another giant circle has been unearthed in central Wiltshire which is even larger. At Marden in the Vale of Pewsey, a series of earthworks have turned out to be an artificial enclosing bank and ditch, roughly oval in shape. There are also smaller internal structures, a smaller circle and a mound; although there are no visible standing stones anywhere. However there may still be some left which are buried. This site is very similar in design to Avebury, and it dates back to about the same time period; therefore it was probably constructed by the same culture. The location is huge; it has an area of thirty-five acres and is therefore about 1400 feet in diameter (using a Pi calculation based on a perfect circle); bigger even than Avebury. The media are calling it "Stonehenge's big brother", see: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/585647/Experts-discover-HUGE-stone-circle-in-Britain-TEN-TIMES-the-size-of-Stonehenge. A three-year archaeological dig has only just begun, so we'll have to wait and see what they find... or, should I say, what they'll be allowed to publish. Once again we are faced with the silent testimony of people from the distant past who had a very sophisticated and deep culture, maybe far more so than anybody gives them credit for in official science. It's amazing to think that they walked in the same places that I do. Clearly they regarded the British Isles as some sort of holy land. It is also possible that some of their lost knowledge has been knowingly suppressed by those in power for whose status it could threaten.
I heartily recommend the Megalithomania conferences and tours for background and here's my own report on one: http://hpanwo-tv.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/big-stones.html.

6 comments:

Xylomet said...

Thanks for the heads-up Ben, as a bit of a 'wanted to be' Archaeologist this is fascinating. The circle and the power of monolithic brutalism is still a subject still relatively unknown. I recommend a book called 'The writing of stones' by Roger Caillois to appreciate the magical nature of Stone and our contact with them. Thanks for the post Ben.

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

You're welcome, X. What an intriguing title for a book. (And thanks for commenting on the Mind Set Podcast last week)

Xylomet said...

Hey Ben. No problem and apologies if my comment on Mindset was a little long, sometimes the dialectic get's a bit too much indulgence!

Laurence said...

Amazing the way the group of houses on the left (at 270 degrees) follows the line of the circle.

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

It does seem to indeed, Laurence. How did that happen?

Laurence said...

Hello Ben, re. the building line. More than likely, the man-made embankment of the henge represented a good, ready-made foundation for the builders.