22 June 2011
With the passing of the solstice, I'm reminded of Stonehenge and its connection to ancient rituals and traditons.
National Geographic discusses the meaning of Stonehenge ...
The old earthworks were now refashioned to highlight the northeast entrance, thus confirming the import of the monument's alignment with the solstices—an emphasis that perhaps reflected beliefs about the meaning of the stones in their location at Preseli, or perhaps the new beliefs of a changing age. At some later date the giant sarsens of hard sandstone were dragged in from the Marlborough Downs, 20 to 30 miles away. Although subsequent ages would fiddle with the internal design, the erection of the sarsens—the great broad-shouldered guardians of the smaller stones from Wales—bestowed on Stonehenge its enduring aura of unassailable assurance. Mystifying as it is to us, there is no mistaking the confident purposefulness of its massive, monumental features.
Studies conducted by Michael Allen, an expert in environmental archaeology, demonstrate that throughout the long period of Stonehenge's construction, people of the area carried on with the mundane tasks of their lives. Charcoal remains, pollens of weeds associated with crops, and, most valuably, snail shells—which can be matched to different habitats—show that the Stonehenge landscape was cleared, grazed, and farmed. Whatever its function, Stonehenge was embedded in the community it served. "I see it being used like a cathedral, or Wembley Stadium," Allen said. "Some days it was used to hold solemn rituals, other days for more ordinary gatherings."
Read the rest here.
Also from National Geographic, an explanation of the process of choosing and transporting stones ...
Funerary rites ...
Credible research should examine all sides of an issue. Here, Spinal Tap guitarist Nigel Tufnel offers a counterpoint to National Geographic.
If you'd like me to play this game, I will ... I've done it before.
They should do puppet shows ... explains it better.
You're not a musician are you?
... by a process of rain and peat and saliva ...
We report, you decide.