Stonehenge and the surrounding ritual landscape

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  • Stonehenge and its ritual landscape
    • Classic henges
      • Stonehenge
        • Built in multiple stages
          • Phase 1-2800BC
            • Bank and ditch made (4-7 feet deep, 6 foot high bank).
            • Aubrey holes from first phase. 56 post holes in circle on inside. very little weathering as appear to have been infilled with chalk almost immediately after being dug.
              • At least 24 holes have pits cut into them-remnants of cremated bone. Some with skewer pin-hold leather bag containing remains (Darvill)
            • Possible de-fleshing enclosure? (Julian Richards)
            • Also can be seen as enclosure and timber phase
              • Enclosure phase
                • Possibility that Stonehenge was a Neolithic causewayed enclosure to start with
                  • Proximity of other cuasewayed enclosures support this?
                  • Function?
                    • Cemetery?
                      • Cremated human bones on top of Aubrey holes and in banks and ditches
                        • Around C.70 bodies represented in ditch silts
                          • Darvill suggests shows burials from quite a distance.
                      • Original entrance appears to be NE-not a celestial alignment
                        • Entrance moved later-to Summer solstice and other entrance to midwinter solstice.
                          • Can be confirmed by Avenue
                            • Stonehenge Avenue
                              • 3Km. connects River Avon and Stonehenge
                                • Some of its length aligned with summer solstice
                              • Built in phase 3
                              • River Avon end has Bluestonehenge there
                                • Bluestonehenge
                                  • Ditch and stone settings all that remain
                                    • Below ground
                                  • Name comes from fact that traces of bluestone were found
                                  • Some antler picks found
                                    • Also found two flint chisel arrowheads
                                  • 3000-2400BC
                                  • Possible 27 stones, 33 feet wide
                                  • No significant celestial alignments
                    • Cattle bones-ceremonial feasting?
              • Timber phase
                • Aubrey holes
                  • Cremated bones in pits, also on top and in ditches and banks.
                    • cemetery?
                    • Piles of ash and charcoal-pyres?
                  • For moving posts to alignments?
                    • Perhaps could form a 'celestial calculator'.
                • cemetery?
                • Timber posts-4 very large ones-celestial alignments. Winter solstice more important-a 'winter god'. (Darvill)
          • Phase 2-2500BC
            • Preseli bluestones brought to Salisbury plain
              • Moved by man across Bristol channel?
                • Attempted reconstruction of this method failed as rat capsised
                  • But if true then actual peoples would of been much more experienced at it
                    • Moved by man across Bristol channel?
                      • Attempted reconstruction of this method failed as rat capsised
                        • But if true then actual peoples would of been much more experienced at it
                • Or moved by nature?
                  • Rubbish left behind from glacier?
                    • Man scavenged stones from countryside?
                • Important! Why were they chosen specifically and brought to Stonehenge?
                  • Man scavenged stones from countryside?
                  • Just liked the look of them?
                  • Did they see them as having magical powers?
                    • Healing powers-sacred stone?
                      • Springs in Preseli-healing connection? (Wainwright and Darvill)
                        • Amesbury Archer found with bluestone clipping-considering injuries healing idea holds promise
                  • Representation of someone or something?
                    • Deities?
                      • Or place?
                        • Sacred place-Preseli like Mt Olympus of Britain? ritual and religious significance?
                • Bluestone phase
            • Phase 3 part i-Preseli bluestones formed into two rings (Wainwright and Darvill)
              • Preseli bluestones brought to Salisbury plain
                • Or moved by nature?
                  • Rubbish left behind from glacier?
                  • Important! Why were they chosen specifically and brought to Stonehenge?
                    • Just liked the look of them?
                    • Did they see them as having magical powers?
                      • Healing powers-sacred stone?
                        • Springs in Preseli-healing connection? (Wainwright and Darvill)
                          • Amesbury Archer found with bluestone clipping-considering injuries healing idea holds promise
                    • Representation of someone or something?
                      • Deities?
                        • Or place?
                          • Sacred place-Preseli like Mt Olympus of Britain? ritual and religious significance?
                  • Bluestone phase
                • Phase 3ii. 2600-2500BC
                  • Bluestones moved to allow Sarsen stones to be built
                  • Bluestones arranged same as in Preseli
                  • Final stage of phase 3. 1500BC
                    • Y&Z holes constrcuted-hold Bluestones in place
                      • Last phase might represent unfinished phase-events occurred or change in beliefs?
                    • Mortoise and tenon joints
                    • Oblation?
                    • Bluestones in same arrangement as in Preseli-rebuilding ritual landscape?
                    • Sarsen phase
                      • Function?
                        • Alignment with Midwinter and Midsummer Solstice
                        • Acoustics?
                          • Sounds strange I know but some of stones of inner circle at Stonehenge are concave-reflective shaman/priest voice. Or perhaps can be used with other tools to make ethereal noises?
                        • Ethnographic evidence from other areas
                          • Oracle site?
                            • Sounds strange I know but some of stones of inner circle at Stonehenge are concave-reflective shaman/priest voice. Or perhaps can be used with other tools to make ethereal noises?
                      • Bluestones stored to one side
                      • Station stones
                        • Creation of perfect triangle around centre
                          • Surveying points or cardinal points for observation of stars?
                            • Short sides point to solstices and long sides to 18.6 year lowest and highest moons.
                  • Sarsen phase
                    • Function?
                      • Alignment with Midwinter and Midsummer Solstice
                      • Acoustics?
                        • Ethnographic evidence from other areas
                          • Oracle site?
                        • Bluestones stored to one side
                        • Station stones
                          • Creation of perfect triangle around centre
                            • Surveying points or cardinal points for observation of stars?
                              • Short sides point to solstices and long sides to 18.6 year lowest and highest moons.
                  • Cursus is also present-straddled pond?-Liminal site?
                  • Technically not a henge as ditch is on outside of bank
                • Woodhenge
                  • Bank outside ditch
                  • 6 concentric sets of post holes
                    • Post structure or post and lintel?
                  • Flint cairn at centre-child inhumation with split skull-foundation sacrifice?
                  • Same alignment as Stonehenge
                  • Small henge monumnet
                  • Last remnant of declining Neolithic ritual? (Richards)
                    • Child inhumation/foundation sacrifice rare later
                  • Wooden element of death journey?
                  • Shaman?
                    • Goldsmith and shaman turn wood into stone?
                      • Liminal transformation-representative of life to death.
                  • Eastern section of ditch contained crouched teenage inhumation (less important)
                  • Deepest post holes 2m-7.5 m tall posts
                    • Recreating trees?
              • Enclosure henge
                • Durrington Walls
                  • Ceremonial site?
                    • Or settlement?
                      • Perhaps where pilgrims to Stonehenge stayed?
                        • Amesbury Archer could be a pilgrim example?
                      • Roofed?
                    • Or both! Settlement with ceremonial usage?
                      • Or settlement?
                        • Perhaps where pilgrims to Stonehenge stayed?
                          • Amesbury Archer could be a pilgrim example?
                        • Roofed?
                    • Sacrifice and feasting?
                      • Open aired?
                  • Unusual in that it straddles the bottom of a chalk valley.
                  • Large enclosure-13m wide ditch which is 6m deep.
                    • Two wooden structures inside-one with 4 concentric circles of post holes, other with 6.
                      • 4 concentric is known as south circle and is orientated to sunrise on midwinter solstice
                        • Paved avenue also exists.
                          • Aligned to summer solstice
                          • Similar to the 'Stonehenge Avenue'
                          • Led to River Avon
                    • 500m diameter
                  • Included a great quantity of animal bones and 'grooved wares'
                  • 2015 it was announced another monument of 90 standing stones was discovered under Durrington.
                    • Recent news is good-shows knowledge and awareness.
                  • Entertainment-arena of wood? Seems unlikely.
                  • Estimated 4000-6000 people to build
              • Ritual landscape connection theories
                • Mike Parker Pearson and Romilisonina
                  • Compared to Madagascar where processional journey from life death represented by wood to stone
                    • Therefore for the ritual landscape at Salisbury the processional way is as follows
                      • Durrington Walls acts as domestic settlement
                        • Or
                          • Durrington walls acts as ceremonial centre
                        • Woodhenge represents the recently dead (due to avenue in Durrington walls could go through there from Woodhenge)
                          • Durrington walls acts as ceremonial centre
                          • Travel down River Avon-Liminal boundary?
                            • Disembark at  Bluestonehenge-still on journey of death
                              • Follow Stonehenge Avenue to Stonehenge. Now dead as stone represents death.
                                • Buried around area in mounds. Buried stone=really dead. End of the line
                      • Separate the domain of the dead and living?
                • Division of world into three plains
                  • Deities
                    • Upper world. Fascination with sun and stars
                      • Middle world=earth
                        • Lower world=underworld
                      • Sun and moon opposites-large influence
                        • Follow cycles
                        • Year divided by solstices
                  • Could be connected?
                    • Separate the domain of the dead and living?
            • Also a Stonehenge 'twin' has been found and dubbed 'ghosthenge', but  not enough evidence to justify inlcuding it i processional way..

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