Stonehenge in Winter

Sunday 14 August The find is of international significance. Work on the circle was stopped abruptly by around BC — despite the fact that it was nearing completion. The giant metre long, centimetre diameter timber posts were lifted vertically out of their 1. The recent huge storms and gale force winds that have battered the coast of West Wales have stripped away much of the sand from stretches of the beach between Borth and Ynyslas. The disappearing sands have revealed ancients forests, with the remains of oak trees dating back to the Bronze Age, 6, years ago. A year-old male who had suffered a spinal cord injury which had paralysed him from the waist down was given the ability to walk again by scientists, who rerouted brain waves to electrodes on his knees. The texts, mostly written on parchment but also on papyrus and bronze, are the earliest surviving copies of biblical and extra-biblical documents known to be in existence, dating over a year period around the birth of Jesus. Well, not quite that, but almost. Four scientists of the University of Cambridge, Fred Hoyle, William Fowler and Margaret and Geoffrey Burbidge, had conducted extensive research into stellar nucleosynthesis, the theory that all elements are created in the oldest chemical factories in the universe – stars.

Ancient Arkaim: The Stonehenge of Russia

The academic spent days photographing the site at sunrise over five years and found the ‘fertility play’ happens on eight dates throughout the years, beginning on the winter solstice. The eight days, Prod Meaden believes, are representative of important milestones in the farming calendar, including the solstices – the longest and shortest days of the year – as well as the spring and autumn equinoxes. The professor also identified other important dates pick out by the stones as Imbolc, which is the ancient date for the beginning of Spring on February 1, Beltane May Day , Lughnasadh, the beginning of the wheat harvest in August, and Sanhain on October 31, when cattle were slaughtered.

Further sundries carried out at six other circles in County Cork and more than 10 in north east Scotland found they also aligned with the calendar. Markings found on the Drombeg stones also show a phallus and an open vulva. Professor Meaden examined nearly 20 stone circle across Britain – including monuments at Avebury pictured – and filmed their changing silhouettes at sunrise on ritually important days throughout the year Professor Timothy Darvill OBE said that it was difficult to prove the theory but added that many clay penises had been found at Neolithic sites, which suggest a fertility link.

The small circular constructions, contemporaneous with Stonehenge’s busiest period, are placed around the main stone ring and form a sort of Neolithic analogue to the Via Dolorosa, held to be the path Jesus walked to crucifixion, Gaffney suggests.

It reveals many more axe carvings and much new information on how the stones were shaped. The analysis found 71 new axehead carvings, increasing the number known at Stonehenge to This is around a years after the big sarsen stone circle was erected. Contrary to press reports, Stonehenge was not a huge art gallery – these carvings are found only on four stones.

The scanning has also revealed incredible detail on how the stones were shaped. Some were “pecked” with stone mauls in horizontal lines, others with vertical lines. The study, just published online by English Heritage and free to download, also provides information on how much damage has been caused by souvenir hunters chipping off bits of stone, or by visitors carving graffiti – including Sir Christopher Wren, the architect of 17th century London!

Download the full report here: Using the latest geophysical imaging techniques, which “see” below the ground without excavation, it is possible to make out a dark circle of interrupted ditch. There are two wider gaps opposite each other – these were entrances to the monument and are aligned on the midwinter sunset and midsummer sunrise – like Stonehenge itself. Inside the ditch it is also possible to discern the slight shadows of 24 postholes encircling the the central area, 25 metres in diameter.

Near the centre are more dark areas indicating pits, and a large shadow suggesting that a mound was constructed there, perhaps in a later phase of the monument’s use. The henge probably dates to around BC, contemporary with Stonehenge.

Stonehenge dig finds 6,000-year-old encampment

There’s also evidence of a nearby mile-long “superhenge” at Durrington Walls that was once flanked by as many as 60 gigantic stone or timber columns, some of which may still lie under the soil. The discoveries result from the Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project , a four-year effort to create a high-resolution, 3-D underground map of the landscape surrounding Stonehenge. The project team, led by researchers from the U.

In all, nearly 3, acres have been excavated virtually, making this the largest and most ambitious project of its kind ever undertaken anywhere in the world. The small circular constructions, contemporaneous with Stonehenge’s busiest period, are placed around the main stone ring and form a sort of Neolithic analogue to the Via Dolorosa, held to be the path Jesus walked to crucifixion, Gaffney suggests.

Biography of Landscape suggests that the bluestones may have been thought to have healing powers, and people made pilgrimages to Stonehenge just as they do today to Lourdes in France.

The other end of the Avenue – ‘Bluestonehenge’ The discovery another such monument on the supports the idea of an intimate connection between the megliths, the landscape, the visible heavens and the after-life. More about ‘Bluestonehenge’ The Heel-Stone – See Photo, right – At 20ft long 4ft underground , around 8ft wide by 7ft thick 3 , this stone is a classic example of an outlier, standing at the entrance to the earthworks, and in line with ‘The Avenue’.

The ‘Heel-stone’ is a large upright, un-worked sarsen hard sandstone which lies immediately adjacent to the A road. The nearest source of stones of the size represented by the large sarsens at Stonehenge is on the Marlborough Downs, near Avebury , about 30km to the NE. Extract from Burl – ‘The heel-stone is popularly thought to stand in line with the midsummer sunrise but it does not and never did Astronomical analysis has shown instead that the stone is in-line with rising of the moon halfway between its northern minor and major positions’ The ‘Heel-stone is thought by some to be one of an original four stones that once stood at the entrance to the henge.

In , Inigo Jones sketched the proposed sarsens in-situ. The Slaughter Stone – This stone is about ft long, un-worked.

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Stonehenge in Winter In midsummer, the night sky in England never gets really dark. Although we are not far enough north for the sun to be above the horizon at midnight in the middle of summer, it never really sets. Sunset turns into sunrise. The midsummer solstice, about June 21st, is when the days in the northern hemisphere are the longest.

According to Geoffrey the rocks of Stonehenge were healing rocks, called the Giant’s dance, which Giants had brought from Africa to Ireland for their healing properties.

William Stukeley in notes, “Pendulous rocks are now called henges in Yorkshire I doubt not, Stonehenge in Saxon signifies the hanging stones. Like Stonehenge’s trilithons , medieval gallows consisted of two uprights with a lintel joining them, rather than the inverted L-shape more familiar today. The “henge” portion has given its name to a class of monuments known as henges.

Because its bank is inside its ditch, Stonehenge is not truly a henge site. Despite being contemporary with true Neolithic henges and stone circles , Stonehenge is in many ways atypical—for example, at more than 7. After Cleal et al. Italicised numbers in the text refer to the labels on this plan. Trilithon lintels omitted for clarity. Holes that no longer, or never, contained stones are shown as open circles. Stones visible today are shown coloured Mike Parker Pearson , leader of the Stonehenge Riverside Project based at Durrington Walls , noted that Stonehenge appears to have been associated with burial from the earliest period of its existence: Stonehenge was a place of burial from its beginning to its zenith in the mid third millennium B.


The Stonehenge of Russia Read the article on one page An archaeological expedition led by the University of Chelyabinsk in discovered an ancient fortified settlement in the Southern Urals of Russia dating back to two or three thousands of years BC. The fortress, called Arkaim Ar-ka means sky and Im means Earth , is known as the Russian Stonehenge and is believed to be even older than Stonehenge itself.

The site consists of two circular walls surrounded by a defensive wall and moat. In between the walls are located rectangular dwellings. The outer diameter is about meters and a moat of about two meters surrounds the outer wall. The town had four gates oriented at cardinal points.

I favour the interpretation that he was one of the earliest metal workers, who travelled to the area to make a living from his skills.

Research shows that the site has continuously evolved over a period of about 10, years. The structure that we call “Stonehenge” was built between roughly 5, and 4, years ago and was one part of a larger sacred landscape that included a massive stone monument that was 15 times the size of Stonehenge. The biggest of Stonehenge’s stones, known as sarsens, are up to 30 feet 9 meters tall and weigh 25 tons It is widely believed that they were brought from Marlborough Downs, a distance of 20 miles 32 kilometers to the north.

Smaller stones, referred to as “bluestones” they have a bluish tinge when wet or freshly broken , weigh up to 4 tons and come from several different sites in western Wales , having been transported as far as miles km. It’s unknown how people in antiquity moved them that far. Recent experiments show that it is possible for a one-ton stone to be moved by a dozen people on a wooden trackway, but whether this technique was actually used by the ancient builders is uncertain.

Scientists have also raised the possibility that during the last ice age glaciers carried these bluestones closer to the Stonehenge area and the monument’s makers didn’t have to move them all the way from Wales. Water transport by raft is another idea that has been proposed but researchers now question whether this method was viable.

Remarkable ancient structure found just two miles from Stonehenge

The British team analysed the ancient remains of 63 bodies buried around Stonehenge, finding that the first monument was originally a graveyard for a community of elite families, whose remains were brought to Stonehenge and buried over a period of more than years. However the team also discovered that the earliest burials long predate the monument in its current form. Health spa In archaeologists Geoffrey Wainwright and Timothy Darvill said that there was evidence Stonehenge had been sought after by pilgrims for its healing properties.

They said that ancient chipping of the rocks helped to indicate that Stonehenge was the equivalent of Lourdes, a French commune framed for its supposed miraculous healing powers. Wainwright and Darvill said that the state of skeletons which had been recovered from the area around Stonehenge, showed that many people were ailing when they went to the stone circle.

The nearest source of stones of the size represented by the large sarsens at Stonehenge is on the Marlborough Downs, near Avebury , about 30km to the NE.

So far, archaeologists have located and excavated around metres worth of the outer ditch. It is not yet known how much, if any, of the rest of the monument has survived. Around 70 are known in England. Their precise original function remains a mystery, but the scant available evidence suggests that they were used for a mixture of ceremonial, religious, political and mortuary roles.

Its discovery strongly suggests that the remains of other important prehistoric monuments probably still survive undetected in the area. Indeed, it follows fast on the heels of another discovery half a mile to the south-east, made just three months ago, when archaeologists found what, back in the Stonehenge era, had been a vast circle of giant timber posts.

Although nobody suspected that a second causewayed enclosure would be discovered near Stonehenge, its presence there is consistent with the distribution of such monuments across the country. More than a third of causewayed enclosures occur in pairs or clusters of three or occasionally four. It is conceivable that clan or tribal rivalries saw them compete to build the most impressive enclosures. That investigation has already enabled them to get a sense of some of the rituals that were carried out there.

The mortuary or other religious ceremonies may well have involved feasting on large quantities of beef — and the use and deliberate smashing of ceramic bowls. Some of the ditches were also used for the ritual deposition of human skull fragments, potentially re-deposited from other funerary monuments like the nearby long barrow tombs.


History Uncovered Stonehenge is one of the most iconic sites in the world, but also still one of the most mysterious. Stonehenge World Heritage Site is huge The Stonehenge part of the World Heritage Site covers 2, hectares 6, acres of chalk downland and arable fields. The circular bank and ditch around Stonehenge itself encloses an area of over 10, square metres.

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Opt out or contact us anytime Dr. Neubauer collaborated with Dr. Gaffney to survey eight square miles around Stonehenge and Durrington Walls. In September, they announced a surprising claim: Buried in the banks of Durrington Walls are about 90 standing stones, some up to 15 feet tall. Gaffney said there may originally have been , more than twice as many as at Stonehenge. If true, that would jumble Dr.

But he is skeptical of the findings, which have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal. He said that a decade ago, he excavated some of those locations and found post holes that had been capped with cemented chalk. The radar reflections had bounced off the chalk blocks, he said. He said he and Dr. Gaffney had discussed their differing interpretations.

A Place of Mystery Still unknown is how the Stonehenge area became a revered site. The most intriguing evidence is right next to Stonehenge itself — three big post holes that held tall totemlike timber poles.

Why was Stonehenge built? The eight most popular theories

Berthold Steinhilber Smithsonian Magazine Subscribe November Six miles from Urfa, an ancient city in southeastern Turkey, Klaus Schmidt has made one of the most startling archaeological discoveries of our time: The megaliths predate Stonehenge by some 6, years. The place is called Gobekli Tepe, and Schmidt, a German archaeologist who has been working here more than a decade, is convinced it’s the site of the world’s oldest temple. Thirty minutes later, the van reaches the foot of a grassy hill and parks next to strands of barbed wire.

None of this is proven, at least publicly, but astronomers have compared Arkaim to Stonehenge due to similarities in latitude, date and size.

Summer solstice , in pictures What is the summer solstice exactly? There are two solstices each year – one in the winter and one in the summer. However, we won’t notice the days becoming shorter for a while. In the southern hemisphere the dates of the two solstices are reversed. Summer solstice at Stonehenge, with the sun rising in the distance.

Paul Grover for the Telegraph What happens during the winter solstice? December 21 will be eight hours and 49 minutes shorter than the June solstice when the sun will set at

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