The internet’s positively alive with reports of the latest major discovery at Stonehenge, and it’s certainly very interesting indeed. You can read about it and watch an animation on the BBC news site, you can read a piece in the Independent, or you can read about it in this article from the Daily Mail.
There’s an excellent piece with graphics and photos on the Heritage Key site, and I’m sure there will be many more to come. Of course, I couldn’t be happier for Professor Gaffney and the others involved in this discovery, but I must confess that I’m mildly baffled by one or two of the recorded pronouncements.
For example, the BBC quotes Professor Gaffney as saying “”This is probably the first major ceremonial monument that has been found in the past 50 years or so. This is really quite interesting and exceptional, it starts to give us a different perspective of the landscape.” This rather begs the question of how we would describe the discovery of Bluestonehenge by Professor Mike Parker Pearson and the SRP, but as archaeologists are absolute sticklers for terminological exactitude, then I’m guessing that this new “Hillside Henge” is classified as ‘major, strictly on account of its size, but I must admit that I don’t really know.
The other aspect of this new discovery that I find mildly baffling is that, among the detailed & insightful coverage it’s received from science editors from the BBC and from some of our most prominent newspapers, there is not a solitary mention or suggestion of the fact that I predicted the discovery of such a structure here on Eternal Idol as far back as November 5th 2009 and long before that as well, during the course of my extensive writings about TANITH, or the alignment to the northwest of Stonehenge.
I should point out (again) that my prediction of important structures to the north-west of Stonehenge came about simply as as result of studying Stonehenge and the surrounding landscape, not through smoking copious amounts of marijuana or by discussing the matter with Elvis Presley while sitting on the Cursus barrows. Mike Pitts has just had a very good and informative piece published on the BBC news site, in which he mentions the possibility that the apparent ‘pits’ at Hillside Henge once held bluestones. I wrote a piece about a lost bluestone monument as far back as 2006, when the Stonehenge Riverside Project excavated a section near the western end of the Cursus in search of a bluestone monument whose existence was first postulated by Wiltshire archaeologist J F S Stone in 1947, because he had excavated an area near the Cursus and discovered a scatter of bluestone fragments with a marked concentration near the Cursus itself.
Newer visitors to Eternal Idol may be unaware of these posts from 2006, which is when I re-opened or re-launched the site after a difference of opinion with some hick firm of lawyers purporting to represent Wessex Archaeology, the archaeological ‘consultancy’ where I worked at the start of the decade. Round Two is shaping up nicely, I have to say, so we’ll just have to see what happens during the remainder of 2010.
Finally for now, on the subject of “Hillside Henge”, Juris Ozols, Alex Down and myself wrote extensively about “Stonehenge – The Undiscovered Country” in August of last year, but we’d naturally been investigating the evidence produced by LiDAR and other non-invasive methods for a long time before that. During the course of our studies, we’d seen this new discovery clearly marked on a LiDAR frame, where it was immediately apparent that some large structure lay to the north-west of Stonehenge, aligned with all the many other features I’d been writing about for years. Be that as it all may, none of the media outlets have seen fit to mention any of this in their detailed coverage…..oh, it’s sooooooo unfair! Ah well, you read it first here on Eternal Idol and I’ll continue to do my best to provide such material as & when time allows.