Stonehenge News Archive


I’m often sent information, articles and links relating to Stonehenge, but I don’t always have the time to follow them up or to write a full-length post about them. This is a shame, because we are all interested to different degrees in different aspects of the ruins, so the comments section beneath this page is for anyone who wishes to write in to alert everyone else to information or a news item about Stonehenge.

If you wish to contribute, just supply a brief description of the link you’re posting along with a few words about why it might interest others. If it’s presented clearly enough, it should become an interesting and perhaps useful archive for such things.

{ 418 comments… read them below or add one }

Aynslie Hanna March 30, 2011 at 7:51 pm

New Wiltshire Heritage Museum galleries will feature finds from Stonehenge and Avebury burials.

Aynslie Hanna April 4, 2011 at 8:46 pm

End in sight after “decades of dithering” as Government steps in to help secure future for Stonehenge.

Dennis April 5, 2011 at 7:41 am

Aircraft at Stonehenge again – absolutely fascinating and more than a worth a post of its own.

Michelle Topps April 20, 2011 at 3:57 pm

http://uk.travel.yahoo.com/p-promo-3361113
Stonehenge comes in at number 4 of overrated tourist destinations. What do you think would enhance The Stonehenge experience? All seem to be agreed that the Stonehenge visitor experience is poor. What interests me is what would improve it. How can Amesbury get involved? It seems to me that it is the spirit or the essence of Stonehenge that is missing. Where is the passion, the mystery and the magic, where are the artisans? What about a big heritage and cultural festival centered in Amesbury based round the solstices? A quick google search for Stonehenge souvenirs, for example, brings up the EH shop, mass produced stock or images of the stones, and archaeological based books. Where is the culture?

Dennis April 26, 2011 at 1:36 am

A truly fascinating and insightful suggestion for Stonehenge’s current state of repair.

Aynslie Hanna May 6, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Not strictly Stonehenge news, but there’s a mention of it: Sat-nav: Prehistoric man ‘used crude sat nav’.

Dennis May 6, 2011 at 9:39 pm

It’s odd that this has received a write-up in the Telegraph now, Aynslie, because this business (and the book) surfaced a few years ago, if I remember rightly. I looked into it, or tried to, but all I got back was some haughtily-phrased ‘spam’. Everyone’s welcome to post their ideas on Stonehenge here, or to advertise their books or theories, but there’s a limit, which is dictated by the degree of courtesy exhibited by posters.

Aynslie Hanna May 31, 2011 at 10:27 pm

As there’s an interest in Silbury here, I thought readers might find these recent discoveries about Marlborough Mound interesting. Marlborough Mound is also known as Merlin’s Mount. There are two reports: The Guardian and Marlborough College Press.

Angie Lake May 31, 2011 at 10:53 pm
Aynslie Hanna June 19, 2011 at 12:30 pm

I’ve mentioned this theory of the origins of Celtic languages before, but as more and more specialists are beginning to seriously pursue and study it, the implications with regard to the people who built and used Stonehenge are quite exciting.

Aynslie Hanna July 20, 2011 at 1:40 pm

New Stonehenge souvenirs designed by students.

Aynslie Hanna August 1, 2011 at 12:55 pm

The Stonehenge Landscape Project: Recent Analytical survey and investigation in the World Heritage Site, lecture by David Field.

Plenty of time to plan ahead.

Aynslie Hanna August 6, 2011 at 5:28 pm

As we do not have a “Just for Fun” page, this was the only place I could think of to share this without taking any posts way off topic. So, for your entertainment, I present Clonehenge, proof of both the enduring allure of Stonehenge and the limitless creativity of those who are fascinated by it.

Aynslie Hanna August 7, 2011 at 2:14 pm

I hope 400 signatures against the A344 closure works as effectively as 300 Spartans did against the Persians.

Aynslie Hanna August 23, 2011 at 12:25 pm
Dennis August 23, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Another slightly different video dealing with the same matter here.

Aynslie Hanna August 24, 2011 at 1:14 pm

What Mike Pitts has to say on the subject can be found here.

Aynslie Hanna August 24, 2011 at 3:51 pm

In other news, a restoration project in the Stonehenge landscape.

Dennis September 1, 2011 at 2:19 pm

If anyone knows any more details about the excavation of this Neolithic tomb in the Preseli Hills, I would be very interested to hear them.

Robin Melrose September 2, 2011 at 11:31 am

Hi Dennis,

Can they be talking about Bedd Arthur, which Darvill and Wainwright mention in this article http://www.archaeology.co.uk/articles/message-in-the-stones.htm in ‘Current Archaeology’ 212? On a related topic, I just read a paper by Richard Coates, the English place-name authority. He is now convinced there are several place names in Britain with Semitic origins, either from the Phoenicians or from our distant ancestors who came here from Iberia – names include Uist, Hebrides, Thanet and Solent. You’ve always thought the Silures were ‘People of the Stones’, and I now agree with you, but I think the name is Semitic, from the same root which produced Solent, meaning ‘rock, cliff’. And the Demetae could take their name fron ‘tiamtu/tamtu’, the word for sea in Akkadian (very ancient language of Mesopotamia), from which the goddess Tiamat is derived. On a separate Stonehenge topic, I’ve just been reading a fascinating report on a Bronze Age settlement in Leskernick on Bodmin Moor, in which ‘clitter’ has been incorporated into the settlement in ways which the team from UCL are still struggling to understand – read about it at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/leskernick/articles/clitter/text/cl-txt04.html. I’m sure this is basic Stonehenge stuff, but is it possible that there were originally sarsens at Stonehenge, and the site became sacred because of that?

Aynslie Hanna September 2, 2011 at 7:43 pm

A couple of years ago I did some research into the name Demetae and came to the conclusion that it is from Proto-Celtic *Di-wed-o “end” (as in land’s end). It’s easy to see how Dyfed derives from this, making it unnecessary to go looking for foreign origins.

John Witts September 2, 2011 at 10:46 pm

http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=4287 led me to

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/13390/1/AW_2007-08_report.pdf

As for the the Silures this is another take on what the name meant: http://www.ancientwalesstudies.org/id132.html
Although there is a stone inscription which refers to the Ordovices(see http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/adsdata/arch-769-1/ahds/dissemination/pdf/vol45/45_015_039.pdf page 21 ) which would seem to give some credence to Ptolemy.

Dennis September 2, 2011 at 11:15 pm

John, thank you very much indeed for this – I’d not heard of the Ancient Wales site, so I may well drop them a line at some point, especially as they’ve clearly taken so much trouble looking into and thinking about the name Silures.

Dennis September 2, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Thank you very much for this, Aynslie – I like the idea of that part of Wales being “Land’s End” and I’d not thought of it before. I can see how Dyfed derives from the Proto-Celtic word you mentioned, but I still wonder about why the Romans referred to the Demetae – alone of all the tribes in Britain, with a feminine ending, either genitive singular or nominative plural. I don’t have an answer for it, but I think I’d entertain the idea of a foreign origin of Demetae for this reason alone, while Profs Darvill and Wainwright might yet come up with something to shed some light on this matter, as they’re currently excavating in this area.

Dennis September 2, 2011 at 11:45 pm

Robin, thank you very much for this, while the link you’ve provided has reminded me about a post I’ve been intending to write for a long time. Otherwise, I’m continually interested by the name of the Silures, and while the Ancient Wales link that John provided has a different and interesting take on the matter, suggesting that the Silures inhabited all Wales at the time so that the name referred to mountains and suchlike, I’m still not convinced by it, not least because I don’t know of another occasion where the Romans described a Britain tribe in terms of the peculiarities of the landscape that tribe inhabited, although the Dobunni might be an exception.

Given the location of the origin of some of the bluestones, and that it roughly coincided with what we know of the lands the Silures inhabited, I’m still inclined to think that the Romans recorded this tribe as The Men of the Stones. I liked your suggestion about Guardians of the Sun, as well, but I’ve written about this at great length here already. The paper you refer to by Richard Coates sounds fascinating, not just on account of a mention of the Phoenicians, but also on account of the Iberians, while British river names are something I never tire of reading about.

As for Stonehenge, I spoke at length with the many English Heritage custodians of the site during the ten years I lived on Salisbury Plain. Given the amount of time these people spent on site, looking at the ruins and being asked about them by others, I’m sure their opinions were worth listening to. Many of them felt that the site itself was sacred for some reason and that the stones somehow marked or embodied this specialness, so what you suggest seems perfectly possibly to me, especially as some think that the all-important Heel Stone had long stood in place there.

Robin Melrose September 3, 2011 at 5:49 am
Dennis September 3, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Robin, this looks absolutely fascinating, so thank you very much indeed for bringing it to my attention and I will read it all when I find some leisure time.

Dennis September 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm

A study of how Stonehenge would have sounded 4,000 years ago, from the BBC.

Aynslie Hanna September 14, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Bluestonehenge an oval? And comments from Mike Pitts.

Dennis September 14, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Thank you very much for these links, Aynslie, as there’s a whole world at Bluestonehenge to ponder.

Aynslie Hanna September 16, 2011 at 7:29 pm

“A detailed survey of every stone that makes up Stonehenge using the latest technology, including a new scanner on loan from Z+F UK that has never before been used on a heritage project in this country, has resulted in the most accurate digital model ever produced of the world famous monument.”

Robin Melrose September 19, 2011 at 7:23 am

Hi Dennis,

Interesting thoughts from Mike Parker-Pearson on the design of roundhouses at this link – http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/archaeology/research/cladh-hallan/cladh-hallan03.html. I don’t know if it’s relevant to Stonehenge.

Aynslie Hanna October 4, 2011 at 7:18 pm

How two little ducks could transform our understanding of Stonehenge.

Here’s a second article, where they get the “Vespasian” correct.

JohnWitts October 6, 2011 at 5:47 pm

With significant Mesolithic finds almost as rare as hen’s teeth (a lot of coastal activity would have been lost due to rise in sea levels about 6000BC). this find when considered along with the Stonehenge car park post holes suggests that there was far more going on in this area than is generally accepted for hunter-gatherers.

The admittedly late Mesolithic houses at relatively nearby Golden Ball Hill (see the interesting article http://www.arcl.ed.ac.uk/a1/stoppress/stop213.htm ) which are close to Knap Hill causeway enclosure is surely indicative of may have happened at Stonehenge.

Tony Hinchliffe October 7, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Looking forward to seeing any future Post on the Vespasian’s Camp Mesolithic site, as I know how interested you, and many of your readers, are in the issue of Stonehenge and the car park posts dating from the same period, Dennis.

Dennis October 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm

One is being prepared as we speak, Tony, although it might take a day or two before it’s finished.

Aynslie Hanna October 7, 2011 at 10:59 pm
Gilbert October 8, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Thank you Aynslie. Great reading. An oval is beautiful, because, in the form we call an ellipse, stones have another link with the heavens. All the planets orbit the sun not in a circle but in an ellipse. Keplar was born in 1571.
But as you can see here
http://www.instructables.com/id/Drawing-Ellipses/
it would have been simple to form in ancient times.

JohnWitts October 11, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Although it may not be historically accurate I thought “Agora” was an excellent film with its main subject Hypatia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypatia trying to resolve the motion of the planets whilst coping with the fanaticism of early Christianity.

I just wonder if ducks were a votive offering in that the Celts were recorded as following the flight of birds to found new settlements.

Aynslie Hanna October 13, 2011 at 12:06 am

An early Celtic “Stonehenge” discovered in the Black Forest. While the comparison to Stonehenge isn’t exactly accurate—as far as we know—it is nonetheless fascinating, as the Neolithic/Bronze Age culture that conceived the Stonehenge landscape was the predecessor of the Celtic culture that conceived this astounding landscape.

Dennis November 7, 2011 at 12:27 am

Ah, the irony.

Aynslie November 26, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Secret History of Stonehenge Revealed.

Dennis November 26, 2011 at 5:17 pm

I’m numb, but when I’ve recovered my wits, I think this calls for a long, long post on the front page. We’ll see.

Aynslie December 18, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Proof for human transport of the bluestones in the news. I don’t have access to The Times, but here is a brief intro to the article, and here is a commentary by Mike Pitts.

Aynslie December 18, 2011 at 6:14 pm

More on the bluestones issue here.

Aynslie December 19, 2011 at 5:44 pm

This article is not specifically about Stonehenge, but it’s doubtlessly relevant.

Angie Lake December 21, 2011 at 2:41 pm

I haven’t got one of those fancy phones, but this sounds great!:
“..the Stonehenge Experience iPhone app lets users explore a virtual version of the famous site.”
http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/culturelab/2011/12/stonehenge-gets-augmented.html
Read all about it via that link to the New Scientist online.

Angie Lake December 21, 2011 at 2:42 pm

I meant to add:
“Happy Solstice, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!” to everyone. :-)

Aynslie December 21, 2011 at 6:33 pm
Aynslie December 21, 2011 at 9:16 pm

More from Mike Pitts on the Pont Saeson bluestones.

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