Stonehenge


I first set up Eternal Idol a few years ago with the aim of providing original information on Stonehenge and any excavations conducted in the landscape. The site’s been greatly enhanced by the many informative comments and links sent in by other people, so you can either enter a search for something of interest, or else you can look at the categories on the right of the site.

The posts that have attracted the most comments and information relate to contentious aspects of Stonehenge such as the Druids, the bluestones and the means by which they arrived at Stonehenge, and also Silbury Hill. I’ve conducted other investigations into missing altar stones, the inspiration for the Anglo-Saxon poem The Ruin and the setting for the remarkable temple and City of Apollo as described by Pytheas of Massilia in 350 BC. I’ve also written about the likelihood of there having been a Sentinel at Stonehenge in prehistory, and whether or not our ancestors considered the existence of extra-terrestrial intelligence.

I’ll be posting material related to my book “The Missing Years of Jesus” for the foreseeable future, but I still aim to publish original material related to Stonehenge on this site at the same time, so anyone is still free to write in and contribute to any post they choose.

Otherwise, if you’re interested in Stonehenge, but you’re completely new to it, then I strongly recommend that you first have a good look at this Wikipedia entry on Stonehenge, which is excellent, because it gives a detailed but clear overview of the ruins and their history. There are also many very worthwhile links on the Wikipedia page, so again, I suggest that you look at the English Heritage site and go to their interactive map, which provides many excellent illustrations and photographs that help to put Stonehenge, its surrounding landscape and history into some kind of perspective. If you’d like a virtual tour of the inside of the monument, then click on this English Heritage link.

When you’ve done that, and if you’re still interested in Stonehenge, then by all means return to this site, if you wish. If you have an opinion or a view, then please feel free to share it with everyone else, while a degree in archaeology is most certainly not required in order to do this. Different people view the ruins in different ways, and it may well be that a fresh perspective will spark off a train of thought and enable us to glimpse this stunning monument through the eyes of the men and women who laboured so mightily to build it all those millennia ago.

The entire content of this site, going back to August 2006, is currently being amended, so please don’t write in to tell me that a picture’s missing, because I’m fully aware of this. However, if you feel you can contribute in any way at all, no matter how small, to our knowledge and understanding of Stonehenge, then please feel free to share your views and submit comments, links or pictures, which I’ll attend to as time allows. Thank you, and I hope you find something of interest to you here; as things currently stand, there’s an archive of 267 detailed and lengthy posts, many with maps and other illustrations, while there are also around 2,500 detailed comments or submissions, many containing news, views, links and other fascinating information.

Dennis Price.

Silbury Hill, by kind permission of Angie Lake

Silbury Hill, by kind permission of Angie Lake

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Brian February 2, 2009 at 9:45 pm

The Stonehenge Blau Stones

Just been in correspondence with Geoff Kellaway, the first man to bravely stick his head above the parapet on the glacial transport theory for the bluestones.

He sent a paper in which he argues that the bluestones were never described as BLUE stones by the early visitors to Stonehenge, but that in the Middle Ages (ie around the time of Geoffrey of Monmouth and later) they might have been referred to in Ango-Saxon as BLAU stones — with the word “blau” meaning striking, different, or of unusual or striking appearance. This is interesting — I hadn’t come across this idea before!! Is anybody else familiar with it?

Of course, this would make sense, since the stones are not actually blue at all — they are not that different in colour from the sarsens. But it’s intriguing to think that from an early stage people might have recognized them as simply DIFFERENT.

Dennis June 9, 2009 at 10:14 pm

Early Stonehenge map

lb-3

Pat Fleming October 21, 2009 at 2:59 pm

Dear Mr. Price,

Congratulations on your fascinating book – “The Missing Years of Jesus”, I was put onto it by my son Bruce (late of Chapel House Monmouth school), he just over-lapped with you being five years younger. I have raced through it and intend to read it again more slowly and make notes. My church is St Mary’s Priory, Chepstow, and a small group of us meet regularly for Bible Study, etc; at the moment, we are doing the history of the Christian Church in Britain.

Pat Fleming, Mrs.

William Davis April 16, 2010 at 3:53 am

I have visited Stonehenge several times since 1974. I have often wondered why the English government does not move the roadways and parking lots from the site. Is it that difficult for the government to realize the importance of this site and redirect traffic from its location?

In addition, is there any effort to restore some of the fallen stones to their original upright position? If there is no dispute on a fallen stone’s original position, why isn’t it uprighted, using modern technology not to disturb the adjoining landscape? By repositioning only a few of these fallen stones, maybe more individuals will realize the unique importance of this site and focus on its preservation.

Dennis April 16, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Hello William,

Thank you for writing in and it is always a pleasure to hear from someone who shares my love of the ruins. As for your question, I can do no better than refer you to the contents of this truly excellent piece by Simon Jenkins from 2006. I’ve provided numerous links to it over the years, but if anything, it gets better every time I read it.

JohnWitts April 24, 2010 at 5:07 am

The “Lundy Triangle” links neatly with Dyfed and was covered on the thread Tanith II http://www.eternalidol.com/?p=2761 which also referenced http://cura.free.fr/decem/06heath.html

Barbara Barber June 16, 2010 at 12:14 am

William is the only one I’ve ever read that has proposed putting the stones that lay on the ground back into their original position. I’ve thought they should do that for years. Also, you never know what you might find under one of those stones, could be something’s there.

One more thing, Stonehenge was a very complicated work. One that I would think would take a written plan, or map. Does anyone think this ancient people might’ve had such a written diagram prior and during it’s being built?

Dennis June 16, 2010 at 12:22 am

Simon Jenkins from the Guardian has suggested rebuilding Stonehenge and so have quite a few others. As for the diagram, it seems logical that the design would have been a model carved in wood or perhaps chalk, or daubed on a hide, or scratched in the mud in some way. Carved chalk plaques have been found by the King Barrows, from memory, and there are pictures of them in Hengeworld and perhaps elsewhere.

Niall o'Draighnean June 28, 2010 at 7:44 am

Hi Dennis, it was great meeting you at Stonehenge this year; the Ancestor was a marvelous addition to the event. On the subject of lifting the fallen stones, I feel it would be a fitting tribute to the original builders to attempt this using only materials available to Neolithic peoples. This would include pine poles, ropes of nettle fibre and honeysuckle vines.

This would be a massive undertaking that could see much local input [perhaps involving army engineers]. This one would have English Heritage putting their hands over their eyes!.. he he .. still, it would be a wonderful project, and one I would be happy to participate in. You never know where it will lead…

All the best..Niall.

Dennis June 28, 2010 at 4:42 pm

It’s a pleasure to hear from you, Niall, and it was a pleasure to meet you at the Solstice as well, so I look forward to more of the same.

Robert July 19, 2010 at 1:20 am

I have studying symbols from all different ancient civilisation and many use these circular formations, yes alot used them for life and death ceremonies. But what if they reffer to the legends of inner earth . Thank You for your time

Reinold Patrick Jones June 15, 2011 at 12:41 am

Hello Dennis,

My name is Reinold Jones and I live in the Kingdom of Tonga, I am the only one with this name on FB if you want to see who I am.

I have what I feel is THE (sorry if I appear arrogantly sure – please follow my line of reasoning) insightful answer to what Stonehenge exactly was from what I feel to be an “insider’s perspective”. It seems to me that the entire root of what Stonehenge really was for is missing from all the theories that I have heard. It seems every idea but what it actually was so obviously used for is proposed. I believe that for anyone to fully understand Stonehenge the answer would become obvious through the practice of Sun Gazing, which I guarantee without a shadow of a doubt was the core practice of the builders of Stonehenge.

Sun Gazing is also the missing core secret teaching and practice of Jesus- it was eradicated as heretical and the Cathars and Bogamils, etc. were slaughtered for this. You see the Pope has usurped the Sun and now claims he is the Sun and that all must come through him- look to him- instead of looking to the actual Sun – the provider of all life on Earth without which there would be no life. Thus the suppression of the old religion and persecution of those who “lift their eyes to heaven”. You see – they couldn’t have every common man running around with the inner power of a king or high priest now could they? It would be like if everyone knew how to fix cars we – wouldn’t need mechanics – it would put them out of business. If everyone is “enlightened” (this word being an obvious reference to the Sun), then what power would the priests have over us? We would be at the same level with them, having no advantage over us. And so they started building walls on their Temples to block out the real Sun, unlike the ancients who had open sided Temples with columns having plenty of open space to allow the Sun to stream through.

Please check out this video about a native tribe in Colombia who still practice this ancient religion: http://www.amazon.com/Heart-World-Elder-Brothers-Warning/dp/B00000F89F The Kogi have round houses (like Stonehenge – an obvious symbol of the Sun) that they house their future “Mamas” (priests) inside of in complete darkness from birth until they reach 9 yrs old when they are then taken outside at a certain time and introduced to the Sun for the first time in their lives.

This is absolutely what Stonehenge was. It was like a monastery or a guild where initiates were housed in darkness until a certain time and then introduced to the light, triggering full cosmic awakening. This technique was used by Solar religions all over the globe. I believe these guilds or monasteries probably were in communication with each other, or at least aware of others existence, like a franchise or network. Look at Asian martial arts monasteries- (like Shaolin) many styles practice Sun Gazing as part of their martial arts disciple to replenish their “Chi”.

The practice of keeping Solar initiates in the dark deprives them of certain brain chemicals and the introduction to the Sun causes a total flood of these chemicals triggering the “ignition” of the “Inner Sun”.

Have any doubt now? This is absolutely what Stonehenge was used for (again- sorry for the arrogant tone- but I haven’t a shadow of a doubt that this is what Stonehenge and the other “stonehenges” were for).

Maybe some of the wooden structures found around Stonehenge were where they housed the initiates in total darkness, until perhaps led on a certain time of the year blindfolded or at night to the ceremonial centre- Stonehenge itself.

I started the practice of Sun Gazing over two years ago and one day this came to me in a flash and I feel certain it is so.

I just saw a documentary on Nat Geo about Stonehenge and the way they portrayed the natives of Britain was disgraceful. They portrayed them like partying cavemen maniacs at a rave – ridiculous! These were highly disciplined people like you see to this day, with martial arts monasteries. Sure, perhaps they had revelry and feasted occasionally, but they were not primitive barbarians at all. Once again – I live in the Kingdom of Tonga and I have observed and studied native cultures all my life and many, if not most native culture are in fact quite “noble” and highly disciplined, unlike how the ancient natives of Britain were portrayed in this ridiculous Documentary. This smacks of disinformation to me, lest we all find the missing link to human happiness – freedom from obsession, neurosis, anxiety, and oppression = SUN GAZING.

Thank you very much Dennis- hope to hear back from you!

Reinold Jones

Red Raven June 15, 2011 at 4:15 pm

No doubt Dennis will be most relieved that any further work on this site has been now been rendered pointless after your enlightenment for the rest of us. Just a few points for you to consider:
The sun in Britain is not as readily available as in Tonga or Central and South Eastern America, so therefore may not be as relevant to the local populations in Britain compared to the populations you mention in your piece.
The circular construction may equally be a representation of the moon (to the human perspective, both the same size, hence eclipses) as opposed to the sun. Can you provide any evidence as to why the sun should take precedence over the moon in Britain?
There is no (to the best of my knowledge) evidence of any initiatory rituals taking the form as you propose in your piece, in Britain. I would be very interested if you could provide the details, if you have this evidence to hand, as to where these took place.
Saying that, a change of perspective should always be welcomed, but it is usually a good idea to back it up with some form of evidence relevant to the area you are proposing your perspective is impacting on.

RR

Dennis June 15, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Well, Reinold, thank you for writing in and I admire someone with the courage of their convictions. I’m not going to go into all the extensive material pertaining to Jesus as a sun god, but I certainly mentioned this in my book, as I was very interested by the act of his transformation on a mountaintop, where his face shone like the sun and he conversed with the ghosts of dead prophets while others looked on.

Otherwise, I’m having some problems working out how even one person, let alone a group, could be kept fed and watered and in remotely sanitary conditions for any amount of time inside Stonehenge in total darkness. As well as closing up all the gaps in the outer circle, which would seem to defeat the object of building it in such a way in the first place, there’s the contentious matter of a roof. The subject often comes up and it’s not impossible that the stones were indeed covered by a roof at some point, but I personally doubt it very much and the practicalities are against it.

Otherwise, you might find it worth pursuing the idea of the Druids and their teachings, which were carried out inside what was described as a ‘specus’, something I’ve written about at great length on this site. This seems a bit more in keeping with your idea of a light-free temple and I’ve also written at great length about the Druid connection with Stonehenge, so the best of luck with it and thank you for writing in.

JohnWitts June 16, 2011 at 5:19 am

Reinold is in good company in applying practices known in one country which may or may not be appropiate to Stonehenge. You simply choose your poison and best fit it to the limited evidence and ignore anything that does not comply.

Reinold Patrick Jones June 17, 2011 at 2:07 am

First of all I would like to start my reply by saying sorry again for my presumptuousness and arrogant surety in my conviction. Let me state that I am not in anyway by worldly standards, qualified to back up my claim as to what I believe Stonehenge was for. I am not a professor nor am I really all that well educated, so – please can you all accept my apology?

Secondly, I want to thank you for your replies – I was actually quite shocked that anyone actually read what I had to write, let alone reply- thank you.

My inspiration and “vision” of what Stonehenge was for is purely intuitive and not based on years of research and hard work, such as many of you have put in.

I want to clarify my theory. First, I don’t think Stonehenge was where anyone was housed in darkness, I believe they would have been housed in another circular wooden structure near by. I believe Stonehenge was open to allow the rays of Sunlight through like other Solar temples around the world, maybe it had a roof – but nothing on the sides to block the Sunrise. Stonehenge was not for housing, but purely for ritual.

I believe the circular wooden (temporary) structure in which they were housed in total darkness represented the Moon and the temporal, impermanent, mortal life as a human on Earth and its mundane nature (eating, sleeping, etc.). Stonehenge would then represent the Sun, and its permanence and loftiness, with the future ultimate goal of spiritual evolution for human beings, the casting off of impermanence and mortality – to one day become an indwelling soul of a Star like the Sun (“I have gone to prepare mansions”). So the journey from darkness to light, from mortality to immortality, from the Moon to the Sun, for the initiates, would have been acted out in ritual that day that they were taken to Stonehenge and introduced to light for the first time in their lives – triggering “cosmic awakening”. It is simply a technique – that works.

As to the sanitary conditions – the future “Mamas” in of the Kogi tribe in Columbia are housed from birth until 9 year old in total darkness, never once seeing any light – let alone the Sun. They are taken care of, fed, etc. by members of the tribe so this has been done, and I believe is still being practiced to this day in Columbia – so it can be done. I live in the tropics and I see daily how a warm climate will promote the explosive growth of microbes, so it certainly could be done in a much cooler climate, which would be much cleaner and more sanitary.

As to the Sun not being available too much in Britain – this is a very good point, but think about it – if you had never seen any light at all since birth for many years – would the Sun need to be all that strong for it to have the desired effect of “enlightening” the subject? I don’t think so, I think it would work just fine. As to the Sun not being of as much importance to people in the North? That’s like saying water does not hold much significance to desert dwelling nomads – remember their “paradise” is a place flowing with rivers of water and fountains precisely because water is so scarce. So in the North, because of its relative scarcity, the Sun would hold more significance and not less. If you have too much Sun, you might be more inclined to take it for granted and desire the cold and snow like I often do. In a cool climate the warmth of the Sun is critical.

Thank you all very much for even bothering to read my humble (maybe not so humble- LOL!) opinion, however ridiculous it may seem at first – and thank you Dennis for your kind words and the respect that you showed me in your reply, however undeserved – Thanks!

Dennis June 17, 2011 at 2:47 am

Reinold, we all surely know to our cost, in this day and age, how text on the internet can be misinterpreted, especially as far as tone is concerned. I’ve read numerous submissions over the years that have raised my hackles, while I’m sure that I’ve had the same effect on others from time to time, unusually unintentionally.

All of which is a long way of saying that I personally wasn’t remotely offended by what you wrote, I assure you, although I suspect that some others may have seen it a different way. Anyway, none of this matters, and I am honoured that you’ve taken the time and trouble to write in at such length.

As all regular contributors are aware, this is primarily a text-based site where virtually any and all thoughts on Stonehenge are welcome, the main requirement being that they provide food for thought for the others. While I’m still admittedly unconvinced by all your arguments, there’s certainly material there to make me think, so I’ll spell out why.

As I mentioned in an earlier reply to you, I was fascinated by the account of the transformation of Jesus, whereby his face shone like the sun and he spoke with the ghosts of dead prophets. I personally see Stonehenge as a place of darkness and shadows, while the solar corridor along the line of Avenue comes to a halt at Stonehenge itself. However, there is patently a very strong case for observation and possible worship of the sun there, in some way, shape or form, while all the evidence points towards it being a place of the dead as well. So, your idea of ‘enlightenment’ in some fashion is perfectly possible, although I’m still unsure of the practicalities of keeping someone in the dark for such a length of time. Still, some archaeologists manage this feat in the present day, so if this were ever a tradition at Stonehenge, it continues to the present day.

By all means write in again, if you wish, while as my friend Red Raven pointed out, the more evidence you can provide to back up your assertions – intuitive or otherwise – the more interesting your contributions will be. It was very courteous of you to offer an apology, but I assure you that none were necessary.

Red Raven June 17, 2011 at 8:34 am

Hello Reinold,
Your assertion that Stonehenge represented a solar temple is partially correct in so much as the allignments with the solstices, being very well documented, tend to pretty much rule in this connection. The problem with your ideas are context. You seem to think using our replies, that the significance of the sun here was somehow diminished. This is not the case. The orientation of the Northern latitudes result in longer days and nights, unlike the tropics, where daylight hours are pretty consistent throughout the year, and you may not actually appreciate how these changes in light throughout the year had both a physical and socialogical effect on the populations here. Which is why I think you are missing a big part of the potential use of Stonehenge. When daylight hours barely go beyond seven hours, the moon becomes a significant part of your life. For example, you may or maynot be aware of the tradition here of planting seeds by the light of the full moon, a tradition still being used commercially by some.
So what I am saying to you, is that Stonehenge could not have been designed for a single function, but would have had many varied functions and would not been in the sole possession of a single population with a single tradition. The tribal history of Britain shows that the idea of a single nation / population controlling major resources such as Stonehenge is a non starter. There would have been too much self interest by the various tribes to allow such a thing to happen.
As Dennis has indicated, apologies are not really needed, and the introductions of different perspectives are always (within reason), welcomed. For me, the problem with your ideas are the context, which aren’t consistent with the recorded actualities here in Britain. If you have any further ideas, by all means post them here and I’m sure you will be engaged in some discussions to better determine their possibilities.

RR

JohnWitts June 18, 2011 at 5:26 am

It is possible to argue many things about Stonehenge which cannot be proved right or wrong. We have no idea if Stonehenge’s “uniqueness” was a matter of show or practicality? What did putting lintels on top of dressed stones achieve which other stone circles could not? One assumes that religion would be the main reason for stone circles, but perhaps there was a different belief at Stonehenge than say at Avebury. Maybe they were just different expressions of the same beliefs?

Liz Abbott June 18, 2011 at 7:22 pm

This post by Reinold generated a lot of interesting discussion among my work colleagues – a fascinating theory and we all need to remain open minded as one line of thought can lead to other ideas – thanks Reinold for your post, as I just can’t imagine living in the dark for 9 years, but if that is all a child has known since birth, exposure to the Sun would be just incredibly mind blowing. I did not think your post was ridiculous – more another interesting aspect to consider along with the replies from eternalidol readers.

Reinold Patrick Jones June 19, 2011 at 8:17 am

Hi again folks! Thanks you all for taking time to reply to me.

I want to make a point about the practice of Sun Gazing (as opposed to “primitive Sun worship”).

My point is that one could, say- worship the Moon, trees, crocodiles, or whatever, but one thing Sun Gazing has that reverence of other “gods” or entities does not have, is that when you Sun Gaze, the flood of light and information into the psyche has a profound uplifting effect on the individual for the better. I have my own theories as to how Sun Gazing actually works. I think there is a purely scientific, physiological explanation- and a then there is the subjective experience of the Gazer which might be considered spiritual to some. One thing is for certain- Sun Gazing has a profound effect on the psyche regardless of what one believes in. Our relationship with the Sun is hard-wired into our whole being from millions of years of evolution. Going back really far- imagine perhaps when we were fish- maybe we were attracted to the Sun somewhat and it’s enticing warmth- leading us out of the waters and on to the lands (of course also searching for food- another form of Solar energy). Then consider when we were cold blooded creatures who had to lay out on rocks to absorb enough light and warmth so that we could even move. I could stare at the Moon all I want, but I seriously doubt it would have the uplifting effect that Sun Gazing alone has on living creatures.

If you think about it- we are as much creatures of the Sun as we are creatures of the Earth- a manifestation of Solar radiation. Although we don’t live on the Sun, we are beings of the Sun- the life and consciousness of the Sun, and we owe our entire existence to it’s life giving rays.

-Reinold

Reinold Patrick Jones June 19, 2011 at 8:32 am

One more comment- Like the wind sculpted the wings of birds, and water formed the fins of fish, in a similar way- the Sun formed us.

Tim Bruce March 7, 2014 at 1:35 pm

Hi Dennis. Is there any evidence that any of the smaller more central stones of Stonehenge may have came out from the earth at that point (like an Indian Swayambhuh)? Or is it beyond doubt that all of the stones were manually transported from far away places like the Preseli mountains? Tim

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