Music could have been an inspiration for the design of Stonehenge, according to an American researcher.
Steven Waller’s intriguing idea is that ancient Britons could have based the layout of the great monument, in part, on the way they perceived sound.
Archaeoacoustics is a growing field, with researchers reporting interesting results from many prehistoric structures.
Experts have identified the precise location in Wales of some of the megaliths used in the construction of Stonehenge.
It’s a pretty major achievement to discover the location of the millennia-old quarry down to a few metres, but this also throws up some new mysteries. The rhyolitic rocks differ from all others in South Wales. The presumption is that they were chosen for a specific reason. How were they identified and why? There has been some interesting work done elsewhere into the acoustic qualities of particular stones at prehistoric sites. Is this important?
And this discovery has also kicked a hole in theories of how the stones were transplanted to Salisbury Plain. A consensus was growing that they were floated on rafts along the coast, but the exact location’s inaccessibility to water makes this unlikely. The old geologic theory – that the stones were pushed by advancing glaciers from Wales to Wiltshire during the ice age – is pretty flimsy as there aren’t any other Welsh rocks scattered around the Plain.
Last week, UK newspaper The Guardian had a series of supplements detailing Great British Walks. The one which appeared on day five will be of particular interest to readers of this blog as it focuses on Lost Worlds and Legends-themed walks.
Several of the trails are linked to sites featured heavily in Age of Misrule – Stonehenge, Loch Ness, Thomas the Rhymer’s Hills, Tintagel – and are a great way to soak up the atmosphere and discover more about these evocative places.
You can buy the whole set of walks supplements for a tenner here.
The Government has announced plans for a new £25 million visitor centre at Stonehenge.
The entire ritual site around Stonehenge is pretty much an atrocity, and a mockery of its World Heritage Site status. Moving the visitor centre a mile and a half away is one small step to redressing the shockingly poor stewardship of such an important site, but the site is still criss-crossed with noisy roads and ruined at night by light pollution.
I don’t blame English Heritage – they do a good job under difficult circumstances. I do blame successive British governments. The next step should be to get rid of the roads, if necessary through long tunnels, which would then give the entire site some of the gravity and majesty it deserves.
The usual Government argument is that the cost would be prohibitive. Perhaps they should have used some of the billions spent sending Iraq back into the Stone Age for no discernible reason.
“Archaeologists say they have found a huge ancient settlement used by the people who built Stonehenge.”
Developments at Stonehenge are proving more fascinating with each year. It appears to be unfolding in the shape of an enormous ritual site like the one at nearby Avebury. There’s still a great deal of work going on there so expect a few more text books to be ripped up in the coming months…