Stonehenge was the Lourdes of its day, to which diseased and injured ancient Britons flocked seeking cures for their ailments, according to a new theory.Okay, but aren't most people 'unwell prior to their death'?
For most of the 20th century archaeologists have debated what motivated primitive humans to go to the immense effort of transporting giant stones 240 miles from south Wales to erect Britain's most significant prehistoric monument.
Stonehenge was built in different stages between 3000BC and 1600BC and theories about their meaning and purpose have ranged from the serious to the wacky. The most widely accepted view is that it was to honour their ancestors.
Now Timothy Darvill, professor of archaeology at Bournemouth University, has breathed new life into the controversy with the publication of a book which proposes that the monument was in fact a centre of healing. Prof Darvill also backs the recent view that modern-day druids and hippies who celebrate the summer solstice at the site in the belief that they are continuing an ancient tradition should in fact carry out their rituals in December.
In his book Stonehenge: The Biography of a Landscape, Prof Darvill points to evidence that many of the human remains excavated from burial mounds around Stonehenge, dating from around 2300BC, show signs of the individuals having been unwell prior to their death.
Monday, November 27, 2006
A New Theory About Stonehenge
From the Telegraph: