The Bronze Age is a mysterious time in British history, and Stonehenge seemed to have played a central role to the Brits. However, what role it played has been a mystery.
The turning point for some, like myself, with a curiosity for these sorts of things, is when the lead Archaeologist (Michael Parker Pearson) brought his Madagascar colleague over to Britain, and during that visit they went to Stonehenge.
Instantly this fellow Archaeologist from the other side of the world recognized what these people were doing, his people had done it for millennia – these stones represented the ancestors – the ancient ancestors. By dragging these stones across country, and planting them on Salisbury Plain, they were saying that we used to live over there, but now we live here, and we bring our ancestors with us.
Today researchers are beginning to gain a new understanding concerning the Salisbury Plain. They are finding that it is littered with ancient earthworks, dwellings, and remnants of other, more ancient henges. Across the grasslands they traced this gigantic sacred walk, across the plains, perhaps in part in homage to the nomadic pastoralist lifestyle, and part in reverence to the land. Perhaps these seasonal festivals acted as a reminder of where they came from, and who they were, and allowed them the opportunity to share stories that had been passed down through the generations.
This place symbolically connects them, and in a direct way, to those most ancient ancestors.
I wonder if Stonehenge, and the surrounding sacred landscape is not a re-creation of their Creation Myths? Maybe they represent the sacred hunting grounds, the actual mythologies they attached, the stories, the rituals, the meaning, well that is lost to time.
What rich knowledge we gain when we stop to listen to those who surround us, as with that fellow archaeologist from Madagascar. When we learn how to recognize the patterns, and sacred aspect, that even today can exist within your current, modern landscape.
As one featured Archaeologist from the program reasoned, “Stonehenge is Stone Age humans Swan Song” – since not many centuries after its construction, it began to fall out of favour, as the people moved across their landscape and personal burial mounds began to pop up all over Britain and throughout Europe.
By the time the old Celtic Druids came along, the original people who created these monuments were long forgotten, and their stories and beliefs presumably with them. The Druids revered the place as the sacred site it was, but they did not understand it, and they didn’t know who had built it. Yet they were the only link to those most ancient characters that inhabited their creation myths.
The blood of the people who had built it are still around, as many Brits lineages go back thousands of years, back to bronze age Britain.
Strange, when you think how rooted the Brits are, yet how far their tentacles at one time reached. Perhaps a few hundred years in catching up to main land Europeans. Yet, that delay in technological change has probably served the British People well, as it gave them time to adapt. One thing I’ve learned about a Brit, they are rather jolly good at adapting, as they take a slow, considered tortoises like approach to change.
These sorts of documentaries take me days to get over. I run through the images, and process the new data, organize it into my existing card catalogue of knowledge on the subject.
And yes, this does actually take place. I journal, and write the juicy bits down, I watch other programs on the same subject. Wow, eh? I’m a total history geek.
Hence, this blog.
This program though, it digs into another layer of content. It focuses’ on a time in history I am especially keen, the Neolithic.
As it is a very vaguely understood time in human history, this research has thrown all the latest technology at the mysterious Stonehenge. Utilizing the latest ground penetrating devices, and even new techniques in looking at the geology of a place in order to glean what plants, animals and otherwise were present. They are now broadening out their perspective and beginning to take a broader, more detailed look at the landscape itself.
And as any tribal people will say, THE LAND SPEAKS. It sings, and dances, it whips itself around in an often frenzied dance, then languishing in ease for millenniums. At another level, that modern-day elder taught that Archaeologist the benefit of keeping an open mind. For only an open mind is able to accept new knowledge. Declare yourself the master of KNOWLEDGE, and you will lose access to it.