Stones were often aligned with the rising or setting of the sun or moon at certain times of the year, indicating concepts of fertility and the cycle of life. The appearance of burnt human bone at almost every known site suggests ancestor worship and reverence for death.
- 1 What is the spiritual significance of Stonehenge?
- 2 How does Stonehenge relate to religion?
- 3 Is Stonehenge a religious place?
- 4 How is Stonehenge related to the concept of community?
- 5 Why is Stonehenge a mystery?
- 6 Was Stonehenge built by pagans?
- 7 What religious group gathered at Stonehenge?
- 8 Which is oldest religion in world?
- 9 What are 3 interesting facts about Stonehenge?
- 10 How many Stonehenge’s are there?
- 11 Did Druids build Stonehenge?
- 12 Is Stonehenge a wonder of the world?
- 13 What continent is Stonehenge in?
- 14 Was Stonehenge a burial site?
- 15 What are some theories about Stonehenge?
- 16 Stonehenge: a Neolithic cathedral, a healing place, or a memorial to ancestors?
- 17 Stonehenge was actually the core of a huge spiritual centre
- 18 Here’s Why Stonehenge Is Connected to the Summer Solstice
- 19 Who built Stonehenge — and when?
- 20 Was Stonehenge intentionally built to showcase the summer solstice?
- 21 Did the Druids build Stonehenge?
- 22 Why do people visit Stonehenge for the summer solstice?
- 23 Celestial Stonehenge
- 24 Spirituality – Stonehenge Stone Circle News and Information
- 25 Stonehenge: Britain’s Prehistoric Treasure
- 26 Prehistoric Monuments as Numinous Sites of Spiritual Tourism
- 27 Abstract
- 28 Author Biography
- 29 References
What is the spiritual significance of Stonehenge?
There is strong archaeological evidence that Stonehenge was used as a burial site, at least for part of its long history, but most scholars believe it served other functions as well—either as a ceremonial site, a religious pilgrimage destination, a final resting place for royalty or a memorial erected to honor and
How does Stonehenge relate to religion?
In the 17th and 18th centuries, many believed Stonehenge was a Druid temple, built by those ancient Celtic pagans as a center for their religious worship. The presence of these remains suggests that Stonehenge could have served as an ancient burial ground as well as a ceremonial complex and temple of the dead.
Is Stonehenge a religious place?
Though there is no definite evidence as to the intended purpose of Stonehenge, it was presumably a religious site and an expression of the power and wealth of the chieftains, aristocrats, and priests who had it built—many of whom were buried in the numerous barrows close by.
Secondly, the fact that some of the stones came from over 100 miles away tells us that the larger region of Southwest England and Wales was likely connected through networks of trade and transportation. Stonehenge was built by a community that had a significant population and some measure of scientific understanding.
Why is Stonehenge a mystery?
Sarsen stone, the type of rock used to build Stonehenge and Avebury stone circle, may well have been regarded as profoundly mysterious by prehistoric people — because they normally only occur as loose or semi-buried boulders, completely unconnected to any bedrock.
Was Stonehenge built by pagans?
Druids, a group of Celtic pagans, were long believed to have built Stonehenge and used it as a place of worship. There were several groups of people who successively built Stonehenge. The first are known as the Windmill People, who dug deep furrows and built up great mounds of soil about 5,000 years ago.
What religious group gathered at Stonehenge?
Pagans and druids gather at Stonehenge to celebrate first sunrise after the winter solstice – the shortest day of the year.
Which is oldest religion in world?
The word Hindu is an exonym, and while Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, many practitioners refer to their religion as Sanātana Dharma (Sanskrit: सनातन धर्म, lit.
What are 3 interesting facts about Stonehenge?
10 Facts About Stonehenge
- It is really, really old.
- It was created by a people who left no written records.
- It could have been a burial ground.
- Some of the stones were brought from nearly 200 miles away.
- They are known as “ringing rocks”
- There is an Arthurian legend about Stonehenge.
How many Stonehenge’s are there?
There are over 3000 of them, measuring as much as 20 feet high and stretching for a total of more than 4 miles. The site includes groupings of megaliths, burial mounds, and enclosures, representing an extraordinary feat of Neolithic construction.
Did Druids build Stonehenge?
One of the most popular beliefs was that Stonehenge was built by the Druids. These high priests of the Celts, constructed it for sacrificial ceremonies. It was John Aubrey, who first linked Stonehenge to the Druids. Additionally, Dr.
Is Stonehenge a wonder of the world?
Stonehenge is one of the best known ancient wonders of the world. The 5,000 year old henge monument became a World Heritage Site in 1986. It is not known for sure how ancient man overcame the engineering hurdles and managed to move these great stones to the henge.
What continent is Stonehenge in?
Stonehenge Circular group of prehistoric standing stones within a circular earthwork on Salisbury Plain, s England, 13km (8mi) n of Salisbury. The largest and most precisely constructed megalith in Europe, Stonehenge dates from the early 3rd millennium bc, although the main stones were erected c.
Was Stonehenge a burial site?
In Stonehenge’s early years, ancient people used it as a cemetery. In fact, excavations from 1919 to 1926 revealed the cremated remains of up to 58 people, “making Stonehenge one of the largest Late Neolithic burial sites known in Britain,” the researchers wrote in the study, published online today (Aug.
What are some theories about Stonehenge?
According to folklore, Stonehenge was created by Merlin, the wizard of Arthurian legend, who magically transported the massive stones from Ireland, where giants had assembled them. Another legend says invading Danes put the stones up, and another theory says they were the ruins of a Roman temple.
Stonehenge: a Neolithic cathedral, a healing place, or a memorial to ancestors?
It was only last year that new light was shed on a historic place that has captivated visitors from every generation for hundreds of years. In a piece of woods approximately 20 miles from Salisbury Plain, geologists have pinpointed the exact location of the quarry where the biggest stones needed to build Stonehenge were quarried. This is the most recent in a succession of archeological finds made over the last several decades that have thrown light on a variety of facets of the Neolithic monument’s construction and use.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE STONES
Archaeologists have pinpointed the exact location of the West Woods, near the Wiltshire town of Lockeridge, where the bigger sarsen stones in the center of Stonehenge’s circle were found, according to the latest research. These anomalous rock formations, which can be seen throughout the south of England, drew enormous attention from the prehistoric people who created Stonehenge since they are dispersed around separately and not connected to any bedrock, and they were of great interest to them (caused by a retreating glacier millions of years earlier).
Following a thorough investigation of the West Woods region, it seems that some of the Sarsen bones were incorporated into a massive burial complex more than 1,000 years before they were hauled to Stonehenge.
Stones from the Preseli Hills in Wales, some 150 miles distant, were used to create these bluestones.
Many have contended that only a supernatural belief could have inspired the builders to go to such lengths to construct such a structure.
A MONUMENT TO ANCESTORS
Over the years, a slew of hypotheses about what Stonehenge was have been proposed, including that it was an astronomical observatory, a pagan temple dedicated to the sun, and even a landing spot for extraterrestrial spacecraft. Recent studies, on the other hand, have disproved the majority of the more speculative hypotheses. What is now widely acknowledged is that Stonehenge was purposefully constructed to be aligned with the sunset and dawn of the summer and winter solstices, reflecting a naturally existing avenue in the terrain that moves in sync with the sun’s movement.
Parker Pearson, in collaboration with the Malagasy archaeologist Ramilisonina, has proposed that the choice of stone boulders to construct Stonehenge reflects a yearning for permanency, which mirrors the perpetual presence of ancestors who have passed away.
According to the researcher, “The truly wonderful thing is that generally theories in archaeology do not last more than half an hour after the first shovel is driven into the earth, but this one has stood the test of time.” “The more we discover, the more we realize that those first concepts from 1998 are still relevant today,” Parker Pearson explained.
Other burial mounds and barrows from the same time period have ties to the sun and the solstices, lending weight to the hypothesis that Stonehenge was related with the dead.
Rather of celebrating the midsummer solstice as is traditionally associated with Stonehenge celebrations today, he contends that the people who built and utilized Stonehenge congregated for feasting and ceremony around the midwinter solstice, which he believes shows the opposite.
As he said, “They have erected the monument in such a way that it is literally incorporated into the landscape, so that the landscape and the skies are kind of in harmony.” “Rather than this all-encompassing sun worship or pantheism, there’s a kind of spirit of the area about it.” “The one thing that appears to unify them all is a concern for their forebears,” says the author.
Although several Stonehenge-like structures have been discovered in Wales, Parker Pearson argues that the relocation of stones 150 miles to Salisbury Plain in the east signifies a reunification or re-establishment of ancestral identity.
“The most important thing that has come out of our research is the realization that the notion that Stonehenge is only a religious monument could not be farther from the reality.” The politics of ancestry and togetherness are intertwined with everything.”
A PLACE OF HEALING
Stonehenge has been the subject of several ideas over the years, including those that it was an astronomical observatory, a pagan temple dedicated to the sun, and even a spaceship landing site. Most of the most outlandish theory, however, has been disproved by current research. According to what is now widely recognized, Stonehenge was purposefully constructed to coincide with the sunset and dawn of the summer and winter solstices, mimicking a naturally occurring avenue in the terrain that corresponds to the passage of the sun.
Parker Pearson, in collaboration with the Malagasy archaeologist Ramilisonina, has proposed that the choice of stone boulders to construct Stonehenge reflects a yearning for permanency, which corresponds to the perpetual presence of ancestors who have passed away.
“What’s particularly amazing about this is that, in archaeology, theories usually don’t last more than half an hour after the first shovel is driven into the earth, but this one has stood the test of time.” Parker Pearson explained that “the more we discover, the more we realize that those early assumptions from 1998 are still valid.” At Stonehenge, archaeologists have discovered signs of human settlement rather than a cemetery, whereas at Durrington Walls, they have discovered evidence of a cemetery.
Other burial mounds and barrows from the same time period have ties to the sun and the solstices, lending more evidence to the hypothesis that Stonehenge was related with the afterlife.
It is his contention that this demonstrates that the people who built and utilized Stonehenge congregated for feasting and ceremonies around the midwinter solstice, rather than the more popular July solstice that is associated with Stonehenge celebrations today.
As he said, “They have erected the monument in such a way that it is literally embedded into the ground, so that the earth and the skies are kind of in harmony.” “Rather than all-encompassing sun worship or pantheism, there is a type of spirit of the area.” A common concern with forebears appears to be the one factor that unites them all.” Next on the archaeological research agenda is the transport of bluestones from Wales to their present location.
Although several Stonehenge-like structures have been discovered in Wales, Parker Pearson argues that the relocation of stones 150 miles east to Salisbury Plain signifies a unification or re-establishment of ancestral identity.
The concept that Stonehenge is only a religious monument has been disproved by our research, and nothing could be farther from the reality,” said the team. The politics of ancestry and togetherness are all interwoven together.”
AN ENDURING MYSTERY
All of the major ideas are likely to have aspects of truth at some point. Because of the site’s long history of use by a variety of different people groups, archaeologists have discovered that it has been continually reconfigured, altered, and transformed. “Stonehenge was a long-lived and complicated construction, and it would be naive to believe that it had a single, constant purpose throughout its existence,” Darvill has stated in his book Stonehenge. As with Parker Pearson’s thesis, he acknowledges that Stonehenge was once a cemetery linked with the celebration of the dead, but believes that it eventually evolved into a memorial to the living and a “place of pilgrimage for individuals who visited in the hope that their maladies would be cured.” The structure may even be compared to more modern religious structures like as cathedrals, which, rather than serving a single symbolic function, feature a variety of parts and areas that are built to accommodate a variety of different religious traditions.
In some respects, according to Professor Ronald Hutton, a historian who has researched pre-Christian religion in Britain, the entire investigation into the origins of Stonehenge has been a red herring in the investigation.
However, he asserted that, despite advances in our understanding of prehistory, “we still can’t get inside their heads,” and therefore “we know just as little about their religious beliefs, rituals, social arrangements, gender relations, and political systems as we did a hundred years ago.” Neither Parker Pearson’s nor Darvill’s hypotheses were ruled out by Hutton as realistic, but he predicted that there would be many more in the future.
It was a fundamental difference between those who believed Stonehenge was the site of a “wise and good religion, of the veneration of nature and ancestors, and the building of community” and those who instinctively believed the stones represented a “savage and barbaric religion, involving tacky things such as human sacrifice.” Hutton emphasized that each side of the debate had held the upper hand at various points in history, dating back to the 18th century.
It is true that there was traces of Roman trash on the site, indicating that there had been a thriving tourist trade to the stones about 2,000 years ago: the current interest with Stonehenge is a continuation of a long-standing history in and of itself.
What is unmistakable is that the present neo-pagan/Druidic movement that has sprung up around the stones is not a continuation of whatever religious practices were in place at Stonehenge at the time of its construction. The Celtic Druids, about whom we have only scant historical evidence, emerged on the scene about 200BC, maybe as long as 3,000 years after Stonehenge was initially completed, according to some estimates. It was not until the 18th century that anybody made the connection between the Neolithic stones and Druidry, according to Jennifer Uzzell, a PhD student at Durham University who researches pagan religious experiences at ancient holy places such as Stonehenge, as stated in ourFactsheet.
- Despite the fact that this was completely inaccurate, it became “very popular in the second half of the 18th century,” according to Uzzell.
- The rise of an overtly pagan movement began later, around the turn of the twentieth century, and gained prominence after the Second World War, by which time the Christian orders had largely abandoned their interest in the stones and had abandoned the stones themselves.
- However, the stones retained their significance for the developing neo-pagan community, and all of the major orders continued to perform yearly rites at Stonehenge around the time of the summer solstice.
- After 15 years of complete isolation from the monument, English Heritage finally decided to allow Druids and inquisitive visitors entry straight up to the stones on one day a year around the summer solstice in 2000.
- It was more akin to a sort of animism in terms of style, and various groups of druids will hold drastically divergent views on the subject.
- “Druguidry is not so much a collection of ideas as it is an orientation towards the world,” she added.
- According to her, contrary to common opinion, this does not always imply sun worship, but rather something more akin to adoration, respect, and witnessing, she explained.
However, it is critical to be at that location, at that time, and on that particular day.” In order to get a deeper understanding of the history of ancient druids, as well as the most recent archaeological discoveries around Stonehenge, many modern druids have collaborated closely with historians such as Hutton and others.
Pluralistic pagan organizations, rather than attempting to rediscover a “Iron Age religion,” take inspiration from their ancient forefathers and attempt to replicate their social roles as ritualists, astronomers, and healers, rather than their specific spiritual beliefs.
Stonehenge was actually the core of a huge spiritual centre
Our perception of Stonehenge is that it stands alone, its massive chunks of granite towering above the tranquil British countryside. This is not quite correct. New research has indicated that Stonehenge was likely a diversified and lively area, a complex of many religious and cultural settings, as evidenced by the findings of the study mentioned above. The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute in Birmingham is the source of this information.
Painting Stonehenge in New Light
Scientists were able to obtain an unparalleled perspective of the subterranean environment surrounding Stonehenge by employing geophysical techniques (most notably Ground Penetrating Radar – GPR – and magnetometry). Essentially, they’ve “sliced” through the dirt up to 4 meters deep and discovered buried bones with amazing clarity. The most impressive discovery was a 330-metre-long line of more than 50 enormous stones that had been buried beneath part of the bank of Britain’s greatest pre-historic henge, which was found by chance.
Despite the fact that the boulders are now horizontal, it is probable that they were once vertical standing stones.
However, this demolished monument was not the only unexpected discovery they made.
It’s probable that the timber structure existed prior to the construction of Stonehenge itself.
According to Wolfgang Neubauer of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute, it is approximately 300 square meters and slightly trapezoidal, which is interesting because during the same period on the continent, approximately 100 to 200 years earlier, we also find this type of trapezoidal building associated with megaliths.
Several Neolithic and Bronze Age religious shrines between 10 and 30 meters (32 and 100 feet) in diameter, as well as Bronze Age burial mounds, have also been discovered, as have four Iron Age shrines or tombs, and a half-dozen Bronze Age and Iron Age domestic or livestock enclosures, according to the researchers.
Image courtesy of the BBC.
“It demonstrates that Stonehenge was far from being the only temple or shrine in the world,” Professor Gaffney added.
Sticks and Stones
A computer-generated representation of the entire site. Image courtesy of Wikipedia. Stonehenge, which is located about 8 miles (13 kilometers) north of Salisbury in England, is the site of the ruins of a ring of standing stones placed inside earthworks. It is located in the midst of the most densely packed complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age artifacts, which date somewhere between 3000 and 2000 BC. Everyone agrees that the construction process was lengthy and took place in several stages, with the first stones being raised between 2400 and 2200 BC, according to radiocarbon dating in 2008; however, another theory suggests that bluestones were raised at the site as early as 3000 BC, according to another theory – this is still a matter of debate within the scientific community.
The excavating of more than 50,000 cremated bones of 63 persons buried at Stonehenge by a team of archaeologists led by Mike Parker Pearson in 2013 yielded the discovery of over 50,000 cremated bones.
The building techniques utilized by the Stonehenge builders are only partially or completely documented, and there is no direct proof for them.
That, however, is not the case. When it comes to moving and putting boulders of that size and weight, it has been proved that traditional procedures as well as Neolithic technology as simple as shear legs may be quite successful.
Geophysics and Archaeology
It may come as a surprise to most people, but archaeological expeditions nowadays are less concerned with digging and more concerned with distant surveying technologies – geophysics – than they were in previous centuries. Geophysical survey is a term used in archaeology to refer to ground-based physical sensing techniques that are utilized for archaeological imaging or mapping. In archaeology, remote sensing and maritime surveys are also utilized to gather information. Geographical mapping is a method of creating underground maps of subsurface archaeological features.
The following are the most often used methods:
- In magnetic prospection, devices known as magnetometers measure the total magnetic field strength, or they may use two (or more) separated sensors to measure the gradient of the magnetic field. Magnetic prospection is usually the most efficient method
- Magnetometers measure the total magnetic field strength (the difference between the sensors). It is possible to identify the majority of archaeological characteristics using this approach since every type of substance, including those that we do not consider to be “magnetic,” has its own set of magnetic properties. electrometry
- Electrical prospection
- At their most fundamental level, electrometers function as Ohmmeters, which are used to test electrical circuits. In most systems, metal probes are put into the ground to acquire a readout of the electrical resistance present in the surrounding area. a stone foundation may obstruct the flow of electricity, whereas organic deposits within a midden may conduct electricity more easily than surrounding soils – this method is usually effective for detecting structures, but not individual artifacts
- Ground penetrating radar (GPR)
- This is perhaps the most well-known method, though it is not the most frequently used. It basically works the same way it sounds – it’s a radar that penetrates the ground and, to a certain extent, shows you what’s under the surface of the earth. Generally speaking, it has the best resolution of all technologies, but it is also vulnerable to sources of “noise” – any signal that might interfere with the transmission of vital information
In magnetic prospection, instruments known as magnetometers detect the overall magnetic field intensity, or they may employ two (or more) spaced sensors to measure the gradient of the magnetic field. Magnetic prospection is typically the most efficient approach (the difference between the sensors). Every type of substance, including those that we do not consider to be “magnetic,” has its own set of magnetic characteristics, which allows this technology to detect the vast majority of archaeological features.
To acquire a readout of the local electrical resistance, most systems use metal probes that are placed into the earth.
To put it simply, it works just as its name implies: it is a radar that penetrates the earth and, to a certain degree, shows you what’s under the surface.
Here’s Why Stonehenge Is Connected to the Summer Solstice
Thousands of people from all around the world will gather to Stonehenge, a rock-carved monument in Wiltshire, England, at the crack of dawn on the summer solstice of 2019. The reason they’re all there is the same: to turn northeast and watch the summer solstice dawn as it glides flawlessly over the stones. The view of the solstice dawn from Stonehenge is so spectacular, in fact, that tourists and experts have been debating whether or not the people who created Stonehenge intended it to serve as a stage for the solstice sunrise for centuries now.
It’s only one of thousands of hypotheses concerning the edifice, ranging from who built the monument to why Stonehenge was created, to alien invasions to the history of King Arthur and everything in between.
Here’s what we know about Stonehenge and its relationship to the summer solstice, as well as some additional information.
Who built Stonehenge — and when?
Visitors capture images of the dawn at Stonehenge, which is located in Wiltshire, England. Alan Copson is represented by AWL Images/Getty Images. According to Timothy Darvill, head of the Centre for Archaeology and Anthropology at Bournemouth University, the monument’s foundation dates back to 3000 BC and served as a spiritual burial ground for a society that resided two miles distant. These Neolithic people lived within the Durrington Walls, which was a local settlement at the time of their discovery.
In an interview with TIME, Heather Sebire, the English heritage senior curator at Stonehenge, says, “We’re quite certain that those were the folks who really built Stonehenge.” In the summer solstice, these group of people who were focused on astronomical events built the rocks in such a manner that the sun rises over the Heel stone, a single block, and shines into the middle of the circle.
Was Stonehenge intentionally built to showcase the summer solstice?
On June 21, 2018, revelers gathered at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, to mark the summer solstice. They were treated to a spectacular sunrise as they celebrated the occasion. AFP/Getty Images/GEOFF CADDICK/AFP/Getty Images Experts are virtually confident that the rocks were intentionally positioned by the builders in order to display the solstices twice a year on the landscape. However, because there is little written documentation from the time period, much is left to the imagination. “We know that the stone circles do, in fact, follow the path of the midsummer sunrise and the midwinter sunset every year.
- Despite the fact that the summer solstice may be a major tourist draw for the monument, it may not be the only event going on in the city.
- Sebire adds that it is the Trilothon’s orientation towards the sun during the midwinter sunset that is truly the most aligned with the sun.
- Doctor Arthur Pendragon addresses the gathering as Druids, Pagans and revelers assemble in the center of Stonehenge in the hope of witnessing the sunrise as they participate in a winter solstice ritual at Stonehenge on December 22, 2018 in Wiltshire, England.
- According to Darvill, if the stones were arranged to coincide with the winter solstice, it would be a “inevitable conclusion” that they would also work in the same way during the summer solstice as a result of the alignment.
- In spite of a scarcity of technological and material resources, the Neolithic builders were aware that the winter solstice marked the shortest day of the year.
- They were hoping for better weather to return so they could plant their next crop.” However, it is not only the solstices that coincide with the monument’s location.
“That construction has some form of calendrical reference,” Darvill explains, referring to the fact that the number of stones and patterns on the stones imply a 365.25-day calendar as well.
Did the Druids build Stonehenge?
Visitors visiting Stonehenge, in Wiltshire, England, on June 21, 2018, observe the dawn as they commemorate the Pagan festival of the summer solstice at the ancient monument. AFP/Getty Images/GEOFF CADDICK/AFP/Getty Images As Darvill explains, “Whether those people ever did anything at Stonehenge, I’m afraid we really don’t know,” he adds. Here’s what we do know about the situation. In the 1700s, William Stukeley propagated the claim that the structure was a temple for and erected by the Druids, practitioners of a Celtic spiritual tradition regarded to be comparable to modern Pagans, and that it was destroyed by the British.
- As the New Yorker points out, dispelling this notion took years and years of effort.
- Photograph by Julio Etchart/Getty Images/Robert Harding Worl Stukeley may have been somewhat correct about one thing — the solstices — but he was completely incorrect about the other item, according to historians.
- According to the website of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids, a modern authority on Druidry in the United Kingdom, it wasn’t until the 16th century that the core text of Druidry was transcribed and made public.
- Stukeley was writing about the Druids, a group of people who lived in the later ancient period and whom Caesar had termed Druids – a very different group from the one that has existed for the previous several centuries.
- As an added complication, modern-day Pagans and Druids began practicing a new version of the custom in the 17th and 18th centuries, according to Darvill, further escalating the misunderstanding.
Why do people visit Stonehenge for the summer solstice?
Although it seems unlikely that the Druids were responsible for the construction of Stonehenge, the connection has not been forgotten. In Sebire’s words, “modern-day Pagan and Druid organizations think that the site is their temple and that they have a right to worship there, therefore it is the equivalent for them of going to church or a cathedral.” Stukeley, on the other hand, was the first to put his theories about Stonehenge’s link to the solstices down on paper. In the words of Darvill, “it was undoubtedly known about before his time, although the literature is quite scant until the mid-18th century.” Stonehenge had been found in the 17th century by John Aubrey, who named the ring of pits that had been constructed for early burial places the Aubrey holes, which was the most important work on the monument until Stukeley’s discovery in the 18th century.
- One of the attractions for visitors, according to Sebire, is the fact that the 56 Aubrey holes, where individuals were buried following cremation rites, are still in place.
- Photograph by Richard Baker for Getty Images Knowing that the winter solstice was most likely more significant, it’s puzzling that thousands of people continue to assemble at Stonehenge for the summer solstice while many fewer people attend during the winter.
- According to Sebire, December in the United Kingdom is nothing short of freezing, while tourists throughout the warmer months frequently enjoy picnics and concerts.
- “It’s on a lot of people’s bucket lists to visit Stonehenge,” he adds.
“We can put ourselves in the shoes of prehistoric people as closely as possible, which is a great experience,” Darvill explains. Send your correspondence to Rachel E. Greenspan at [email protected]
Stonehenge and the avenue as seen from above The alignment of Stonehenge with the motions of the sun was undoubtedly essential to the people who built it, as seen by the huge amount of time and effort they put into the project. While excavations within the stone circle have yielded scant indications as to what rites could have taken place here, the site appears to have been kept clean and free of common trash. We may assume that people congregated around the monument to commemorate the midsummer and midwinter solstices, despite the fact that only a small number of people would have been able to directly view the significant alignment.
- This was practical because the seasons governed what they could cultivate and when they could grow it, but it was also presumably spiritual in nature.
- These dates may have been significant times of year for people to memorialize their ancestors, as we know that around 150 cremated ancestors were buried at the monument, or to worship a sun deity, since we know that people buried approximately 150 cremated ancestors at the monument.
- This is partially due to the fact that while walking up the avenue and approaching the monument, the alignments towards the lowering midwinter sun are in front of you, just like the most significant sections of a church are in front of you when you enter.
- A large number of pig bones have been discovered in pits and waste dumps known as middens, and the majority of the animals were slaughtered when they were approximately nine months old.
- The bones of calves and pigs indicate that they were transported vast distances to the feasts at Durrington Walls, indicating that midwinter was a period when large groups of people congregated to conduct rites at the monuments and have a communal meal at the site.
- Even though the nights are long and the days are chilly, food stockpiles are beginning to deplete following the plenty of summer and fall.
- Nothing appears to be growing.
- It could have appeared that the sun, the source of all light, warmth, and life, was on its way out.
Even though it’s still chilly, and the nights are still long, it’s apparent that as the sun continues its journey northward, the days will become longer, and the warmth will return to the region. The rebirth of the sun heralds the beginning of a new year of life.
Spirituality – Stonehenge Stone Circle News and Information
While the mystical beauty of Stonehenge impacts us all differently, for many, it is a site of profound religious significance that must be seen. Celebrations at Stonehenge during the Summer Solstice” data-medium-file=” data-large-file=” src=data-medium-file=” data-large-file=”” alt=”Stonehenge Solstice Celebrations” title=”Stonehenge Solstice Celebrations” description=”Stonehenge Solstice Celebrations” srcset=”510 watts, 1020 watts, 150 watts, 300 watts, 768 watts” Stonehenge Solstice Celebrations sizes=”(max-width: 510px) 100vw, 510px”>Stonehenge Solstice Celebrations sizes=”(max-width: 510px) 100vw, 510px”> “Druids” is the name that is commonly used to designate to this multitudinous group of people who see Wiltshire’s World Heritage Spot as a sacred site where they can worship.
- In actuality, Druidic ideas are diverse, with numerous groups such as neo-pagans and wiccans practicing their religion.
- In today’s world, there are more than 7,000 members of the British druid order, and I wanted to learn more about the history of druidism and its connections to the magical monoliths of Stonehenge.
- They were generally religious leaders, but they were also law enforcers, chroniclers, medics, and even political consultants at times, depending on the situation.
- Doctors of the druid tradition were the arbiters of spirituality in pre-roman Britain, and they had a strong link to the legend of their own islands.
- However, remnants of Druidic practices survived and were eventually re-discovered and re-established.
- Aubrey was the first to argue that Stonehenge had been erected by Celtic Druids, and this hypothesis remained the most popular explanation for the origin of Stonehenge until the twentieth century.
- Stukely is also known for unearthing the Cursus and Avenue at Stonehenge.
Stonehenge was a place of worship for Stukley, who wrote about it in Stonehenge: A Temple Restor’d to the British Druids, which was finally published.
Today, the most notable druid may be described as Arthur Uthur Pendragon, a Salisbury Druid who has been a Druid for 33 years and is considered to be the most prominent Druid in the world.
Arthur Pendragon is a fictional character created by author Arthur Pendragon.
Despite the fact that Stukley was keen to link his version of Druidism with Christianity – renaming it ‘Patriarchal Christianity’ – there was no evidence to support this claim.
Because it is perfectly aligned with the midsummer dawn, the majority of the population thinks that Stonehenge was created as a site of worship by ancient Druids.
Despite the fact that Druidism has suffered a drop in recent years (in the 2001 census, 30,569 persons identified themselves as Druids), the numbers are once again on the increase in this century.
Druidism, on the other hand, provides a connection.
Perhaps you will have a similar spiritual connection during your tour to the stones.
History of the United Kingdom Who Were the Druids and What Did They Do?
Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids – The Druid Way |
King Arthur Uther Pendragon, Druid Leader and Head of the Loyal Arthurian Warband, is a fictional character created by author Robert Jordan.
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Stonehenge: Britain’s Prehistoric Treasure
Stonehenge is one of the most recognizable structures in the world, a spiritual place that is also a marvel of prehistoric engineering. It is also one of the most visited attractions in the United Kingdom. Stonehenge, which is located on the Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England, is one of the most renowned prehistoric monuments in the world, and it is one of the most visited. (Photo courtesy of Bob Sessions) A brief introduction to Stonehenge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is unnecessary in one sense.
- Its massive stones elicit feelings of mystery and majesty.
- However, even when it is swarming with people, it remains an awe-inspiring destination.
- A henge, which is a circular ditch with an inner and an outer bank, was constructed some 5,000 years ago.
- Stonehenge was the site of the biggest late-Neolithic cemetery in the British Isles, with around 64 cremated dead interred in the vicinity.
- What we don’t know is whether or if this work was done by slaves, or by individuals who volunteered their time and effort to be part of a grand community undertaking.
- At the Stonehenge Visitor Center, there is an exhibit that depicts the two types of stones that were used in the construction of the monument: sarsen on the left, and bluestone on the right.
- Sarsen is a form of sandstone that is extremely hard, and the larger stones are made of sarsen.
These stones were carved to create the circle’s linked uprights and lintels, and their exteriors were scraped away to give them a dazzling look.
When they’re wet, many of these stones take on a strong blue hue, despite their appearance of being gray.
It is not known why the architects of Stonehenge traveled such a long distance to obtain these stones; it is possible that they believed the blue hue conferred some unique significance or power on the rocks.
The bluestones were placed subsequently, in a double arc between the redstones, to complete the design.
Stonehenge in the twenty-first century At the time of my first visit to Stonehenge, which was more than two decades ago, it was possible to get up close to the stones.
Stonehenge is considered a spiritual place by many, including myself, because it is implausible that its creators would have gone to such great lengths to construct it if they had not believed in its significance).
The displays comprise more than 250 archeological artefacts that were discovered at or near the site.
Stonehenge Visitor Center has a replica of the head of a man who was buried at the site 5,000 years ago, as well as other exhibits.
A chemical examination of his teeth reveals that he was born at least 100 kilometers distant, maybe in the south or west of the United Kingdom.
It was impossible to imagine that he had lived thousands of years ago since he was so familiar and modern in appearance.
Some have referred to it as a Neolithic calendar, which is correct.
It’s possible that there was another stone nearby at one point, and the two of them together formed a frame for the solstice dawn.
It would have descended down into what is known as the Altar Stone, a sandstone block, before dissipating into thin air completely.
This shows that a town at Durrington Wells, which is close by, was used for feasts only, rather than as a year-round residence.
The pig bones that were thrown out in this location were all around nine months old at the time of disposal.
A replica of a sarsen, which weighs more than 60,000 pounds, is available for visitors to move around Stonehenge.
It would have required around 100 strong persons to lift the object, which weighed approximately 62,000 pounds.
Visitors are encouraged to try their hand at pulling the sarsen, which gives them a taste of the enormous work that goes into moving them.
(Photo courtesy of Bob Sessions)The site also features replicas of five Neolithic dwellings, which are said to have been used by the builders of Stonehenge.
Following your visit to the visitor center, you may either walk the mile and a half to the Stone Circle or take a shuttle bus to get there.
Alternatively, a Special Accessvisit, which takes place outside of usual hours and permits a restricted number of persons to wander among the stones, can be arranged.
But one thing we do know for sure: Stonehenge has been called a Wonder of the World and a living temple for modern Druids and pagans, who travel here on the solstices, among other occasions, to worship.
“What exactly is Stonehenge?” “It is the past without a roof,” remarked soldier and poet Siegfried Sassoon in 1928 about the past.
The Avebury Stone Circles and the West Kennet Long Barrow are two other prehistoric monuments that can be reached in 45 minutes or less.
She is the author of the booksNear the Exit: Travels with the Not-So-Grim Reaper and The Not-So-Grim Reaper. Journeys in Search of Mysteries, Miracles, and God is a collection of short stories. Her website, Spiritual Travels, has information on holy sites all around the world. Spread the word!
Prehistoric Monuments as Numinous Sites of Spiritual Tourism
Spiritual tourism, Rollright Stones, folklore, Paganism, tourism, and pilgrimage are all terms that come to mind.
In Britain, prehistoric monuments are locations that have “attracted” people throughout history because of their enormous size, dramatic placement in the landscape, and the impression of permanence and timelessness they elicit. To date, there has been little research into the religious significance of such stones for modern Pagans, with the exception of well-known circles such as Stonehenge and Avebury. However, there has been little investigation into the religious significance of Neolithic monuments for “spiritual tourists.” This article focuses on the Rollright Stones, which are located near Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire and are a relatively accessible group of monuments that have an established body of folklore associated with them, a prominent position in popular culture, and a recent history of use as a ritual site by contemporary Pagans.
After conducting fieldwork at the Rollright Stones in 2014, the author came up with three interconnected hypotheses: first, that the primary appeal of prehistoric monuments for “spiritual tourists” is aesthetic; second, that responding aesthetically to such monuments is an experience that feels “special” and frequently involves an experience of the “numinous”; and third, that this “specialness” is linked to ideas about what it means to be human, the relationship of the past to the present and future, and the relationship
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Prof. Carole M. Cusack teaches religious studies at the University of Sydney, where she also works as a consultant. She does study and imparts knowledge about contemporary religious trends (including pilgrimage and tourism, modern Pagan religions, NRMs, and religion and popular culture). For example, she has written two books: Invented Religions: Imagination, Fiction, and Faith (Ashgate, 2010) and Anime, Religion, and Spirituality: Profane and Sacred Worlds in Contemporary Japan (with Katharine Buljan, 2013).
She was appointed Editor of Fieldwork in Religion in 2016, and she also serves as Editor of LiteratureAesthetics (journal of the Sydney Society of Literature and Aesthetics).
At the University of Sydney, Carole M. Cusack holds the position of Professor of Religious Studies. Contemporary religious trends are the focus of her study and teaching (including pilgrimage and tourism, modern Pagan religions, NRMs, and religion and popular culture). For example, she has written two books: Invented Religions: Imagination, Fiction, and Faith (Ashgate, 2010) and Anime, Religion, and Spirituality: Profane and Sacred Worlds in Contemporary Japan (with Katharine Buljan, 2014). (Equinox, 2015).
(journal of the Sydney Society of Literature and Aesthetics).