Saturday, December 02, 2006

Stonehenge recast as ancient healing center

This article discusses a recent hypothesis, and book, by archaeologist Timothy Darvill, that Stonehenge was a Neolithic healing spot and pilgrimage site. Burials found there have been found to be of people from other parts of the British Isles and Europe, including as far away as Switzerland. He goes further, and suggests that many buried there were beset with various ailments. I would wonder how the sample compares to the osteology of Europe at the time, in regards to prevlance of disease, before I signed on to this idea.

The professor also cites medieval and modern beliefs about the stones having healing properties. The modern uses of ancient sites is a major element in archaeology, and often runs at times into the ground covered by the Spooky Paradigm of new religions, magic, folklore, and the like. From the complete rubbishing of these ideas in the 19th and 20th centuries, the pendulum has definitely started to swing back in terms of making room for scientific, historical, and "alternative" uses as religious shrines and ancestral spots. In the US this has become a larger issue with human remains and grave goods than with mystical and ancestral spots.

Stonehenge itself, of course, is a major part of the landscape of the Spooky Paradigm. It of course is tied to ideas of earth energies and ley lines, as in Paul Devereux's Dragon Project, but more exotic ideas (including UFOs) are often not far behind.

UPDATE: This article

Mythical Sword Halts Start on Northeast India Dam

is a perfect example of what I'm talking about above, with the past and the present and local identity and agency mixing it up.

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