STONE CIRCLE NEWS
CALL TO RE-ERECT THE STONES
I remember Arthur Pendragon holding that the whole of Stonehenge should be
restored, and indeed that the building, which was never actually completed,
taken through its last intended stage. Archaeologists tell us sites were
prepared for the X and Y stones but these were never erected and this marked
the end of the building project that had been going on for thousands of
years. As in all projects this may have marked the fact that the culture had
changed, the priorities had changed, and that the immense resources poured
into this project were no longer made available. You might say their funding
was cut, although of course, it probably wasn't money as we know it, but
nevertheless labour power and the political and physical support for that
labour power, was no longer available.
That's a project, the total reconstruction, that would meet a lot of resistance in principle, from archaeologists and others, as well as endless quibbles and argument about how and where. The existing ruined stones might be erected, and further replacement sarsen stones, which could be found scattered around Wiltshire, often in farmyards where they had been removed from fields, might be used to reconstruct the circle known by some as the Giant's Dance (perhaps it was called this before the Saxons called it Stonehenge, which just means hanging stones). You and I can imagine the feuding between the experts and people who are not experts as well, about how this project was to be accomplished, and it taking many years to be resolved. Possibly this is another explanation why the original building wasn't completed, that they could never agree about it!
However we do know that one of the trilithons has fallen down in historical times, as a result of some unwise excavations carried out by gentlemen in the 18th century. I take it these are the recumbent stones that impede the movement of ritual hand circles when we try to hold them within the stones, and on which the people tend to sit and stand during public access days. I know English Heritage are not happy about people getting up on the stones, and I also know having studied this problem as a Peace Steward this summer, that it is very difficult in practise to prevent lots of people climbing up on the recumbent stones.
To re-erect these stones would thus improve the mobility of gatherings within the stones, and improve crowd management devoted to preservation of the stones. If it was a successfully completed public consultation exercise undertaken with the approval and the assistance of the experts, it would have other valuable spin-offs in terms of the Peace Process, the dignity of Stonehenge as a temple and gathering place, and provide a platform for discussing more radical re-erection programs.
I had a conversation with Dave Batchelor of English Heritage who said there would not be agreement among archeologists about siting the trilithon and that broken stones would have to be mended with metal fixings which would be ugly in practise. These are difficulties that might be overcome. At least the major uprights could be re-established as vertical.
We want to hear from you about any scientific, historical or local or other information that might help establish the where and how of this re-erection of the fallen trilithon, and your opinions about whether we can and should do it. Send it to the stonehengepeace newsgroup at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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