So Many Stones Left Unturned

I Read An Article…

The article contained these photographs from the English Heritage website and was published in the Guardian. It talked about the enormous amount of new information coming to light over the past few years about the people who may have built the famous Stonehenge. I have read so much about the ancient monument in my life it all runs together. One of my extremely unlikely Bucket List Part I, sublist A., article 1, was to stand among the stones and feel the power of the place myself. But my fellow humans have ensured that I will have to move article 1 of sublist A into Part II, sublist B, article 6 as it has become a pipedream instead of a bucket list item.

I have not investigated the issue for a few years, but upon looking into the matter I have learned that English Heritage has worked it all out and I don’t have to move Stone Henge to the pipedream list. It could yet happen if I don’t wait too long. You can read about it at English Heritage, learn what you need to know, even book your visit and pay in advance. This pleases me and makes me smile.

I love a mystery.

These stone spheres have been found in many places across the UK and Europe, but 400 have been found in Scotland. They are very precisely carved and thousands of years old. As of yet, no explanation of their use or meaning has been found. Please Note: these are not to be confused with the Roman-era hollow spheres found across Northern Europe and the UK. Rome never reached Scotland. These stones have swirls and perfect spirals like the carvings at many of the passage tombs found in the same areas. Maybe they are signs of the importantance of their owners. If leather straps were looped around it in the grooves, it could be worn as a decorative token of identity. The scientists (by this I mean the scientific community of mainstream archaeologists) are puzzled by them, but they also say that the people who made them were “stone worshippers” something I haven’t heard of before. But I am no archaeologist.

Made in China?

Not quite. It was actually made somewhere in the western parts of the UK. According to scientists, it was made at the end of the bronze age apparently. The workmanship is astonishing and it was found in a place that would have been a bog or water-covered land at that time. So, they believe it was tossed in as a sacrificial sort of thing. And from further investigation, the pendant shows evidence of Irish metalworking practices around 3000 years ago. However, it contains sun-worshipping motifs from across the continent as far away as Egypt.

Side View of the Shropshire Pendant.

Such a beautiful item would have belonged to someone very special. Who really knows? Maybe a thief took it and then got scared and tossed it in the swamp the same as thieves do today. Anyway, the point of it being in the Stone Henge exhibit shows that artifacts from all over Europe came to the Stone Henge area in England. Someone brought them there or they survived being traded many times. Although the henge was there at least 2000 years before this pendant showed up, the Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire England had great significance to many people in the ancient world.

The Sky Disc

it is made of Cornish tin and gold and incorporates astronomical knowledge from Scandinavia, the Mediterranean and Egypt. Ideas that were once set in stone are now free to travel.

Nebra Sky Disc

The Nebra Sky Disc is supposedly the oldest representative of a cosmic star map. I don’t know how they think they have found the oldest one in the world, but they do. You see the Sun, the Moon, and what looks like the Pleiades a few more constellations. It is several thousand years old, but not as old as the Henge. The green is patina on bronze, the insets are gold. The disc was not from Wiltshire, but was found in Germany. Since the gold came from Cornwall in England and is approximately 3600 years old, Its age places it in the same era as the early migrations of peoples all around Northern Europe, the UK, Ireland and elsewhere. It has been included to show how far-ranging the influence of Stone Henge has been over the centuries. The early assumptions that bronze age people did not do much travelling is also brought into question as these mixed society objects, materials and motifs link Ireland in the UK to Egypt in North Africa. Information is coming to light at such a rate it is imperative to keep on top of whatever it is that you like or you find yourself an old codger in no time at all.

The disc is probably larger than you think. Here is a another image of it.

Just another example of the more we know, the more we know we don’t know.

For more information about the new Stone Henge exhibit go here.

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