Revealed: Early Bronze Age carvings suggest Stonehenge was a huge prehistoric art gallery

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posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 02:19 PM
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Laser scanning has revealed 72 undiscovered Bronze Age carvings on five of Stonehenge's giant stones suggesting, according to some archeologists, that the site perhaps doubled not only as a temple but also as a prehistoric art gallery.

The new images, found on the monument which was originally built in the third millennium BC as a solar temple, portray axe heads and a dagger.


Of the 72 newly discovered images revealed through the data analysis, 71 portray Bronze Age axe-heads and one portrays a Bronze Age dagger.

The 72 new ‘rock art’ discoveries almost treble the number of carvings known at Stonehenge.

It’s known that, when the main phase of the monument was initially built in the middle of the third millennium BC, it was designed primarily as a solar temple, aligned on the mid-winter and mid-summer solstices.

The Independent


a laser-scan-derived image of the largest panel of axe-head carvings at Stonehenge.

Drawings of all the axe-heads shown in the laser-scan-derived image. The green ones are new discoveries.


It is thought that the axe heads may be associated with storm deities, based on surviving European folklore, in which the axe heads protect against storm damage.

It is also thought that the axe heads portrayed were stencilled using real axe heads, including one that measured 46cms long, suggesting a size too large to be practical.

The recent study also suggest that the moment was designed to be viewed from the North East, consistent with the archaeological view that holds a processional way approached from that side.

Personally, I see no reason why storm deity symbolic art work can't be an integral part of a temple complex, in the same way that Medieval cathedrals are richly ordained with religious art.




posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 02:22 PM
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Very cool Olln !
There is that auspicious number again and again,
72.
I can't wait to learn more.
Maybe it's like their Vietnam memorial
but instead of names, casualties ?
edit on 9-10-2012 by sealing because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 02:27 PM
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This is very cool. I always knew there was more to Stonehenge.

What would be the purpose of an Art Gallery at Stonehenge?

I can't wait to see what else is discovered.
Thank you for posting this, it has absolutely piqued my interest!



posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 02:34 PM
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reply to post by ollncasino
 


Angels again... Or star people, whatever, same difference.

ETA: Or mushrooms.
edit on 9-10-2012 by Wide-Eyes because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 03:04 PM
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Silly idea, but it almost looks like a map of Europe, without the UK! Somewhere on one of the stones is an image that appears to have come from Crete I believe. (Will try and find a link to that, just going by memory at the moment.)

Is it possible that this one stone was some sort of register of who was attending or maybe to mark the end of a year with the size representing how good or bad a year it had been?

Fantastic stuff, modern archaeology.



posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 04:55 PM
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Cool to know there is a ton more to discover about something we pretty much take for granted these days.



posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 08:41 PM
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"Art gallery?" Surely, you jest.

Given that there is an obvious pattern to the display, they don't appear to be entirely at random. I suspect that they represent clans, tribes or whatever those folks called their collections. Perhaps even a map of populations within the area.

edit on 9-10-2012 by Aliensun because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 10:16 PM
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Originally posted by Aliensun
Given that there is an obvious pattern to the display, they don't appear to be entirely at random. I suspect that they represent clans, tribes or whatever those folks called their collections. Perhaps even a map of populations within the area.


Hmm... I like this idea. Could have been similar to a "City Hall".



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 05:24 AM
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They look like mushrooms to me.



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 06:36 AM
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An 'art gallery' is such a new idea. Is a church and/or government building with sculptures and paintings and all sorts of crafted ornamentation what you'd call an 'art gallery' or wouldn't that be stretching the term past the breaking point?

After all, if anything, isn't an art gallery a sort of modern approach where you leave out the church and/or government building part of the recipe, but still have all the arts and crafts to look at?



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 07:07 AM
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Originally posted by 11andrew34
An 'art gallery' is such a new idea. Is a church and/or government building with sculptures and paintings and all sorts of crafted ornamentation what you'd call an 'art gallery' or wouldn't that be stretching the term past the breaking point?

After all, if anything, isn't an art gallery a sort of modern approach where you leave out the church and/or government building part of the recipe, but still have all the arts and crafts to look at?


I think the same thing.
Religious buildings are often adorned with art, but that doesn't define them as being an art gallery. We all have pictures on our walls, but our homes are not galleries.

It's fascinating that there is all of this evidence that comes to light using scientific advances, and I suspect there will be a lot more discovered about this in the future as more and more equipment is developed to see into the past.

I'm personally more inclined to believe that this was some form of religious structure. The creation of something like this would generally take a leader, and someone of power. Back then, it is fair to assume, one would have power through conquest or fear rather than wealth. That sounds to me like a religious group dominated by someone who has the control over others to convince them to build something like this.

When we think of how things are built, it takes a leader, and a group of people to do the work. Most people work through need and not desire. Even now, if the building of a church relied on good will and no money in exchange for labor you'd be looking at a lot of convincing and persuading and a lot of time.

I don't think that would have been possible back then, with a drastically smaller population, and limited means of communication too. That's why I lean towards this being the work of a religious cult of some kind, or slavery in one form or another.



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 07:22 AM
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Originally posted by Aliensun
"Art gallery?" Surely, you jest.

Given that there is an obvious pattern to the display, they don't appear to be entirely at random. I suspect that they represent clans, tribes or whatever those folks called their collections. Perhaps even a map of populations within the area.

edit on 9-10-2012 by Aliensun because: (no reason given)


Interesting thought. From my understanding, early Brits came from 12 tribal groups, believed to be descended from the 12 original Gods of Britain. I will admit that i cannot remember exactly where i have seen that, so there is a distinct possibility that the info is wrong...........

As others have noted, temple sites / churches / etc around the world have been decorated for aeons, so i see no reason why Stonehenge wouldn't be the same. If i am totally honest, the thing that has always struck me about Stonehenge is the lack of decoration - well not anymore!

As to the approach being to the North East - as a Yorkshireman (NE of Stonehenge) this makes perfect sense. We all know the best things are to the North East of Stonehenge!



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 07:23 AM
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Or a Tool-makers display, or "drawing board."

The possibilities are limitless, and until they uncover more, we will never know.

Curious.... Anyone know if this is the only stone which was carved/etched/embossed/marked? Have the others been under the same scrutiny?



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 07:36 AM
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reply to post by NaeBabii
 


I can't find which stones, only that the 83 remaining stones have been re-examined. I do know that some stones are missing, including what i believe would have been the alter stone (or i have allowed my head to be filled with nonsense!).



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 07:58 AM
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reply to post by Flavian
 


Found this link about Stonehenge, you may find the 3D artist rendering of Stonehenge cool. I liked it, anyway. I had no idea there were that many stones.



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 01:02 PM
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The problem with this theory is dating. Stonehenge has been proven to be a solar calendar so we KNOW it was used as one. But we also know that it was used by many peoples over the centuries and we have no idea when these images could have been added to the rocks - as well as all the other markings found on those rocks. We don't have a good ability to date when stone was carved. The assumption that these are indeed bronze age axe heads and daggers are only that - assumptions. They could have been something else entirely from an earlier time. many theories put the age of Stonehenge much older than traditional archeologist.

The only facts we have are there now appear to be more images carved in the stone than previously believed. Everything else is not proven.



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 01:32 PM
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I'm just thinking outloud here:

Could these carvings have been used to track the number of human/animal sacrifices?

The use of daggers and axeheads in the carvings would seem to indicate a potential violent purpose.


There is some evidence that Sonehenge may have been used for sacrifice.

www.archaeology.org...


A skeleton recently rediscovered in London's Natural History Museum provides the first evidence that a ritual sacrifice may have taken place at Stonehenge. The remains, which show evidence of beheading, may also throw light on the continuing importance of the megalithic monument, built in three phases between 3050 and 1600 B.C. Radiocarbon analysis indicates that the execution took place in the second half of the seventh century A.D., shortly after the local Anglo-Saxon nobility had converted to Christianity, says David Miles, chief archaeologist at English Heritage, the public agency responsible for the monument's upkeep.

"The beheading suggests that a political or ritual act was taking place at Stonehenge at a time when the henge is thought to have been abandoned and no longer considered a place of significance," says Miles. "Stonehenge is relatively isolated, and a single execution is likely to have been an important symbolic event."


It seems to me that axeheads would be a pretty good way to behead someone...
...and then to carve a symbol of the axehead on the stone in commemoration of the event.

Maybe the larger the carving, the more important the sacrifice?
edit on 10-10-2012 by isyeye because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 01:46 PM
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Those are'nt axe heads, they are mushrooms.



posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 04:00 PM
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Some thoughts:

1. Perhaps these are not axes. They could be caricatures for humans. The cross member are the arms, etc.

2. The distribution does not seem random or artistic. It seems to convey some sort of geometry. The center is void of symbols, could this be the henge itself up on the hill? The placement of symbols perhaps polar coordinates for clans/villages/graves/etc?

3. The difference in those we knew existed and those we did not until now. Were they produced differently versus just at different times? What is that meant to convey?

4. Since some conclude the henge was used for astronomical purposes, could this not be some form of map for celestial bodies? A tracking guide?

5. The difference in size of the symbols, is there any thing to see there? Or perhaps nothing more than the difference in size of signatures? Ala John Hancock? DO they represent different social statuses or size of clans? Size of land holdings?

One could go on all day like this...
edit on 10-10-2012 by ABNARTY because: spelling



posted on Oct, 11 2012 @ 04:26 PM
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Originally posted by ABNARTY

One could go on all day like this...


Yes one could, since we simply don't have enough to go on if we want to understand the big picture.

I wonder what future archaeologists will think when they find an unusually high number of Buddha statues in early 21st century Western houses and gardens. Will they figure out the decorative angle or will they assume it to be an upswing of Eastern spirituality?

In any case, someone mentioned - in a discussion on the monoliths of Gobleki Tepe - that this is perhaps what the Stonehenge monoliths looked like once upon a time, had they not been exposed to human action and weathering; square cut and covered with reliefs, paintings, drawings, etc.

4.bp.blogspot.com...

Art Gallery, why not? But do we need to pinpoint the exact purpose of Stonehenge? And could that purpose not have changed over a few centuries and generations? European cathedrals sometimes served as market places, and today many of them serve mainly as tourist attractions.

Whatever pushed our ancestors to build structures like Stonhenge, to me the main purpose whas to astound, and impose admiration and respect from both friend and foe.

Isn't that why we still build super structures?





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