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Builders of Stonehenge Came from Afar

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posted on Mar, 10 2013 @ 11:00 PM
Archaeologists have found remains at ancient campsites round Stonehenge which imply that the builders of the monument were not local to the area, but came from all over Britain and as far north as Scotland.

Stonehenge builders travelled from far, say researchers

They say the evidence suggests that building Stonehenge was a huge communal effort in which a large fraction of the population of the British Isles was involved.

The researchers believed as many as 4,000 people gathered at the site, at a time when Britain's population was only tens of thousands.

I'm not in the business of constructing theories on subjects I know nothing about, but it is fascinating to speculate on the meaning of this discovery, and picture what might have happened on Salisbury Plain all those millennia ago.

Who decided a henge had to be built there? What was the reason for it? What motivated people to such a huge effort, carried out over so many generations?

Was it a monument to some prehistoric tyrant or dynasty? A temple raised in desperation to placate an angry god who had sent disease or famine? The means to avert a curse? A magical instrument to be used on rare occasions, such as an eclipse or planetary conjunction predicted by astrologer-priests? Or something else entirely, something we have not even imagined?

Did it have to be built to a deadline (or rather, several successive ones)?

Who were the people that decreed its building? What kind of social organisation did they have? And how did they pull workers together from all over Britain (and possibly even farther afield) to build this monument?

Did the builders volunteer, or were they pressed? Were they slaves? Prisoners of war? If they did it freely, what was their motivation? What could have been thought important enough to draw people from hundreds of miles around?

Stonehenge seems to have been built over a long period of time, rather like Göbleki Tepe seems to have been; construction at Stonehenge seems to have continued for nearly 1,500 years after it began.

Stonehenge evolved in several construction phases spanning at least 1,500 years. There is evidence of large-scale construction on and around the monument that perhaps extends the landscape's time frame to 6,500 years.

Something like seven thousand years separate the last phases of construction at two sites, but life in the Neolithic probably didn't change very rapidly. It may be that Stonehenge and Göbleki Tepe represent temples of the same prehistoric cult, or that both sites were built and used for the same obscure purpose.

Or not. Perhaps some of ATS's resident experts in such matters can hazard an opinion.

posted on Mar, 11 2013 @ 10:39 AM
That's quite interesting... will need to read it later on tonight. Temporary meetings of large numbers of people are not unknown in history -- some of the Native American tribal groups would do this during certain seasons. This has the advantage of providing smaller groups a way to build ties of trade and relationship (marriages) and is an effective method of transmitting technology.

It would be interesting to look at the groups (if any are identified) and see if any cultural material started migrating through them as a result of this.

posted on Mar, 11 2013 @ 05:08 PM
reply to post by Astyanax

I just don't know, Astyanx. Sometimes I think that building these things was just what people did. I know that seems kind of lame, but I just cannot figure it out. Even as I stand here now trying to add something pertinent, I just come up short.

Sometimes I am reminded that when I was a child, the big thing for the boys to do was construct earthworks; tunnels, caves, dirt-forts. Maybe it's just what we do, I'm stuck.

But after seeing how close. Ireland, Britain and Brittany are, I somehow cannot imagine that it was a problem to scare up several thousands of people for the job/s. Maybe word got out and people just flooded the area to pitch in; it probably meant at least, regular food, and a large group of people to interact with, and maybe even a sense of purpose. I am thinking that they must have known the thing about the Devil having work for idle hands.

I am thinking that on a fundamental level, what these constructions brought was life.

posted on Mar, 11 2013 @ 05:12 PM
Stonestock instead of Woodstock.
I wonder if the Scots had bagpipes back then? Party site.

posted on Mar, 11 2013 @ 05:25 PM
Just to clarify what was going on - this subject was taken from a documentary last night. I asked a friend his opinions on it. He is a 3d modeller who spoke extensively to the people who have actually dug Stonehenge over the last 20 years. He has a fully scaled 3d model of the Henge (no I dont have a link for it). A lot of what was presented in the program as new has been known for quite a while (see below)

So the henge may have been started 5000 bc with the ditch, causeway and outer ring of blue stones. Sometime later the inner ring was built.

Sometime after that part of the inner ring was removed to facilitate the raising of the classic large stones and lintels. The ring was replaced.

Now heres the groovy stuff:
There is a stone age village a few miles from the site. As stated upto 4000 people may have stayed there at one time. Thats was roughly a fifth 1/5! of the entire population of the British Isle at that time. Now there were no true national borders and everyone spoke what would eventually become Cornish/Welsh.

They have recovered 80,000 animal remains from the site and studied the strontium levels in the teeth. Matching this to a strontium map of the UK we find that 30% of the animals came from Scotland. Looking at the jaw bones of the animals we find that they were slaughtered at either midsummer or mid winter (the two main dates immortalised in the calendar function of the Henge)

There are 63 burials of people beside the outer ring of blue stones. They did the strontium trick on the teeth of those bodies too - sure enough nearly all of them came from all over the British Isles. There was one - just one who came from much farther. The Alps. Thats right. Before Jesus, Mohammed, Romans and all that guff someone walked 1500 miles to visit a Henge.

Now the program did slip up slightly here - they stated that the bronze item the person was buried with may have been the first to be in Britain. That was wrong! smelting had been happening in Britain for maybe 300 years prior to the carbon dating of the corpse.

Know the story of Arthur Pendragon? Tintagel - guess what happened there - yep they mined Tin and not far away there was a copper mine - the two main ingredients of Bronze.

My friend posits that the Alps guy may have come to Britain to GET Bronze not bring it. He may have been a trader coming to find where his supply came from?

Now I have also seen a program covering the very early inhabitants of the British Isles who walked over the lowland frozen marsh that one day would become the English Channel. In that program they had analysed the precise chemical makeup of some pottery and been able to tie it to the exact kiln it had been made in. Guess where? The Alps! This shows there could have been a very long trade route to Italy that existed for hundreds of years.

In conclusion - these so called savages travelled and traded over massive distances, they built artifacts of mystical and religious significance from the southern tip of England to the Isles of Scotland. They were capable of organising the population into a common purpose, the scale of which hasnt been seen in the modern world since WWII. It would be like organising the Glastonbury/Burning Man musical festival for 10 million people! By word of mouth!

posted on Mar, 11 2013 @ 10:23 PM
reply to post by UltraMind

Thank you for adding such interesting information to the thread. Yes, ancient people often travelled long distances, often across seas, deserts, swamps and mountains, and not just for religious purposes either. Stone tools from certain manufacturing centres are distributed across the prehistoric Middle East, showing that there was long-distance trade even in Neolithic times.

posted on Mar, 13 2013 @ 03:24 AM

Across the water over in Carnac France we have an amazing collection of Stonehenge like construction some maybe concurrent with Stonehenge others may go back a 1500yrs earlier so am gonna take a stab at the not so unreasonable guess that they came from France.

The Carnac stones are an exceptionally dense collection of megalithic sites around the French village of Carnac, in Brittany, consisting of alignments, dolmens, tumuli and single menhirs. The more than 3,000 prehistoric standing stones were hewn from local rock and erected by the pre-Celtic people of Brittany, and are the largest such collection in the world.[1] Most of the stones are within the Breton village of Carnac, but some to the east are within La Trinité-sur-Mer. The stones were erected at some stage during the Neolithic period, probably around 3300 BC, but some may date to as old as 4500

edit on 13-3-2013 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 13 2013 @ 05:53 AM
reply to post by Spider879

Apparently not. See UltraMind's post just above my earlier one.

posted on Mar, 13 2013 @ 06:46 AM

Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by Spider879

Apparently not. See UltraMind's post just above my earlier one.

Well one need not cancel out the other , given that the know how existed 1400 yrs in Carnac prior to Stonehenge ,so both could be true certainly enough time would have past for them to set up shop anywhere on the Isles.
edit on 13-3-2013 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 13 2013 @ 01:59 PM
The original make up of the first people to arrive in the British isles came from the Basque region of Spain/France. I agree that the builders at Carmac probably were the same stock as the Henge builders. Chances are they spoke the same language.

In fact the straight lines of Carmac may have some clues - what is their orientation? Lined up with mid summer/winter or East/west etc. Also the avenue at Stonehenge was probably one of the first elements to be constructed - interesting that it is two parallel lines pointing to midsummer...

posted on Mar, 14 2013 @ 10:46 PM
reply to Spider879, UltraMind

SPIDER: gonna take a stab at the not so unreasonable guess that they came from France... given that the know how existed 1400 yrs in Carnac prior to Stonehenge ,so both could be true certainly enough time would have past for them to set up shop anywhere on the Isles.

ULTRAMIND: The first people to arrive in the British isles came from the Basque region of Spain/France. I agree that the builders at Carmac probably were the same stock as the Henge builders. Chances are they spoke the same language.

Certainly, the inhabitants of Stone Age Britain and the builders of Carnac may have had a common origin. But the builders of Stonehenge, according to the archaeological results, came from around the British Isles. The did not come to Britain to build Stonehenge; they were already living there.

edit on 14/3/13 by Astyanax because: of a double address.

posted on Mar, 15 2013 @ 02:55 AM
Explanation: S&G!

If the oceans/ seas were lower back during those times then passage between Brittany and The British Isl. [which may possibly not have been an island at all
] may have been undertaken by foot rather than by boat.

I thank my memory for sparking that to my mind with flashes of me reading a thread on how the lands on middle earth in lord of the rings was directly related to some geography in the real world and also how atlantis may be off the coast of Ireland and that reminded me of Slain the Barbarian comix and a series where he had to do 12 trials mapped out in the sky to zodiac and on the ground in an old age Britan where the was no english channel to divide it from mainland Europe.

I also note that both the Carnac Stones and Stongehenge are set up as different arrays to observe the sky and wonder which device gives better resolution and hence better results in staying in step and in tune with mother nature when it comes down to planting crops and animal husbandry througout the seaons?

As for why they are where they are ... ask any real estate agent and they will tell it location [best place for watching the sky] location [best place for sourcing the stone] location [best place for large numbers of people to come and meet and have festivals]!!!

And ask any architect and they will tell you that form denotes function.

Personal Disclosure: And it matters not about the linage of the people since we all decended from the same primordial soup mix ok. But as for the pathway back in time for the information I think the information originates with the most ancient agricultural cultures based more on the solar calander than the lunar calander and yet still the lunar calander which was more important for hunter gather cultures because it determined when hunting at night for large game could and could not occur ... was also retained as multiple cycles of moons = Months which helped count the See Sun All = seasonal cycles. Such secretsacred stuff is kept locked up in heaven aka the stars in the sky. This is based in science as well as spirutal connectedness and oneness with the universe and God at large. Its a clock and a calander and a calculator and a computer that can be used to simulate the future under some preset conditions that result in an answer hence it is an oracle literally set in stone.

So we should probably start looking at the proto agricultural societies and see if we can logically connect where they come from and where the information travelled and how long that took and where were the important geographical nodes that became hotspots of transmission and who were the possible best messangers between those nodes and why etc.

I hope this helps.

posted on Mar, 15 2013 @ 03:42 AM
reply to post by OmegaLogos

If the oceans/ seas were lower back during those times...

They weren't, unfortunately. The famous land bridge went under about 12,000BC.

If people came from overseas to build Stonehenge, they would have arrived at the nearest convenient port and made their way to the site as directly as they could. It's quite clear from the evidence that these were people who lived in Britain, regardless of where their ancestors came from.

So we should probably start looking at the proto agricultural societies and see if we can logically connect where they come from and where the information travelled and...

Yes, that would be a good way to write a novel or film script set in this era, and I would surely pay to read or watch it. It is not the way to investigate history, though. We do that from gathering and interpreting material evidence, not from elaborating chains of logic.

posted on Mar, 15 2013 @ 02:24 PM
The oldest human settlements on the British isles are 80k years old - it was these people I referred to walking the frozen bog/marsh that eventually would become the English channel as the Ice sheet still hadnt completely retreated to modern levels after the last mini ice age (which we are still in)

posted on Mar, 15 2013 @ 10:25 PM
reply to post by UltraMind

Sure. Clearly the earliest inhabitants of Britain had to come from somewhere. I have no problem with ancient Britons and ancient Bretons and Basques being descended from the same ancestors. Nor do I disagree with anything you have said so far.

I'm pointing out that, according to the research you elucidated, the people who built Stonehenge were apparently natives of Britain – wherever their ancestors may have come from. They did not travel to Britain to participate in the building of the monument. They had been there for generations.

posted on Mar, 15 2013 @ 10:48 PM
reply to post by rickymouse

Strange you say that, because, not too far away from Stonehenge is...

Woodhenge which I think predates Stonehenge and is also a bit of a mystery, with some experts even thinking it was a covered spiralway to a ceremonial centre.

posted on Mar, 15 2013 @ 11:00 PM
reply to post by OmegaLogos

" [best place for sourcing the stone]"

Some of the stone came from Wales, some 100 miles away! Yes, some stone came from nearby, but not all.

Connections? That is true, there is a nearbye river, from which there is a processional pathway to Stonehenge.

The camps could of course have been for those attending whatever went on at Stonehenge.

The other feature is the Cursus which may or may not have any connection. There are also a few burial mounds on the plain as well.

All in all, it was for a long time a well used area, sort of like a capital.

posted on Mar, 19 2013 @ 04:19 PM
Ah I see what you are getting at now - I read a slightly different meaning in to it. My last post was response to the land bridge vanished 12k years ago post. I just wanted to point out that people had walked here long before the land bridge vanished.

As for the builders actual birthplace I agree that as stated in my post 99% of them were British born. One of them however was Italian.... (and on re-read I am going to put a rider on that statement. The foreign body was found to be concurrent with the major development of the site which covered upto 2k years, so to declare him an actual builder maybe a bit of stretch)

And then showed there had been an Italian connection for maybe 50k years..

The Channel can be crossed in a stone age coracle so even the filling of the channel wouldnt have been much hinderance to a determined explorer. On a clear day you can see England from France so navigation isnt an issue.

And curses! I was waiting to mention Woodhenge. There is another woodhenge elsewhere though I forget where (see Time Team I think they dug it)

edit on 19-3-2013 by UltraMind because: woodhenge!

posted on Mar, 19 2013 @ 04:57 PM
i've just spent the last 20 mins looking for a very recent bbc documentary on this, which i saw advertised a couple of weeks ago and had to relegate to watching on-demand at some point, but to no avail

turns out it was on channel four!
i still have not watched it yet, but at least i know where to find it now

posted on Apr, 2 2013 @ 07:19 PM
Agree with the way this thread started out - the fundamental problem with 'community' theories of Stonehenge is that there are all kinds of authoratitive studies showing the early population of Britain was only low [few thou?] 'primitives' living in scattered family groups/tribes. That's incompatible with the degree of organisation required for Stonehenge AND for the dozens of other large contemporary monuments.
Incidentally the original Stonehenge earth circle dates from ca 3000 BC, long before the standing stones
There's an intersting new contribution in a recent book called 'Before The Delusion' by Wm Gleeson. Worth a look.
Also he points out the Carnac stone alignments have the distinctive form of comets tails when viewed from an aerial perspective - which corresponds to Celt myths of the Mabigonion.
Regards Mike C

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