Originally posted by Atlantican
Axe heads or BULL skulls & horns!
You nailed my thoughts exactly,
They are bulls heads, the sheer number of cattle that were sacrificed/consumed at the henges shows an affinity towards cattle. They could have been a
temporally fashionable way of keeping a tally of how many cattle a clan brought to the gathering.
In many primative pastoral societies there are yearly or semi yearly clan gatherings, to decide new marriages , trace stock or breed stock and or to
reset the communal calendars, and trade regional goods.
I think the henges had a part in all of this.
At first they were highly ritualistic ceremonial centers that revolved around the solar calendar, as time passed the original group that started the
ritual/festival spread out all over Britain. In the beginning people would gather at the two most prominent times the winter and summer solstices and
the equinoxes, with the summer neo.g thw prominent one for a festival as travel would have been easier. Once you pin down the solstice, the
village/clan shaman/priest/big kahuna only had to keep track of the days on a knotted cord to be able to time the planting and harvest and the
breeding cycles of the stock.
Over time the gatherings became a major social function that served a whole host of functions.
The tribes/ clans would gather together their tradable goods and wares and make the treck to the henges.
Once their they would trade pottery, butter, cheese, bulls and cows or heifers and all sorts of stuff.
Cattle breeding could be also done between clans, thus insuring strong stock lines.
For those couple weeks they would be there, they would also likely engage in group activities such as butter making or the making of cordage or
Youngster would also be paired up for the inevitable arranged marriages.
I think that cattle drives were a very large part of the whole affair, the vernal equinox is a prime time to gather the cattle for breeding and you
can cull the weak and infirm and they can be used to feed the gathering.