The Making of Stonehenge

The Making of Stonehenge

by Rodney Castleden
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0415085136

ISBN-13: 9780415085137

Pub. Date: 03/16/1994

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Every generation has created its own interpretation of Stonehenge, but rarely do these relate to the physical realities of the monument. Rodney Castleden begins with those elements which made possible the building of this vast stone circle: the site, the materials and the society that undertook the enormous task of transporting and raising the great vertical

Overview

Every generation has created its own interpretation of Stonehenge, but rarely do these relate to the physical realities of the monument. Rodney Castleden begins with those elements which made possible the building of this vast stone circle: the site, the materials and the society that undertook the enormous task of transporting and raising the great vertical stones, then capping them, all to a carefully contrived plan.
What emerges from this detailed examination is a much fuller sense of Stonehenge, both in relation to all the similar sites close by, and in terms of the uses to which it was put. Castleden suggests that there is no one 'meaning' or 'purpose' for Stonehenge, that from its very beginning it has filled a variety of needs. The Romans saw it as a centre of resistance; the antiquaries who 'rediscovered' it in the seventeenth century saw a long line of continuity leading back into the nation's past. The archaeologists see it as a subject for rational, scientific investigation; The National Trust and English Heritage view it as an unfailing magnet for visitors; UNESCO has declared it a World Heritage Site, the cultural property of the whole of humanity. Lost to view amid competing interests over the millenia are the uses it has served for those who live within its penumbra, for whom Stonehenge has never been 'lost' or 'rediscovered'. It exists in local myth and legend, stretching back beyond history.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415085137
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
03/16/1994
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
1,248,756
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

List of illustrations ix

Acknowledgements xiv

1 Introduction 1

2 'beyond All Historical Recall' 5

The noble rum 5

The medieval view 9

A renaissance view 10

Stonehenge as a Danish crowning-place 13

Stonehenge as a Druid temple 14

Stonehenge as an astronomical computer 18

3 The First Stonehenge 28

The oldest Stonehenge of all 28

Long barrows and ritual feasting 35

Processional ways 44

Stonehenge I: the earth circle 49

The Heel Stone 58

The inner portals 62

The Aubrey Holes 62

The roundhouse 67

4 Stonehenge Abandoned? 72

A time of shadows 72

The new benges 74

The meaning of Durrington 88

5 Stones From Afar: The Bluestone Enigma 93

A new beginning 93

The medieval perspective 97

A tale from the bronze age? 102

The source of the bluestones 103

Stonehenge in the ice age 105

The bluestone voyages 112

A human sacrifice? 124

The double ring and the Avenue 127

The centre-piece 134

6 Culmination: The Sarsen Monument 138

Rich burials and social transformation 138

The Avebury connection 146

Transporting the sarsen stones 150

Shaping the stones 155

The building 157

'Lilacs out of the dead land' 168

7 Stonehenge Completed: The Return of the Bluestones 171

Stonehenge IIIb or 'Bluestoneheyige' 171

The mystery of the Y and Z holes 173

The filial design 176

Bluestone trilithons 178

Face to face with the goddess 182

8 The Meaning of Stonehenge 185

The wider tradition 185

The meaning of the Avenue 191

The magic circle 196

Midsummer doorways 201

The Double Bluestone Circle 203

The sarsen monument 204

The carvings 209

Temple offerings 218

9 Stonehenge in Decline 226

Y and Z holes 226

The last gesture 227

A prehistoric Westminster Abbey 230

The fall of the stones 233

The rage of men 237

The Druids 238

Suppression of the Druids 240

'An asylum in times of danger' 241

A place of curses 242

The Romans at Stonehenge 245

Appendix A The chronology of Stonehenge 252

Appendix B The cost of building the Stonehenge complex 254

Appendix C Radiocarbon dates 258

Appendix D Large volcanic eruptions and Stonehenge: a possible connection? 260

Notes 262

Bibliography 286

Index 297

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