The Ancestors – Stonehenge – 03 Dr Christopher and Jacquetta Hawkes
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Prehistoric Britain – Dr Christopher and Jacquetta Hawkes
The bank and ditch, together with the circle of empty sockets immediately within, are the earliest surviving features, and were the handiwork of the Beaker Folk. The sarsen horseshoe and ring were the next to be set up, apparently by the Wessex aristocracy, whose arrival from Brittany [was in about] 1700 BC , and last of all the bluestones were put, evidently as part of the same scheme, in their present positions inside the sarsen ring, although they previously stood elsewhere on the site, in fact (as is now fairly certain) in the now empty sockets of the circle just inside the bank.
How long a period is covered by these additions and alterations to the fabric of the temple is hard to estimate precisely, but it is most likely that they were completed during the earlier part of the Bronze Age.
What, then, of the Druids, those mysterious priests of the Celtic Iron Age with whose bearded and long-robed figures many of us have loved to people the great circles of Stonehenge?
The fountain-head for such picturesque ideas was in the imagination of Stukeley (Druids had an inevitable appeal to a Romantic), and for this reason it was long the pleasurable dory of the scientific mind to scorn and deny them. Yet the discovery of undoubted Iron Age pottery on the site, and also of Iron Age stone holes, has shaken such scepticism. It is now possible and permissible to believe that there must have been a last phase when Stonehenge was administered by Celtic priests, although they had little share in its devising.
It seems, then, that Stukeley's hazards were really nearer the truth than he deserved.
These two great centres of worship, demanding such heavy labour and such feats of transport and engineering to build, must not be dismissed without thought of their social implications. It is clear that the acceptance of such tasks implies an immense compelling power in religion, and possibly one fostered and directed by a strong priesthood. But more than that, the ability to command such labour and the fact that the temples evidently served a considerable population and wide territories must mean some degree of social and political organisation.
The source of the experienceThe Ancestors
Concepts, symbols and science items
ConceptsMap of the Egg
Science ItemsSacred geography
Sacred geography - altars
Sacred geography - barrows
Sacred geography - beacons
Sacred geography - cross
Sacred geography - crossroads
Sacred geography - cursus
Sacred geography - enclosures and camps
Sacred geography - henges
Sacred geography - hollow roads
Sacred geography - ley lines
Sacred geography - mark stones
Sacred geography - natural hills
Sacred geography - rivers and streams
Sacred geography - sacred grove
Sacred geography - underground secret passages
Activities and commonsteps
OverloadsVisit sacred sites
Just for fun from the Nurenberg chronicles................