Posts Tagged ‘avebury’

Stonehenge, a gigantic graveyard?

Friday, March 15th, 2013


About Stonehenge there is a leading archaeological theory around today which explains its function in terms of concepts of physical realms of the living and of the dead, as this is custom in Madagascar today. Indeed you read right, Madagascar today, the huge tropical island off the east coast of Africa. That is what I would call a far-fetched theory. There, in Madagascar ‘some people today’, as Mike Pitt reminds us, associate wood with the living and stone with the dead. This simple straightforward belief (wood is alive, stone is dead) of ‘some African people’ has become the cornerstone of a complete theory about actual physical domains 5000 years ago in Europe, at Stonehenge to be precise. Not only would this ‘explanation’ of necessity imply that all so called ‘henges’ would have had this purpose (similar architecture, similar function), but also that all standing stones are erected for the dead as the African colleague of Parker Pearson, Ramilisonina, the actual creator of the theory, would have it.
Ramilisonina came to Stonehenge, as the story goes, and immediately proclaimed from his gut-feeling: ‘these stones were put up for the ancestors’, and that was it, enough ‘proof’ for MPP to accept his theory and write a book about it. Nowhere else has this connection been substantiated since nowhere else any significant numbers of burials are found in connection with henges or stone circles. Some pit circles seem to have burials, but you can’t have it both ways in Stonehenge, it’s either pit or standing stone. This by itself already completely undermines the ill-founded theory of an ill-informed foreign archaeologist, a theory which by now has become the most prominent one in the media in Britain, probably America, possibly the world; British archaeology is squarely put back to the death cult ‘cul de sac’ it has been in for ages.
One wonders whether it will ever want to work its way back to reason.


The fact that most of the examined bones from Stonehenge come from the upper layers of back-filled pits, the well-known Aubrey Holes, 0.6 to 1.15m deep, shows that these pits were most probably originally intended to hold enormous wooden posts, like it was custom in the area at the time. Like Woodhenge (pictured, with close-by tree-lined Durrington Walls’ green in upperrighthandcorner) more and more of these timber and pit circles come to light these days. Such deep pits as the 56 of Stonehenge were certainly not for burials as burials were, as observed, usually in the upper fillings and not over a metre deep in the ground. Here I quote Atkinson, the first scientific excavator in the fifties of the last century extensively, with my comment in brackets and bold script: “The sides are steep, the bottoms flat. Their contents were extremely mixed. In general, however the filling consisted of chalk rubble originally dug out of the hole, which had apparently been deliberately shovelled back soon afterwards, some of it having been disturbed by the digging of later holes into it, often right down to the bottom, which were filled with burnt soil containing fragments of charred wood. In most of the holes there were deposits of cremated human bones, either in compact masses (a hat full) or scattered throughout a large volume of filling. Sometimes these cremations were in the primary filling, but more often in the later disturbances.”(…) “The main concentration (of other burials) is near Aubrey Holes 14 and 15, with smaller groups in the ditch

What can we learn from this, when we don’t start with preconceived ideas? That there was a rather well-measured circle of evenly spaced deep holes, as all the pictures show, that the regularity implies they were dug in the same short period and that they were part of a design which by now has been proven to be highly likely cosmological, pertaining to the moon cycle and eclipses. (Burl says the pits were not so regular, but this happens when you start digging at your reference point and lose it that way, worsened by others taking over). There were 56 pits in number relating to 3 moon cycles in years (3 x 18.6) and to twice 28 relating to the female fertility cycle in days. After having been dug completely(?) (were the shallower pits ever finished?) they were then back-filled rather soon, it seems (but really it is high time 2 or 3 fresh holes are meticulously and, if possible, objectively excavated). This could mean a change of plan from holding wooden posts to holding standing stones, but this is by no means certain from the evidence because the crushed chalk at the bottom could just as well have been from heavy wooden posts later dismantled. (Is there no report from Woodhenge on this?) By all means the Aubrey-circle was primarily a spiritual/scientific/cosmological place (which were ‘one thing’ then) where days and years were counted and recorded, eclipses predicted, so absolutely not a cemetery. That it got used for possibly ‘clandestine’ burials may have been the very reason for the quick back-fill by the cosmologists, but it is useless speculating until a thorough investigation of preferably several new holes is done. And what about ‘scattered bones throughout a large volume of filling’? This happens when you start digging for your own family burial at an auspicious site in the soft material of a back-fill, very convenient, and that you find out too late that someone had already been buried there, the place was occupied, so you back-fill and try find another back-filled hole. It is this which most probably caused the scattering of the earlier burial. Besides that, again, it was most probably done ‘clandestinely’ at times it was not much used because the place was not a burial ground, but a lunar observatory in the first phase.

The whole picture is one of haphazard burial by private groups of people (not the kind of large gatherings of today) at some preferred but random places (nr.14, 15 due south-east of centre and in the ditch) over a long, but possibly even short, period of time, just as you would expect from a place which was not intended for burial, but auspicious for other reasons as it happens throughout history.

Spotted bluestones from Preselis
The spotted bluestone as shown in the picture, is reminiscent of the night sky relating to the Milky Way, the moon, fertility, the cosmic cycle. Some claim now they were brought to the area about 3000BC, this is 500 years or more earlier than has been presumed until now and has not been substantiated yet. Some claim now they were burial markers completely ignoring the question as to why they would take the trouble of getting them from the Preselis in the first place and then would have placed the stones subsequently in the Bluestone Circle on the bank of the Avon at the end of the Avenue. I have no doubt that the spotted bluestone was coveted for its special starry sky-like appearance, the fairytale-like landscape it originates from where (holy) springs abound and possibly for its healing powers, as others have suggested. Even in the latest settings at Stonehenge the bluestone numbers are related to the moon cycle in the numbers 19 (horseshoe) and 23 (earlier oval)(230 moon cycles in 18.6 years, 235 in 19 years, Metonic cycle; you have to know your numbers to give meaning).

Giant graveyard
We see from the above down-to-earth analysis, that there is absolutely no indication of organized burial at the site, let alone 56 reservations for members of a royal family for the next millennium, on the contrary it has all the features of, as said, occasional ‘clandestine’ burial, just as in the megalithic refuge chambers, mostly a handful over time-spans of many hundreds of years, but we find in the Guardian this quote of Parker Pearson: “The first bluestones, the smaller standing stones, were brought from Wales and placed as grave markers around 3,000BC, and it remained a giant circular graveyard for at least 200 years, with sporadic burials after that”. This is just completely unsubstantiated kladderadatsch, because it suggests that for every burial they went to Wales to get a stone which everybody can surmise will never have been the case. These projects of hauling stones were of course big long term enterprises with a lot of mainly men involved over doubtless many, many years and seasons, but inspired by some great spiritual vision, because an enormous amount of ‘enthousiasm’ (etymology: by a godhead inspired) is needed to motivate people in undertaking it. It is inconceivable the transport would happen every time someone, a child, a woman or a man died and was interred at the site. There is absolutely no connection between a standing stone and a burial, except that some people may have liked to bury or be buried near standing stones, but that is a completely different perspective. The idea of the Aubrey Holes being originally dug for the Blue Stones is nowhere substantiated.

Hawley and Cunnington
Hawley, who excavated about 30 Aubrey holes between 1919-26 and discarded all the bones he found and which have just now been investigated, into one pit nr.7, Hawley initially thought the holes were for stones, indeed, but changed his mind when he saw with his own eyes Maud Cunnington’s excavated pits at Woodhenge which were exactly the same. Since there is absolutely no doubt about Woodhenge holes being for wood, this is for me full proof the Stonehenge holes were initially dug for placing wooden posts, not burials, so the concept of a cemetery is false. The closeness of Woodhenge is significant because that seems a very interesting building with a circular beamed roof possibly ( the biggest posts are in the middle rings) and an open space in the middle. This woodwork would come back in the typical connections of the stones. I am pretty sure Woodhenge is earlier than the  sarsen period, but may have been contemporary with the early Bluestones, of which some also have the ‘wood-connection’ fo lintels, this may have been the architecture of the Bluestone circle in the bend of the river Avon, later brought to the centre of Stonehenge. Bluestone chips in some filling, may be of a much later date, because the holes were dug out again and again over a long period of time. The holes are round like tree trunks are, like Woodhenge, the bluestones are not round. It is noteworthy in this respect that in the Y and Z holes only one bluestone chip in each was found placed at the very bottom, a foundation burial of sorts; this, to me, is clearly a symbolic act and emphasizes the bluestones had a specific spiritual meaning, maybe the Preselis in Wales  where they came from were seen as a holy place with its profusion of sacred springs and the quarry for these magical stones. (the Dragon’s Back). It was also almost certainly related to the moon and fertility since there were 59 Y and Z holes equal to 2 synodic moon cycles of 29.5 days. There were 23 bluestones in the centre: 59 +23 = 82, this is 3 x 27.3 (sidereal months), all connected to bluestones. You see here again how Stonehenge abounds in meaningful numbers: 29 and a half sarsen (nr.11) in the ring. All coincidence? (the half sarsen in the outside ring would not have supported a lintel, so in design there were 28 lintels and an opening with a sun-dial in the ring to the south, with the sun in zenith. (28 + 5 central lintels = 33, which times 10 is 330, the number of days of waxing and waning sun volume, the sun cycle) The sun and moon cycle became numerically integrated in the whole design. A further problem with a very early hauling of the bluestones for a two hundred years burial span, as would follow from some theories, is that it suggests that there was a time gap of some 500 to 700 years between a practice of moving huge stones over long distances which in my view is highly unlikely since people don’t take up practices of a long gone ancestry. A circle of bluestones in the Aubrey Holes is contrary to the evidence in the excavation records of the pits.

The chance discovery of Bluestonehenge in 2009 at a ford of the River Avon at the end of the Avenue is a major find, because it is the final proof the bluestones were transported by water all the way, that is, not only by sea but up the river Avon as well. Atkinson proved this possibility already in 1954 in a television program! (Quote: It was clear that the raft could have been propelled at least in slow-flowing water, by a single man).This means the widely published overland route from the Bristol Channel coast

is at least not correct for Stonehenge, it was by river, the easiest way.

I happen to know and have investigated the river Avon (pictured) some 15 years ago when I was researching for a novel with the title ‘The building of Stonehenge’, which did not get past its 36 pages when they found evidence for a Beckhampton Avenue at Avebury, which Stukely had reported 300 years ago, a man I hold in high esteem, for his phenomenal intuitions. It ruined my set-up, but that is another story. (William Stukely, I recently found out (Burl) derived the Druid’s Cubit from Stonehenge and it measured 20.8 inch, that is 0.5283m, which is just 5mm difference from my Megalithic Ell of 0.5236m, remarkable. My Meg.Yard differs 6mm from Thom’s, nevertheless both Thom and Stukely have priority when it comes to these units, of course). The Avon is a smoothly flowing rather shallow river about a metre deep without any cataracts and with a firm level sandy riverbed from Pewsey to its mouth at Christchurch. It is found to be the river with the most species of fish in Britain, by the way (Wikipedia). [In my next post which I hope to get out soon, I will show how the huge sarsens of Stonehenge (up to 50 tons) were transported by water over the Avon river. I think I am the first to suggest this and carry this idea for 15 years now, obviously it’s about time it gets out.] The new Blue-stonehenge circle of purportedly 25 standing stones (I bet it’s 23 or 22) is 10m diameter (19 Megalithic Ell= 9.95m!) and is right on the riverside, where there is an easily accessible natural ford (wading place) which is unique just in this section of the river down from Durrington Walls because the river cuts through a ridge with steep riverbanks in this area. A ford is essential for and used by living people, not by the dead, so the theory of a stone circle as symbol of a domain of the dead where the living keep away from ends here. You don’t make an exclusive domain of the dead at the only place for miles where the living can cross the river. It is more likely this circle, if it was a bluestone circle, was placed as a symbol of spiritual connection with the sacred Preselis in South-Wales and as marker for the main entrance of Stonehenge as cosmological centre, the spotted stones as symbolising the night sky, the Milky Way. These 23 Blue-stones would then eventually have been taken up and placed at the heart of Stonehenge in the horseshoe.


Again and again archaeologists make the mistake, their persistent scientific fallacy, the Achilles heel of a beautiful discipline, that when they find burials at a prominent site they think that that is the ‘raison d’etre’ of the site, whereas of course the opposite is true, a site is prominent for spiritual reasons and this is the ground some people bury their dead there so as to give them an auspicious passage to the afterlife. All the subsequent bronze age barrows testify to that. Would the Beaker people and Bronze Age chiefs honor Stonehenge as a funerary site for the ‘conquered’ elite that were buried there? Give me a break. The practice of interring at such sites in the late Stone Age was moreover just as rare as cremation still is today in Europe, or even more so, because comparatively very few burials are found of these ages. They just did not make a difference between people in those halcyon days, even children were treated as equals (no babies though it seems). It was probably a burial tradition in some families or in certain spiritual convictions or circles, nothing more. It is a practice you find all over the world at spiritual sites. This is why people get buried in and around churches, caves, waterfalls, places of outstanding natural beauty, their own estates. No church was ever built for the purpose of burying people in or around, everybody knows that, neither were megalithic refuge chambers, as I maintain. Do you think there were Stone Age guards around a bare henge or a chamber for hundreds of years to prevent ‘commoners’ from burying at the Royal Cemetery? It is even known that until quite recently druids did burials at Stonehenge. Quote Atkinson: ” Well within living memory the latter-day Order of Druids buried portions of the cremated remains of their deceased members within the Stonehenge enclosure, a practice now forbidden.” How about that? Well, that’s what happens, that’s what people do.

Time span
Archaeologists often seem obsessed by burials, and by finding them, because it indeed often are the richest sources of insight in former cultures in their field. This is exactly the problem: Because burials are so important for archaeologists, they assign a totally disproportionate importance to them in the assessment of the cultures they investigate, the whole thought of ‘royalty’, of any structural ‘power’ hierarchy is squarely at odds with the shamanic spirit of the Stone Age, which is indeed marked by indiscriminate burials of men, women and children, a rather sure sign of an egalitarian and largely ego-less society. If there is one thing that characterizes the watershed between Stone-age and Metal-age culture it is just this: the birth of the ego from competition and inequality, following horse-riding, superior weapons and wine (signs of nobility to this day)

Another solid proof
According to Alexander Thom and Aubrey Burl (Stone Circles Br.Isles I) the dimensions of the Aubrey holes ring are as follows expressed in their data and in my units of length, see how close Aubrey hole circle: Perimeter: 271.60m = 330 Megalithic Yards = 330 x 0.8228 =  271.52m (Thom= 327.6MY) Diameter:    86.40m = 165 Megalithic Ell       = 165 x 0.5236  =  86.39m  (Thom = 104.2MY) This is another striking example of my formula of Pi as 2MY circumference and 1 ME as diameter Pi = 2MY/1ME. (330/165) This outcome is far better than Thom’s 131 Megalithic Rods (271.5m), where the prime number 131 means absolutely nothing and his Megalithic Rod (2.5MY) looks like a desperate attempt to make things fit where his Yard failed. In my model nothing is ‘forced’, I don’t do anything but apply the data, it just always fits meaningfully as this website shows over and over again. It is sad Thom was wrong with his Megalithic Yard by just  some 6 mm and never got what he so rightfully deserved. The rationale of the 330MY can be found in the sun cycle of 33 years after which an alignment with the sun at the equinox will be exactly the same as 33 years earlier, so posts set every 10MY (8.23m) on this circle can be markers for the count of years.(Heath, 1998, Mackie, 2003) A cache of 33 quartz pebbles was found close to an equinox alignment near Argyll, Scotland. (33 is also the amount of lintels in the design, with 28 in the ring and 5 in the horse-shoe, the number 10 is in the horse-shoe sarsen uprights) [28 = 30-2 at the south half sarsen nr.11, 1/2 of 29.5 days moon cycle] Just now (may, 2015) I read that the sun has also an internal cycle of 330 days waxing and waning, another ‘year-cycle’, by which its volume and activity waxes and wanes, this cycle the ancients could have known by shamanic insight, like most of their mathematical and cosmological knowledge.
The overall diameter of Stonehenge (plus ditch) is given as 110m (Burl), which is 210 Megalithic Ell (210 x 0.5236 = 109.96m) so we find again the Rainbow Proportion, since 210/165 = 14/11 = 1.272727.. or 110 / 86.4 = 1.273 which is also 14/11 = 1.2727272…. (you want more precision?)
A diameter of 210ME gives a circumference of 210 x 22/7 = 660 ME (2 x 330), which is of course 420 MY, (since 11ME=7MY), again 420/210 = 2MY/1ME, which is Pi, isn’t it neat?
The ring of 660 ME can also be used for the sun cycles of 33 years and 330 days of course with markers every  2 or 20 ME (1.05m or 10.5m) on the circumference, possibly aligned with those posts in the Aubrey ring. There always is astronomical or mathematical meaning in this system, or both, it just works infallibly.

(photo) The Aubrey Holes are the biggest yellow ring of dots which relates to the outer ditch perimeter as the Rainbow Proportion, 11 : 14, (as area ratio it is 100:162 or better 1 : 1.620, but also 1 : 1.618, the golden mean, since sqrt(1.6180……) = 1.272 0196….  and 1.272 72727….. =  11 : 14  (differences in the thousandths are of no consequence, they function identically in our system, they resonate, tune in.

At the Ring of Brodgar the stone circle is related to the outer circumference of the sloping ditch as 198ME : 252ME or 103.67m : 131.94m = 11 : 14, also the Rainbow Proportion. These two world famous henges, one in the south, the other in the far north of the British Isles, relate exactly in the ratio 5 : 6, a proportion which figures prominently in the amazing double square design of Structure 1 at the Ness of Brodgar in Orkney. (See: Math at the Ness)

Double Rainbow proportion between stone circle and outer circumference ditch at Brodgar.

Isn’t it again all perfect coincidence. Well, at least I do nothing but relate known scientific data in an ordered manner with a perfect mathematical model, just desktop science. You cannot keep on saying that all successive mathematical fits and facts are mere coincidence. I try to interpret it all as ‘consciously designed’, if that is not the case then it is of miraculous subconscious design, because the maths does not budge and the data don’t go away, and the neglect of coincidence as ‘meaningless’ is a fallacy every Buddhist will raise his eyebrows on.


Afterword: After publishing above post an important citation of Hawley came to my attention which comes from his preliminary report for the Antiquaries Journal in 1921, his first and biggest excavation, Hawley:
“The holes vary very little in size and shape: the biggest is 3 ft. 5 in. deep, its maximum diameter 5 ft. 3 in. and the minimum 4 ft. 6 in. The smallest is 2 ft. deep, maximum diameter 2 ft. 6 in., and minimum 2 ft. 5 in. They are as a rule sharp and regular cuttings in the chalk, and are all more or less circular. ( Trees are circular, bluestones are not. YG) Many have the edge of the chalk crater shorn away, or crushed down, on the side towards the standing stones of Stonehenge, this being apparently due either to the insertion or withdrawal of a stone, probably the latter. From their appearance and regularity there can be little doubt that they once held small upright stones; for, in two cases at least, a portion of the excavated chalk appears to have been returned, as if the hole had been too deeply dug to suit the intended height of the stone. This returned rubble was extremely hard and compacted, as if a very heavy weight had rested upon it for a long time. (Note this crucial argument. YG) With the exception of four holes, all bore evidence of cremated human remains having been deposited in them, and at least three showed signs that actual cremation had been carried out in them.”

This was in 1921 when nothing was known of big post-holes anywhere, until Maud Cunnington caused a sensation by excavating Woodhenge with its big post-holes in 1926-27, posts not bigger than the Aubrey holes, I know from seeing the concrete stumps myself, the largest being at most 1m diameter, if I remember well.
Seeing this excavation is what made Hawley change his mind on stones having been set in the Aubrey Holes, it would have been big wooden posts. QED.