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Stonehenge, The Health Spa

By jd in Science
Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 01:08:03 PM EST
Tags: Weird, Science, Archaeology, Stonehenge (all tags)

A new excavation at Stonehenge, which started March 31st, will attempt to once-and-for-all (again) determine who built Stonehenge and why. This week's theory - it was a health resort, where people across the country visited to receive magical healing from the blue stones.

Possibly one of the most exciting excavations in British archaeology is taking place in the Wiltshire Plains, where archaeologists will attempt to prove their theory that the blue stones were viewed as a method of gaining magical healing.

Evidence exists that there were a lot of seriously sick and injured people buried near Stonehenge. These were people with conditions which would have been fatal over any length of time. The relative lack of bodies that showed signs of recovery would seem to be a problem, as stone-age Europeans already had medicine and understood what worked.

On the other hand, there is indisputable evidence that a lot of manpower was put into this. A semi-permanent settlement that could house hundreds existed. Given that it took over two thousand years to complete the work, and life-expectencies were around 30 years, the total workforce employed could easily have been 7,000 or so. That was not an insignificant percentage of the total available workforce of the country at that time.

It should be kept in mind that archaeology in Britain has an excellent track record of throwing curveballs at archaeologists. The unexpected is commonplace. Now, some may be wondering why I'm linking to a news site, not English Heritage (who own the area and the monuments in it). If they had the information, I would. Some of the non-Stonehenge story links go back to the 1990s - information English Heritage neglect to even mention exists.

As for Stonehenge, all that appears certain is that nothing is certain, which most were certain of before. The new work may yet discover the purpose, but there seems to be far too much theorizing on too little data.


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Related Links
o who built Stonehenge and why
o it was a health resort
o Wiltshire Plains
o attempt to prove their theory
o seriously sick and injured people
o A semi-permanent settlement
o throwing curveballs at archaeologists
o unexpected is commonplace
o Also by jd

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Stonehenge, The Health Spa | 16 comments (9 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
i thought stonehenge (3.00 / 5) (#1)
by circletimessquare on Mon Mar 31, 2008 at 09:40:42 PM EST

was a scientology recruitment tool, and was built for that purpose. am i wrong?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

since when did you begin to speak like a (2.66 / 9) (#3)
by United Fools on Mon Mar 31, 2008 at 11:10:56 PM EST

United Fool?

We are united, we are fools, and we are America!
[ Parent ]
Since when has CTS not talked out of his ass? (none / 0) (#14)
by EMOTIVE GUY on Tue Apr 29, 2008 at 04:27:11 PM EST

They told me to go easy on cock for a few days, but I didn't listen
- MotorMachineMercenary

[ Parent ]
Proof that wealthy middle-class new-agers (3.00 / 2) (#5)
by Wen Jian on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 08:28:45 AM EST

Have always had the unerring knack of diverting disproportionate resources to supplement their comfortable lifestyle.

"You, peasant! Build me a Reiki Chamber so that I can become one with all things."
It was an experiment in lulz. - Rusty

News from the dig (none / 0) (#11)
by jd on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 05:43:11 PM EST

(Based on recordings by the archaeologists and the Timewatch team).

  • The Druids chanted and called on the Henge to assist the archaeologists in their work.
  • Fragments of hammerstone and other prehistoric tools have been found, as has some neolithic pottery.
  • Extremely sharp flints have been recovered.
  • Imported tools have been identified, they've no clear idea where from or any ideas on why

I could have sworn... (none / 0) (#12)
by rachsumat on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:54:35 PM EST

the stonehenge excavation was an April fools joke.
"Be the wire. Shhhh. Wires don't talk..."
YHBT. (none / 0) (#13)
by sudogeek on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 10:12:38 PM EST

Check the date of publication of the BBC story.

You're an arrogant, condescending, ignorant dipshit. - trhurler
Only one use? (none / 0) (#15)
by thogard on Sat May 10, 2008 at 10:53:20 AM EST

Stonehenge was there for a long time.  Just  because a primary use is known still doesn't answer the question about why it was built in the 1st place.

Take the Sphinx as a great example.  We know about when the modern stone work was added to it but it was a major landmark for  10,000 years before that along the trade routes.  I expect the rock outcrop was visible from a long distance away long  before the Sahara became a desert.  There is an underground spring there and it was well known to be the first watering hole out side of Cairo.  I expect that bored people have been messing with it for more than 5,000 years making it more cat like until a Pharaoh decided to redo the exterior.

exactly (none / 0) (#16)
by alwaysean on Tue Dec 23, 2008 at 04:50:23 AM EST

the idea that there was a grand plan that took 2000 years to implement is ridiculous. Modern society has trouble with plans on a longer timescale than about 30 years.

[ Parent ]
Stonehenge, The Health Spa | 16 comments (9 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
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