Stonehenge was the Lourdes of the ancient world for pilgrims on a health kick
Sunday 19 November 2006
Stonehenge was a major international healing centre, according to a leading British archaeologist.
Up till now, most scholars have accepted that the 4,600-year-old stone circle was used mainly for ritual purposes but new research suggests that it was a prehistoric version of Lourdes packed full of pilgrims from all over the ancient world.
Professor Timothy Darvill, who has just published the most detailed study of the area ever carried out, says it is much more associated with water sources, traditionally imbued with healing properties, than thought.
The scientific theories also tally with legend - such as why stones were imported from Preseli in south-west Wales (by Merlin, naturally), a region with a dense concentration of holy wells.
As for pilgrims: the oracle at Delphi closed at the winter solstice so the sun god Apollo could visit the Land of the Hyperboreans - believed to be Britain. And where better than its celebrated solar temple?
'Stonehenge: Biography of a Landscape' (Tempus)
- 1 Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
- 2 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Cee Lo Green: It is only rape if the victim is conscious
- 5 Nigerian witch-finder Helen Ukpabio threatens legal action against human rights organisations
Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
Victoria Justice on naked photo leak: 'Let me nip this in the bud right now – pun intended'
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: Pictures are completely fake, say representatives
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
Kate Upton nude photos leak: Model's spokespeople 'looking into' authenticity of indecent images
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
£8 per hour: Randstad Education Leeds: The Job Creche Assistant to start asap ...
£8 per hour: Randstad Education Leeds: The Job Nursery Nurse Leeds We are now ...
£55000 - £65000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A Global Financial Service Organi...
£60000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A prestigious leading professiona...