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)
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site on Friday
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain
- 1 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 2 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 3 Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
- 4 Woman blinded as a child can see again after hitting her head on a coffee table
- 5 The bubble bursts for Sodastream
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
£40000 - £65000 per annum + bonus + benefits + OT: Ampersand Consulting LLP: M...
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The JobAt ...
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Calling al...
£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: EYFS Teachers - East Essex...