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Stonehenge Remodelled (2012) [pdf] (cambridge.org)
19 points by tintinnabula 32 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 20 comments



Have there been any new revelations in the past 8 years regarding Stonehenge?

Also, if anyone finds themselves in southwest England, I would recommend against visiting Stonehenge. Getting a sense of scale of the stones that these neolithic people moved hundreds of miles to the site is great, but the sheer mass of people surrounding you while you look at these stones is too much to bear. And then there's that highway that runs about 200' from the site, which certainly doesn't add to the ambience.


My mum lived in that area until a few years ago. Definitely worth a visit, yes!

The road you speak of got closed, and totally removed, some years back [1].

Only the bluestones are believed to come from hundreds of miles away, the sandstone is believed to have been sourced more locally — still an impressive feat: but the bluestones are the smaller stones in the assembly, being less than 1/10th of the weight of the stones that the trilithons are comprised of.

[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-23026522


The A344 May have been closed but the A303 still goes pretty close.

To be honest I don’t think the Stonehenge is a particularly memorable day out either. I get how it’s an incredible accomplishment given when it was built but it’s a pretty underwhelming experience to visit. Personally I consider it one of those rare occasions where pictures of it actually do it justice (usually you find pictures can barely capture the magnificence of historic or cultural landmarks)


> The A344 May have been closed but the A303 still goes pretty close.

No roads can really be seen from the stones, nor on the approach to them. Sure, you can sometimes hear distant traffic on the A303, if the wind is blowing the right/wrong way. But the previous road was indeed just a few hundred feet away as OP stated, and was busy, with vehicles driving past one stone (the Heel Stone) that was literally on the verge of the road by only a couple of feet.


That's odd - because I can certainly see the people visiting the stones while I'm stuck on the A303. There is a plan to take the whole road through a tunnel, which I think could make Stonehenge a lot more impressive to visit.


Thought much the same - I can see the stones and people around them when driving past on the A303. Easy, given how slow traffic is around there, which is why a tunnel is (still) being talked about, maybe even being planned.


Ok, I concede that traffic can be seen, way off in the distance.

I suppose the whole point comes down to how 'close' is close? The previous road was a hundred-odd feet away, and literally went right past a big stone, by a couple of feet. That road was indeed close.

The A303 by comparison, is not particularly close IMO. It's far enough away that on many days one cannot even hear it. You cannot really see the road, but you can see vehicles (tops of cars, top half of trucks). It's far enough away that if one holds their thumb up, at arms' length, one can easily hide a truck's length completely behind it. Do other folk think that is close then? Seems so. I guess it's relative isn't it.

But IMO that's not particularly close - particularly as our initial/primary comparator here was the road that ran right past the monument.

I agree that it would be better if the 303 wasn't there / wasn't in a tunnel, of course.


* /was/ in a tunnel.


Maybe you're a bit negative because you've seen it more than once or since you were going. For me the stones were a lot bigger than I had pictured them. Can only recommend it.


No, I’m negative because it’s somewhere you have to drive to and once you’re there you’re surrounded by hundreds of other people as well as busy roads. It’s not somewhere you can spend a lot of time and you can’t even get that close to the stones themselves because it’s cordoned off (that last part i can forgive).

There’s thousands of parks and other beauty spots in the U.K. which are far more memorable and to which you can spend hours strolling around, take kids of all ages to, and generally enjoy a day out at. The Stonehenge, while historically significant, is an anticlimactic tourist attraction and an even worse beauty spot.

But maybe if/when they build a tunnel for the A303 they might then do more with the available space and so it becomes more of a family attraction rather “just” a monument.


You have to wonder what drove people to collaborate for 15 centuries in building this construct.

Could there be an amount FOMO involved as in if you do not work with us then something will happen?

Almost all religions have Gods practicing forms of punishment and promises of heavenly rewards. Certain offering customs of the Aztecs were extremely cruel to people.

Then we also know people came even from Europe traveling 2000 km to visit this place for a specific event. There must have been a real exciting opportunity for spectators to experience when traveling such a vast distance. Just cremating dead bodies of local people that naturally died in that period wouldn't be interesting & controversial enough to attend.

Is Stonehenge a ritual site where people where cremated alive as a punishment for not doing enough work in building monument?


> Then we also know people came even from Europe traveling 2000 km to visit this place for a specific event.

Can you elaborate more on that?


We know that the genetic makeup of Stonehenge’s builders changed over time due to migration from Europe first it started by Neolithic people that migrated from Turkey & south of Spain. Over time they were replaced by the beaker people and the influx of these people into England has been greater than the migration of these people to Germany or France.

I can't find the specific article anymore about this being a celebrated event and people traveling from far. It could be I reversed the causal relation and the new builders just happend to be migrating anyway.

The setup of Stonehenge does have a remarkable coincidence with the longest & shortest day of the year.It was also a long held belief druids build Stonehenge for sacrificial offerings but that didn't match the actual timeline of their migration.

Considering all builders of Stonehenge were farmers and highly dependent on seasonality, I personally wouldn't be surprised that the stones were used to put people on top and offered in a light of fire so the gods could make changing of the seasons happen. What do you think?


I think Velikovsky "Worlds in Collision".


>You have to wonder what drove people to collaborate for 15 centuries in building this construct.

Good fences make good neighbors.


Even with all that, on the most crowded day, it still is a marvel and worth going. You'll miss out if you have the chance and don't go.

With that said, I did find Avebury much nicer as you can touch the stones there!


Avebury is much nicer for a day out. Far less busy, and you get to touch the stones.


I agree with this! On our last visit to the UK we stopped at Avebury. Aside from touching the stones (and the sheep touching you!), there is a very nice little National Trust museum. Also in the town (all steps away) is Avebury Manor, which was a neat little museum that has different rooms decorated for different periods. There's also St. James Church, which aside from being very historical and interesting, happened to have the group of "church ladies" (which I think was the actual name of their group) who were serving a pot luck lunch for a very small donation, and as it had just started to rain, bent the rules for all of us and let us picnic in the church. Avebury is by far one of our best memories of the trip!


In the Summer of 2003, we were visiting friends in North Yorkshire, and enjoyed a walk on Easby Moor[1]. We arrived at the monument to Cook, and my need to play the role of American Idiot was overpowering.

"Where's the rest of it?" I asked.

John was baffled. "The rest of it? That's all there is."

"Oh come on: I know that Stonehenge has more than one stone."

He looked at me with a confused pain, wondering if I was truly that daft, or merely affecting the pose.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easby_Moor#Captain_Cook's_Monu...


Revisionist :)




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