The first time I saw a picture of Stonehenge was sometime in the early 2000s as a small child. It utilized by my father (and I’m sure many other Microsoft users) as our clunky desktop’s background picture for many years. I wasn’t really sure what it was, it kind of looked like a set of massive stone dominoes.
I now know Stonehenge isn’t quite a set of dominoes for giants. (However, there are theories giants brought the rocks from Africa to Ireland, like Ethan mentioned in lecture today.) What really fascinated me about Stonehenge was the Aubrey holes and their uses as graves.
Professor and famed archaeologist Mike Parker Pearson was at the forefront of the Stonehenge excavation (and has been for decades). Parker Pearson has been excavating monuments and areas surrounding Stonehenge for years, and has uncovered important information and artifacts. One example of this is Parker Pearson’s excavation of the Durrington Walls, whose evidence points to the area being used as a seasonal camp for the workers who built Stonehenge.
More recently, 50,000 fragments of cremated human remains were found in one Aubrey hole. As Ethan mentioned in lecture today, John Aubrey came across these remains spread between many of the holes, but he was not interested in them. Aubrey then placed all of the remains in one hole: Aubrey Hole 7. Crushed chalk was found in the bottom of the Aubrey hole containing the human remains, suggesting that one of the bluestone rocks was placed atop of the hole. This points to the bluestone being used as a grave marker, and further suggests the hole was used as a grave.
Currently, DNA analysis is not allowed on the remains, which Parker Pearson believes will lead to a better understanding of the Stonehenge site and culture. However, it has been discovered that the remains contain an almost equal number of males and females. They also include some children, and even a newborn baby. Parker Pearson believes the people who were buried in Stonehenge are in some way special, and I have to agree. Perhaps they were considered noble, or maybe leaders. Why else would they, in particular, be buried in a place considered sacred?
Although we are slowly collecting more information regarding Stonehenge, we are no where near having a clear picture of the site. Was it built by aliens? Unlikely. Was it constructed by magic? Probably not. Was it used as a ritual site? Evidence seems to say yes. Was it a necropolis? Well there are remains there, so it seems that way. We have some answers, but there are still many more questions. Perhaps that is why Stonehenge is so intriguing; it has an air of mystery.