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Chapter 3 Journal Activity

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Stukeley's Shadow


I think that Geoffrey of Monmouth and William Stukeley lay the foundations of popular modern perception of Stonehenge. And Stukeley's shadow is stronger: Stonehenge is commonly perceived as older than Merlin, Arthur and the knights of the Round table (that is "somewhat early medieval"). Geoffrey's story thus continues in many modern variations connecting Merlin with the druids. (Merlin as the last druid, Merlin who knew the true secret of Stonehenge, Merlin reconstructing the Stonehenge to show his extraordinary powers...)
Stukeley is the new trendsetter now. ;) The themes of Stonehenge as "druidic cathedral" or "druidic calendar" are everpresent! Not only in public idea of "what Stonehenge is" that is widely present in the Euroatlantic culture. Also as a theme in art, literature, computer games. Just look for "druids" on the internet - they're there, with their beards and golden sickles, in the circle of stones. That is one of the keystone images of New age, of classical fantasy literature, of modern fantasy computer games...
The archeologists are of course working in their scientific paradigms, which could be quite Monmouth- and Stukeley-free. But the image of druid in Stonehenge would live on, paralel with the actual archeological theories and explanations of Stonehenge...

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