Chapters 2 › Unit 2: Chapter 2 Journal Activity View instructions Hide instructions

Chapter 2 Journal Activity

A Secret Place


It appears that Stonehenge was a secret place — or whatever went on inside it was. The interior embankment was eight feet high: impossible to see over from downslope to the east and south. From higher ground to the north and west an eighteen foot tall Palisade was built of stout trees, running diagonally northeast from well below the old visitor’s car park, all the way to the Avenue’s Elbow. This tightly woven screen was a mile long. What was going on in there?

Additionally, there is some slight evidence that much later there may have been a ring of shrubs set inside the earthwork, roughly positioned between the Y and Z Holes. (I know — ‘Stonehedge’, right?) So it seems that whatever was going on, a concerted effort was being made to keep prying eyes in the dark. This also speaks to a long-standing priestly class or what-not onto whom great influence was conferred, for one does not commit to the labor-costly equivalent of a Neolithic space program without some seriously strong imperative. We know that all governments have secrets. In many cases this is a good thing. That we know they have secrets has no bearing at all on whatever it is they’re attempting to keep sub rosa. Stonehenge was surely no different.

There are any number of cremations scattered outside the Aubrey Holes; in the ditch and within the bank. Some are clustered together at key locations while others lie in isolation. Clearly, being laid to rest at this magickal place was a high honor. There are also three actual graves in the henge field and one inside the Circle, though these were done in the Iron Age, long after the original purpose of the Citadel had been forgotten.

What we do see in one instance are the remains of a certain unfortunate gentleman whose badly disarticulated skeleton was found in the north ditch in 1978. His interment was hardly ceremonial as he had no grave goods, and looks to have been simply tossed into a shallow cove and left to rot. Most telling however is that he didn’t just drop dead, but was killed with at least three arrows, possibly four. Two of these were shot into him while he was already laying on the ground and so are interpreted as coup d’grace kill-shots. His only material possession was a beautifully crafted stone wrist guard, so we know he was himself an archer. This event appears to have occurred shortly after the stone phase at the monument had been completed. So who was this guy?

There are several people I know who interpret this man as being a guardsman who bravely fought to protect the Citadel against the criminal element. Okay ... but it seems to me someone like that would be buried with honor, prestige and grave goods.
This guy? Not so much.
I believe he was the spy, caught skulking around, killed for his effrontery, then chucked like a dog into the ditch. Thus the secrets of Stonehenge were protected from espionage.

That such measures were taken tell us that whatever was going on in there, the powers-that-be weren’t fooling around with the silly strictures and folderol of legal red tape. If you got in there uninvited, you got dead — period. The locals would have known this and avoided the place as though it were encircled by death itself.

Neil Wiseman

Your Comment

Please login to leave a comment.