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Chapter 3 Journal Activity

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Myth? Magic? Mumbo Jumbo? Mystery? or Bravery? (3)


If we had all the answers to the reason Stonehenge exists would it still attract so many visitors from all over the world?
Much effort has been made to discover who build Stonehenge and how they built it and at what time and archaeology has given us some very sound answers to these questions.
The "why" question is much more difficult to answer and in any given situation where there is a factual void mythology will endeavour to provide answers.
Geoffrey of Monmouth was, arguably, a very talented story teller, we may never know if he believed in the things he wrote, but clearly he knew how to write a great story and how to make his writings believable.
We have been able to prove that the factual elements of many of his stories were incorrect and by providing supportive evidence we have won that argument. This has been mainly due to modern archaeological findings and by brave people daring to question that which was previously thought to be unchallengeable.
The originator of any myth, no matter how unbelievable, will always hold the upper hand in the land of make believe and the only way to refute these mythologies is to replace them with new more powerful myths or preferably by the use of provable facts.
Modern archaeologists work in a factual environment and should be discerning enough to challenge any preconceptions, the general public however may need a little more support as further evidence is unearthed.


almost 2 years ago

I guess it would depend on what the factual answers to Stonehenge's origins turned out to be in regards to if it would have an effect on number of visitors. The mysteries and mythological answers have been around for so long that even when given cold hard scientific evidence some people will still choose to believe the previous explanations that they have held so much stock in. (Humans ability to continue to believe in 'alternative facts' even after being exposed to the factual evidence is a theory being proven over and over again here in the current political climate of America. :) )

So, would the druids and pagans that take over the stones at the Solstice still do so? Yes, I believe so and people will continue to visit just to check it off of their bucket list without even considering their true meaning or the architects' and builders' feats of achievements. Even though we are learning that Stonehenge in its totality is more than just the standing stones, they in and of themselves, are just awe inspiring to behold.

That being said, I cannot wait to hear of further archaeological developments.

There was a laser scan project of the stones in 2011, entitled "Stonehenge Laser Scan: Archaeological Analysis Report" English Heritage Project 6457. I was going to send you the downloaded file but it is huge! Googling the title should take you right to it.

almost 2 years ago

"Myth attracts the Masses" this is very true Janet, but English Heritage exists because of the income from Stonehenge hence my comment regarding the "numbers of visitors"
Personally I want to know everything and it will not stop me from volunteering at Stonehenge or attending the quarterly celebrations even if it turns out that it was built because someone lost a bet :-)
The fascination for me are the people who built it and how they lived, be they from Orkney or Wales or Stonehenge or wherever and that admiration will never diminish :-)
Thank you for your comments, they are very welcome and I shall look up the laser scan link.
Kind regards

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