Ken’s Book Report: Solving the Mysteries of Stonehenge

May 30, 2008 by

Europe, Places to Go, Suggested Itineraries, Travel Advice & Inspiration

Stonehenge Bath London ToursEditor’s note: Good news! The mystery of Stonehenge has been solved. No kidding, apparently it’s a cemetery. Always has been, too. Read more here in the SF Chronicle.

Stonehenge is one of the most famous ancient monuments in the world, but what do we really know about it? Anyone intending to visit Stonehenge will be confronted by a huge amount of literature. How do you know where to begin?

You’re in luck. Thames & Hudson is about to release in May a new account of Stonehenge aimed at a wider audience than just the PhD archaeological community. It’s called Solving Stonehenge, by Anthony Johnson. Now I’m no archaeologist, but I think this book will generate a huge amount of discussion.

The author (a professional archaeological surveyor) spent fives years at his computer analyzing the earthwork and stone circles, sifting through myths, legends and misconceptions about Stonehenge.

Central to the book is a a carefully measured survey by John Wood, the architect of Bath, completed in 1740 before several of the stones fell; although largely overlooked by Stonehenge scholars, this remains the most important plan of Stonehenge ever made.


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Stonehenge Spoiler Alert: Everybody dies in the end

Locked within the symmetry of the stones and buried below ground lie the clues to the precise formulae which determined their numbers, spacing and relationships.

Stonehenge was not just the work of skilled engineers, nor primarily astronomical in its concept, but built to a premeditated design which was carefully planned and set out by prehistoric surveyors who had a sophisticated understanding of geometry, practical mathematics and symmetry.

So what does it all mean? I am no archaeologist, and I am no spoiler. The book reads a little like a detective novel, so I am not going to spoil the ending (everybody dies and the whole thing becomes a ruin).

Read it for yourself before taking a trip to Stonehenge.

Ken Frohling

Planning a trip? Browse Viator’s London tours & things to do from day tours to Stonehenge to Buckingham Palace and everything in between.

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11 Responses to “Ken’s Book Report: Solving the Mysteries of Stonehenge”

  1. Stephen Ford Says:

    I can’t wait to read this book. It sounds very interesting. Thanks for a delightful post

  2. Garry Denke Says:

    The Pagan, The Druid, and The Wiccan say, “Unearth the Secrets!”

    Will the Theory of Stonehenge as three 18.61 year cycles (19+18+19 = 56) in journey of Lunar Standstill and back to Beginning Point emerge as the Fifty-six (56) ‘Aubrey Holes’ true purpose in Solving Stonehenge?

    Will the Theory of Stonehenge as 56 wood Fence Postholes holding Livestock Fence Rails for Neolithic Livestock Auctions emerge as the Fifty-six (56) ‘Aubrey Holes’ true purpose in Solving Stonehenge?

    Will the Theory of Stonehenge as Human vulva and Birth canal – 28 day Humans (2 x 28 = 56) Menstrual – Fertility Indicators emerge as the Fifty-six (56) ‘Aubrey Holes’ true purpose in Solving Stonehenge?

    Will the Theory of Stonehenge as 56 shallow Coal Exploratory holes and deep South Wales Coalfield shaped Duster Ditch emerge as the Fifty-six (56) ‘Aubrey Holes’ true purpose in Solving Stonehenge?

    Will the Theory of Stonehenge as holding Wood Timbers like at Woodhenge, The Sanctuary, and other Neolithic Timber Circles emerge as the Fifty-six (56) ‘Aubrey Holes’ true purpose in Solving Stonehenge?

    Will the Theory of Stonehenge as 56 wood Fence Postholes railing Stadium Sports Spectators out of Apollo’s Olympian Field (Arena) emerge as the Fifty-six (56) ‘Aubrey Holes’ true purpose in Solving Stonehenge?

    Will the Theory of Stonehenge as 28 day Lunar cycle (2 x 28 = 56) Moon and Sun clockwise and anticlockwise Eclipse Predictors emerge as the Fifty-six (56) ‘Aubrey Holes’ true purpose in Solving Stonehenge?

    “Oxford’s Fifty-six (56) ‘Aubrey Holes’ true purpose Coming Soon!”

    G-D

  3. Scott Mc Says:

    Garry, maybe you can translate all that.

    I have a bad, bad feeling that the answer is 42.

  4. Garry Denke Says:

    Solving Stonehenge Mysteries

    Heelstone 7 Deep Thought Hitchhiker’s Secret Spirits

    Secret Spirit #1 — gold Mercy Seat is 42 in Deep under Heelstone
    Secret Spirit #2 — gold Ark of the Testimony is 42 in Deep under Heelstone
    Secret Spirit #3 — gold Table of Manna is 42 in Deep under Heelstone
    Secret Spirit #4 — gold Candlestick is 42 in Deep under Heelstone
    Secret Spirit #5 — gold Girdle is 42 in Deep under Heelstone
    Secret Spirit #6 — gold Breastplate is 42 in Deep under Heelstone
    Secret Spirit #7 — gold Altar of Incense is 42 in Deep under Heelstone

    We have Good auger Core that 42 in Under is Answer

    King Arthur and Wizard Merlin

  5. Buck Whaley Says:

    I understand it all perfectly! ….. http://www.sarsen56.wordpress.com.

  6. Carol Ferndale Says:

    Yes, a lot of people over the years have wondered what Stonehenge was all about. Obviously something to do with the year and the change of seasons.

    One thing that struck me when I went to see it, is that it actually looks a lot smaller than you expect from the photos.

    Salisbury is very convenient for Stonehenge – and you can see the magnificent cathedral there as well.

  7. Clik Says:

    I hate to kill the mystique but Stonehenge was a fort, an early castle. It was built inland to avoid seafaring marauders and severe weather. It gave agrarian people a place to fortify themselves when invaded by enemies. Stones placed at entrances gave defenders a shield and prevented a straight forward attack. Carts full of burning straw or rolling rams could be stopped by the stones at the entrance. Also farmers often design fences in a similar way so that people can easily walk from coral to coral while livestock wont make the sharp turn. Early settlers in my area built fortifications before they built churches or shrines. I venture to say it was the same throughout most of the world and history.

  8. Tim Says:

    I agree with your assumption that Stonehenge is an ancient fort. Even today some of the most lasting structures are the forts. Yes, On an open plain you would be very vulnerable to any attacking hords if not for a stronghold. As much thought and labor put into Stonehenge it had a purpose not much larger than life itself. Soldiers could array behind the stones and attach any one trying to come thru the openings from several sides including from above as a circular walkway around the top of the stones would allow quick access to any approach attacking downward. Stonehenge could of had wooden fortifications as well on the upper floors as shields long rotted or burned away.